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January 2017: Make It a Date with Your Store

Posted by Jason Smallheer on 1/9/17 5:30 AM
Topics: college store promotions, MBS Monthly Marketing Plans, Marketing to Students

Valentine’s Day is about more than chocolates and roses. It’s also an opportunity for you to "Make It a Date with Your Store" with a special sale and fun social media campaign.January 2017: Make It a Date with Your StoreThis year, you are going to light the spark for your sales, involve your customers and get the campus talking on social media about an enormous mixer and sale bringing people through your doors.

Schools have had success using Valentine’s Day as a vehicle to build excitement through sales, giveaways and even dance competitions. The University of Minnesota Bookstore has been using Valentine’s Day to increase their sales, and this month you are going to be able to engage social media, use technology and add some fun props into the mix, benefiting all your customers. 

Download: Make It a Date with Your Bookstore Kit
Make It a Date with Your Bookstore
Download Kit

Your event

“Make It a Date with Your Bookstore” will include the following:

  1. Selfie contest held in-store — The image with the most “likes” wins
  2. Custom cutouts to make the selfie contest more fun
  3. Custom hashtag for Twitter use — #$yourstorename$VDay
  4. Discount on select items for the big day (anything red/pink, anything his and hers, anything bought in pairs)
  5. Free gift wrapping

Offering a sale for the day helps bring students through the door. Facebook and Twitter are the most used social media channels in small and medium businesses, affording you the opportunity to speak to students where they are, when you need and make updates as you see fit. Using a custom hashtag on Twitter will help and including posts from your team on Facebook adds additional voices.

Process

Tease your event - Let your customers know what’s going on and when. Promoting your event a week prior will serve you best. The custom flyers, hashtag and images will help you with in-store and social media communication. Include images of store decorations, items on sale and promote the selfie contest being held in store. Letting everyone know about free gift wrapping is valuable as well. No one wants to buy a gift then go on a date with a present wrapped in newspaper. Promote the event daily. Frequency is your friend.

Sale items - Post images of what you plan to offer for your sale and any custom criteria you like. Are you going to have a sale on anything red? His and hers items? Anything bought in pairs? It’s up to you. A word of advice: make this unique. Offer something that is normally not on sale or only available for a limited time. Adding value to your event is important.

In-Store - Decorate your store for the event so anyone walking past knows there is something going on. Streamers and balloons always grab attention and cost a few dollars from a local party store. To further increase the size of your event footprint, showcase where customers can receive free gift wrapping and place the cutouts in multiple areas around the store.

Your promotion kit - Inside you will find everything you need. There is an editable flyer you can place around your store. The text at the bottom is customizable so you can add your own Facebook page or Twitter handle. We are also including cutouts you can print and give to your customers and staff for the selfie contest. To make posting to social media a breeze there are also two images already formatted for both Facebook and Twitter. Add them to your post for a clean professional look.

Execution

Place the included cutouts around the store as soon as possible. Print them on cardstock or adhere to foamcore if possible. Include your staff. Have them post images using the cutouts as well.

  1. Encourage people to use them for selfies right away and post to social media on the spot. Photos of couples and friends “making it a date” and having a fun are best.
  2. Encourage interaction on social media with frequent updates.
  3. When posting to Facebook, tell everyone how your customers “Make It a Date with Your Store” this Valentine’s Day, and include an image.
  4. Offer to gift wrap anything that is purchased, even if it is not a sale item.
  5. Set a time for all “likes” to be completed, and the winner(s) will each receive a prize of value. Preferably a gift card to the store to keep everything home.

Your holiday event will be something remembered and saved for posterity with all the images you will collect. Save them for future years. Who knows, you may just make a match for someone.

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