Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers



October 2014: Hack Into Savings

Posted by Dean Asher on 10/1/14 3:30 AM
Topics: textbook affordability, MBS Monthly Marketing Plans

From guaranteed buyback to renting books to providing everyday supplies, there’s a ton of things your store does to make life easier for students. But when students need a handy tip for an everyday problem, more and more are turning to the web for a certain type of advice.

Help make your students more likely to both succeed and come into your store with a contest based on life hacks.

Hack Into Savings

First of all, what are they?

With roots in the early computer hacker community, “life hacks” are short, helpful, usually unorthodox tricks to make life easier. Life hacks might be reusing oft-discarded items to organize your desk, or microwaving leftover pizza with a cup of water so the crust stays soft.

Hacks are popular on social media because they’re easy hints that are perfect for college students. So popular, in fact, that truTV is creating a hack-inspired TV show featuring user-submitted suggestions from Tumblr. Encourage students to share tips they know — and tip them off to the benefits of shopping at your store — with a life hack contest! Here’s how:

Download: “Hack Into Savings” marketing kit
Download the marketing kit
Download the Kit

Choose your prizes

Pick prizes that fit with the theme and will get people lining up to take part in the competition. Practical prizes that students always need work best for a life hack contest: shower caddies for the dorms, power adapters and other things. Electronics work well for a “hacking” themed event, too.

Encourage social media

Download: “Hack Into Savings” Customizable Hack #1
 Download: “Life Hack” #1
Download the Image

Kick off your contest across your social media platforms. Start off by posting one of your own — don’t worry if you don’t have any up your sleeve, we’ve made a few for you to use here. Don’t just limit the contest to social media users, though. Let students bring their submission in store and post it for them, along with their name.

Have students post tips that have made college living easier and encourage others to vote for the best with likes or shares. Whoever gets the most by the end of the contest period wins.

Don’t forget to announce your winner! Share a selfie of your winning student with their swag to keep people talking.

Download: “Hack Into Savings” Customizable Hack #2
 Download: “Life Hack” #2
Download the Image

Get them in-store with your own hacks

While students are submitting their own tips, use your life hacks to promote sales or items. Once a day, post your own life hack, highlighting how much easier books and supplies available at the bookstore make student living. We’ve created a few you can use as a starting point, or you can add your own depending on your own inventory, strengths and student needs.

Feel free to download either of the two examples displayed here, or click the large image above to download even more fully customizable hack templates your store can use!

About Dean Asher

Dean Asher is a former copywriter with MBS. Though he no longer writes for us, he is still proud of having helped this blog continue to evolve as an industry-leading resource of news and original content.

Article comments