Helzberg Diamonds Proposes an Opportunity to Engage Social Media Fans


Personal connections build strong relationships.

In fact, marketers for Helzberg Diamonds are connecting with their customers through one of the most personal life moments: wedding proposals. “We are in the business of making people feel loved every day. And one of the things that keeps customers coming back to us are those personal relationships,” says Pat Duncan, SVP of marketing, e-commerce, and distributions at Helzberg Diamonds. “A part of what makes relationships strong is that we really care about those personal stories. And making sure that whether it’s an engagement, a birthday, anniversary—whatever that special occasion might be—we do everything that we can to make it a success.”

Right now, Helzberg Diamonds is having a celebratory moment of its own. This year marks the jewelry retailer’s 100th anniversary. “But we’re doing more than just celebrating the 100 years,” Duncan says.

He says that rather than simply creating a promotional campaign that solely honors the jeweler’s centennial, the marketing team wants to infuse customers’ personal stories into the next chapter of the brand’s narrative. They want to make the campaign more about customers rather than products: “And we wanted to do it in a way that’s modern, but celebrates the core of any [personal] story—which is love.”

So with some strategic planning from digital marketing firm DEG, marketers at Helzberg Diamonds set out to create a personal campaign that honored the company’s centennial, while at the same time casted the spotlight on the personal story of a loving couple. The team had just a few weeks to execute a plan on National Proposal Day; and they needed a way to find that couple and then share their story with the brand’s followers.

The answer, Duncan says, was social media.

He says through social media, Helzberg Diamonds found and later vetted a couple who was willing to make the ultimate wedding proposal in front of the more than 18,000 fans at the Brooklyn Nets game in the Barclays Center. Marketers’ search yielded Boston-based Cory Gemborys from Boston who wanted to propose to his girlfriend of nine years, Casandra.

The strategy was rooted in Twitter. “One of the great things about social media is that it gives the ability to share stories, whether the written word or through video,” Duncan says. So on March 20—National Proposal Day—Helzberg Diamonds celebrated its 100 years with a personal wedding proposal, broadcasted on the Jumbotron and through social media with hashtag #NationalProposalDay. The hashtag allowed marketers to enter a trending topic on Twitter, get in on a conversation with fans at the Nets game, share a unique and personal story of two consumers, celebrate the brand’s centennial, and of course, allow them to congratulate Cory and Casandra on their engagement.

Duncan says that the campaign was a complete success.

It garnered reportedly more than 210K impressions and more than 5K engagements, e.g. clicks, retweets, replies, follows and favorites—that’s just in one day.

“Social media gives us a national platform to share those stories,” Duncan says. “Before social, there really was no easy way to share these stories, and social media has given us the opportunity.”

Duncan says that the campaign drove engagement from existing fans, homed in on Helzberg’s target audiences, and of course, boosted engagement from a large crowd at the Brooklyn Nets game. “We got eyeballs on the brand; we got recognition on our 100-year anniversary; we engaged fans and shared a very personal story,” he says.

He insists that no matter the brand, social is the way to prompt dialogue with shoppers, boost brand image, and interweave customer stories. “We’ve always tried to share personal stories and celebrate those most special moments in people’s lives,” he says. “Social media is just the next evolution that.”

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