The perfect media tactics to boost business and encourage OU students to shop local

Disclaimer: I am not a professional. All comments come from my personal experiences and observations, and this blog is purely for academic purposes.

Need fresh ideas for reaching a broader audience? Are you interested in the digital strategies and media tactics that could help drive business and encourage Ohio University students to take a stop in your store? Here’s a look at the social media techniques used by several clothing boutiques in Athens. The best part is these strategies can also be applied to a variety of businesses including restaurants,dining, bookstores and specialization stores such as gift shops, craft stores and costume shops.

When thinking of the stores on and surrounding Court Street, there’s a variety of customers and owners. Many would believe each store takes a completely different approach to reach their target audience. Surprisingly, this is far fetched.

After extensive research and vast increments of my time being used to creep through the shops social media, I was surprised to find most of the strategies used by the local owners were extremely similar. The strategies that many stores use often seem to be working well, and unfortunately the mistakes and painful errors were frequently used across the board. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly digital promotion approaches used by many local Athens shops.

Artifacts Gallery

Artifacts Gallery is a local clothing shop located at 2 W. State Street., Athens, OH. This store uses Instagram and Facebook as their strongest social media pages. Some techniques used on the Instagram page included using a white background when taking photos of the apparel. Using a white background, or sticking with a common theme, is useful because people enjoy images that are pleasant to the eye.

Facebook is also used by keeping active with posts that do not only relate to their store and products. Using a personalized approach and occasional videos help keep interest in followers, causing them to be more engaged when looking at a media post.

Unfortunately, Artifacts Gallery could use some work on their Twitter page. Twitter is accessible and sharable, but that is not how it is used. Instead, the tweets only link to Instagram posts, and their customer interaction to assist with product feedback or other related questions. Also, the Instagram could afford to involve a few models when marketing their t-shirts and other apparel. Having a real person involved in media posts allows customers, and especially college students, to be more engaged.

The only issue that struck me hard when viewing Artifacts Gallery’s social media pages was the excessive hashtagging. Yes, I understand many people were told to use hashtags to draw in more likes and assist in SEO, but sometimes less is more. My best advice is to use hashtags appropriately and understand that quality really can mean more than quantity.

Bluetique

This trendy local shop focuses on targeting the typical college girl who wishes she was in walking distance to a mall. Bluetique is located 19 W. State Street., Athens, OH. Bluetique does an excellent job promoting their store through a strong social media presence. Their social media is a triple-threat, and maybe more. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are all used constantly and appropriately to reach a variety of customers in the Athens area. Bluetique is also one of the few local shops that has started using Pinterest, which is very smart since many Ohio University women have joined on the Pinterest bandwagon when collaborating ideas.

There’s no doubt that Bluetique thought about the social media tactics they wanted to use. Overall, their pages are professional and engaging. Gabby Summers, a Bluetique employee, said students and workers are often used to pose in their clothes and accessories because it helps make the posts more personal and attracts a larger audience. All Instagram posts are similar because they use a theme and specific lighting location in the store. The owner has also invested in a wallpaper like background that looks like a wooden floor to assist in making the products stand out and keep a professional theme.

New floral two piece! We love our new arrivals! #bluetiqueathens #shopbluetique #newarrivals

A post shared by Bluetique Athens (@bluetiqueathens) on

Instagram and Twitter are also used to promote sales and positions for hire. The Bluetique Facebook page is a strong presence because they share events and other posts on their page to engage with customers. More frequent tweets would help them reach a wider audience. Videos and a cover photo with girls from Ohio University in their clothing gives the site a more personal approach, which is excellent when trying to find new customers and grow as a shop in a college town.

Although they use similar content among all platforms, especially  by reusing Instagram photos, the Bluetique social media techniques are definitely appropriate for most local business. Their techniques drive business and gain OU students as loyal customers.

Figleaf Boutique

Figleaf Boutique is a company that can be found in several college orientated towns, such as Kent, Columbus and Athens. The Athens location can be found at 57 N. Court Street., Athens, OH. Due to the larger presence this boutique has in other cities, their social media techniques are also updated and frequently used to reach OU students.

Figleaf is smart by using Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter in creative ways. All their sites maintain a professional setting, and the links on Instagram photos, Pinterest pins, tweets and Facebook posts are directly to their official website. This is extremely important because it increases availability and sales. Many college students, and specifically OU students, don’t like feeling rushed if they can’t make it to the local shops during their daily hours. Having a website that is promoted daily through social media is an excellent technique which could potentially benefit all local shops.

It’s also apparent that Figleaf knows and understands their target audience which is the trendy college girl. They understand how to reach girls needing dresses and accessories for date parties and other social events through all medias. The also reach the parents of many OU girls whose parents are on the lookout for trends and sales on Facebook. Their Facebook content is slightly altered to engage a different group, which is smart since their Facebook audience has relations with their target audience.

The best advice for Figleaf Boutique is to be more interactive on Twitter with customers and keep the variety between their different media sites because it does make a huge difference.

Honey

This lingerie store is located at 13 W. Union Street, Athens, OH. Truthfully visiting the store is the best way to have any idea about their apparel and products. Honey lacks much of any social media presence. They have very few followers across the board, and they have few posts.

Honey’s Instagram has not posted since December, which is poor for almost any company in 2017. This is extremely disappointing since they are targeting OU students, who more often than not use Instagram daily. In fact, according to a Pew Research Center study, 90 percent of American adults aged 18 to 29 use social media. As a local shop targeting this specific group, it’s best they amp up their social media presence and begin to focus on the successful tactics available to boost business.

However, the one good thing Honey does with their social media is their use of Facebook. There are several more posts and more interaction on their Facebook page, and they even post links and articles to other sources. Outside sourcing to relatable content is a fantastic marketing tactic that many small, local businesses are afraid to test. Although this is very different than other trends among local shops in Athens, this out of ordinary social media technique would be worth a shot for other stores. Many stores and websites appreciate interaction from one another, and promoting a different store potentially brings new customers if the favor is returned.

The Other Place

The Other Place is another trendy store focusing on women’s clothing, accessories and gift items. This boutique can be found at 43 S. Court Street, Athens, OH. This college town shop engages with OU students on a variety of platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The owner has recently teamed up with the Scripps’ Impressions team, which has developed a few new techniques to boost business and student interaction among social media.

The Other Place is beginning to use real OU students to model their apparel in hopes to promote a real life experience and receive more engagement from friends and family members of the girls featured in the photos and posts. Another exciting social media tactic is the startup of a WordPress site to allow blogs about trends and styles that can be created from the apparel and accessories in the store.

Show off those shoulders with one of our super cute rompers! #rompers #shoulders

A post shared by The Other Place Athens (@theotherplaceathens) on

Other social media ideas that are common and effective include using Twitter constantly and posting promotional sales and hirings on their sites. When linking, it could be more effective to link to a store site, but instead they link back to their Facebook. This technique could be useful in reaching a different group of OU students, but there’s limited interaction on the Facebook page. Limited feedback and limited posting on both Facebook and Twitter may be the cause for the lack of followers, or vice versa.

10 West Clothing Co.

The new local shop, 10 West Clothing Co. is located at 10 W. Union Street., Athens, OH, and the store is known for selling new and nearly new name brand clothes. Their store specializes in making trendy clothes affordable for the college students in Athens.

As any new store in the area would do, they post quite often in order to gain followers, likes and attention in general. They use Instagram as their best social media platform by posting photos of their clothes, information about sales and funny memes in order to give it a personal feel. Unfortunately, their photography skills could still use some assistance to stand out and be more appealing to customers.

Another bad habit constantly used on their social media pages includes linking directly to Instagram only. Their interaction with customers and the shop’s creativity spreading content is lacking. A few alterations and more variety on all platforms would make a huge difference and advance 10 W. Clothing Co.’s business and appeal to OU students.

In conclusion, local businesses shouldn’t be afraid to try new things, such as promotional events or blogs. Using OU students for modeling clothes, or holding events, engages other students, friends and family increasing publicity and social media awareness. Ohio University faculty could also be a wise partner for events and social media promotion because they carry respect and people have a tendency to shop at local places if they have heard good reviews from people they personally know.

Spreading content creatively and using all media platforms allows local business to reach their max audience and customers. Sometimes, different platforms require, or strive, from a different form of media. Balancing videos, photos and text increasing attention for OU students interested in the local stores because millennials expect businesses to be up-to-date and use social media in a multitude of ways. Also, owners should not be afraid to dip their feet in and try using more than Facebook. Learning how to tweet and pin information is very important to a successful media platform because Twitter and Pinterest are the most shareable content sites.

Finally, keeping a professional look to all platforms makes a huge difference. Photography skills matter. Good lighting, backgrounds, using models instead of mannequins and keeping a constant theme makes a huge difference. Frequent posts are most effective when they are put together and consistent. Keeping digital media in correlation with college students’ expectations allows businesses to increase sales and encourages OU students to shop at the local stores around Athens.

J Bar Thursday’s are the best Thursday’s for you and me: a real night out at The J Bar

For anyone who hasn’t spent their time at 41 N. Court St. it’s advised you make a trip to this local Athens establishment. Here’s a short recap of a typical Thursday night from the perspective of the bartenders and fellow OU students. From great drinks, an awesome staff and a wide variety of music, thanks to the DJ many Ohio U. students refer to as DJ Dick Slap, J Bar rarely disappoints. Check out a J Bar Thursday experience now!

The best kept secrets about Victoria’s Secret and the truth that goes on behind the magic

Health and fitness have become leading movements and have been capturing the attention of many young women. We have finally realized it’s important to treat the human body with respect.

This includes hydrating, working out, eating right and having a positive self-image. Coincidentally, the leader in this trend is Victoria’s Secret.

Recently, Victoria’s Secret has focused on their sports line. This has included a focus on health and fitness, especially in preparation for the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. This hoopla doesn’t happen without the angels’ effort in the gym and on the runway and the employees’ effort in the stores.

It’s not all fun and games for employees

Victoria’s Secret employs thousands of women in a range of locations. Most days they can be found folding panties or looking in the back for more leggings to be added to the shelf. The truth is as much as they the clothing and fragrances, sometimes it isn’t what it’s ideal. Between the awkward fathers trying to buy bras and the way the panties table looks after the Semi-Annual Sale the secrets of a Victoria’s Secret employee makes it sound a lot more intimidating.

Give Victoria’s Secret. Unwrap sexy. ’Tis the season, after all.

A post shared by Victoria's Secret (@victoriassecret) on

“Train like an angel”

To become fit like the Victoria’s Secret angels it’s surprising to some that they focus on weight training, ballet techniques and being tone because lean is not the answer anymore. Training like an angel means bootcamp. The best techniques can be found online at the Victoria’s Secret Youtube channel. To your surprise your new routine might include more weight lifting and less cardio.

Eat healthy, be healthy

Balanced diets are the best and most successful. Regardless of vegan, high-protein or loads of vegetables and fruits eating enough, and eating right, is the best way to get results for that dream body. This does not mean having to eat small portions, but instead it means eating throughout the day and balancing the food groups. If you’re looking for ideas, check out some of the angels’ personal diet plans. Finding what’s best for your body helps keep you lean and toned. These plans may not be the biggest diet plans but shh, don’t tell anyone.

?? life!

A post shared by Candice Swanepoel (@angelcandices) on

The glamorous runway lifestyle 

Yes. The angels are gorgeous when they hit the stage after months of training, but there’s many downsides that viewers of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show don’t take into consideration when they dream about being one of the angels. For starters, the fantasy bra is extremely heavy, the average heel height is 6 inches and the wings can weigh around 25 pounds. The heaviest pair of wings weighed in at 40 pounds. So next time you’re dreaming about being an angel read up on the runway secrets that can’t be seen from the television.

Au revoir, Paris. Here’s to the most fabulous #VSFashionShow ever!!

A post shared by Victoria's Secret (@victoriassecret) on

Behind the scenes 

So what actually goes on behind the scenes? Natural beauty tips and tricks. This includes natural makeup application, natural hair and beach waves ideas and even health tricks. The day of the show the beauty tricks are loaded up and the health tricks are thrown away. All liquids, including water, are cut off. However, the year long diets and exercises are the key aspect to make the angels look the way they do on the night of the show. Next time you want to look your best and get “the look” of a Victoria’s Secret angel remember to keep it natural, stay healthy and exercise.

What’s not to ❤️ about a runway-perfect mani-pedi from @redcarpetmanicure? #VSFashionShow

A post shared by Victoria's Secret (@victoriassecret) on

The best kept secrets about Victoria’s Secret and the truth that goes on behind the magic is a newsletter by Tori Pishkula to inform supporters about the background information that goes into the success of Victoria’s Secret. Keep up monthly to gain a recap of any new, fun facts about beauty tips, the angels or the company because you never know where the angels will take the brand next. 

6 fashion trends that are only acceptable in college

Everyone has a bad day once in awhile and fashion sense is not a top priority. Unfortunately, some of these terrible clothing choices are accepted, or even normal, in a college environment. Sometimes, the weirdest trends are even praised by peers. Here’s a list of fashion trends that will make your parents cringe.

  1. Sock and sandals
    Photo by Gamma Man via Flickr

    This used to be a trend, but then people came to their senses. It’s now back. It might look dorky, but it’s easy and convenient when running to the dining hall or class.

2. Wearing a baseball cap instead of showering

Photo by cuncon via Pixabay

Some days it just makes sense to go purchase a hat instead of washing your hair. College is rough. Hats make it easier. And you know you roll up to class with the same expression on your face.

3. Leggings… with calf-high socks… and tennis shoes

Photo by Steven Depolo via Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For some reason college girls love the calf-high socks over their leggings. And the Converse or tennis shoes are convenient. This trend isn’t advised after college, but not a day goes by without seeing one person do this.

4. Slippers

Photo by didgeman via Pixabay

They’re not shoes… but sometimes they’re shoes.

5. Sweatpants at the bars

Photo by Paulding County Area Foundation via Google Images

College is the only time when it’s more acceptable to wear sweats to the bar over a suit or nice outfit. No one questions your lazy bum self. In fact, it’d be more weird if you were dressed up. Less money spent on nice outfits means more money for the bars. It’s a win-win situation for every broke college student!

6. Groutfits

Photo by Agatha Garcia via Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You shouldn’t do it. Even in college. But we all rock a groutfit here and there, so embrace it.

Gamma Phi Beta: my second home in Athens

When thinking about my favorite place in Athens, my first thought was the best bars and special food places. As I thought about this longer, I realized the reason I love being uptown is because of the people I see when I’m there. This quickly changed my favorite place in Athens to the Gamma Phi Beta house. The best way to describe why is because it is a second home. Although I do not live in the sorority house, it is a place I can be myself with all of my friends.

Gamma Phi Beta big-little reveal, Photo by Allison Divens

Being able to have access to a house with multiple rooms is awesome. When I’m at the house I have the option to spend time in many of my friends’ rooms, be in the living room to relax or go hang out in the movie room. As I’ve learned the movie room is an excellent place to take a nap, which is a plus if I’m having a long day or there’s people in my dorm room.

My dorm room can be small and crowded at times. I have never been a homebound person, even when I lived in a spacious house with three other people. The past two years of living in a small room with three other people only makes me want to be out and about even more than before. In a way, the house is going somewhere else and an escape.  

Another fun room in the house is the kitchen. At most times during the day I know I can go downstairs to the kitchen and find many of my friends hanging out or doing homework. For me, it’s really nice to have others working on projects and being productive and caring about their academics. This motivates me to be better, and it’s fun at the same time. Also, I get some free meals each week at the house. This is always a perk, especially when I’m tired of dining hall foods but too broke to buy real food!

Another reason the Gamma Phi house is my favorite place on campus is because I know I will always be laughing there. I enjoy my time alone, but I’m very much a people person. While at the house, I have the opportunity to be a part of a family and hear all about my friends’ lives. Someone always has a funny story to tell about their professors or something hilarious about one of our friends.

I enjoy being at the house because there’s also a craft room where we can go to hang out and do projects or arts and crafts. I will be honest and admit that I may be one of the least crafty people ever, but I enjoy learning how to be better and try new things. At the house, we do many bonding activities. These can include anything from game night to watching The Bachelor or even decorating cookies.

Gamma Phi Beta philanthropy event, Photo by Abby Hagelberger

Finally, the Gamma Phi Beta house is my favorite place in Athens because I have the ability to grow as a person and bond with so many greats women that I can call some of my best friends. There’s a wide range of individuals who guide me and give me the advice I need to be the best version of myself.

At the end of the day, there’s always excitement and happiness in the house. It doesn’t matter if we’re hosting bid day or hanging out in pajamas eating Chipotle because I know that either way I will enjoy my time I spend there.