Before she sends out a tweet or posts something to Facebook, Crista Botticello, owner of Ooo la la Boutique, a clothing store in East Aurora, N.Y. and the Ooo la la Fashion Truck, thinks ‘Why am I posting this? What value does this bring to people’s lives?”
“That’s what I go for on a daily basis,” she said at Social Media Club Buffalo’s “Perfect Pairings” event on March 25. “I really believe in engagement,” she said. “You can have 10,000 followers, but if you don’t get anyone to comment, like or share your post, then it really doesn’t’ matter. “
Botticello, who started using social media for business at the age of 19 and still runs her business’s social media, wanted to use Facebook differently than other businesses. She utilized storytelling in order to do that.
“I started my Facebook page and I really built around it around telling my story,” she said. “I believe entrepreneurs are the best story tellers. I did not post clothing or merchandise; I posted news articles or features I was in or about my business. I really wanted to build a core group of people that knew me, followed me and loved me.”
She then slowly transitioned her Facebook business page to inviting customers to events, posting sales, coupons and photos of outfits. She also held in-store scavenger hunts where she hid a hammer in the store and invited her Facebook fans to come find it in the store for 50% off any item of their choice.
“People would come in and bring their kids and search in the store,” she said. “It was a mess, but it was fun and it got people to really get engaged in the Facebook post. We really try and do different things like that.”
Two years ago, she launched a mobile fashion truck after being inspired by Buffalo’s own growing food truck industry. Launching the truck also helped expand her brand and business gaining her followers who lived outside of East Aurora. She started a Twitter account which she uses to tweet out her truck’s location and events.
She said Twitter acts more like a “networking tool” for her– a way to send her followers to her business’s Instagram feed or Facebook page. She views Twitter as a valuable platform to be on for her business.
“There’s a lot of news on there (Twitter) that you don’t get on Facebook and there are a lot younger people (on Twitter) than Facebook,” she said. “We use it as a networking tool, not a selling platform.”
Instagram is the most active social media platform for her business, especially since Facebook has become so over saturated.
“It’s (Facebook) become what e-mail was, because none of us check our e-mail anymore, it’s become all spam,” she said. “That’s kind of what Facebook is to me now. People are transferring to Twitter or Instagram. It’s that ‘what’s next?’ kind of question we all need to be looking for. “
“It (Instagram) works for us because it’s that younger crowd that I use to get on Facebook,” she said. “They have gone to Instagram now because they don’t want to be sharing photos anymore with their parents.”
She uses Instagram to post outfit photos, photos of her truck out at a location and also for contests.
“Social media is like fashion because it’s about knowing what to wear first; being the first person to set the trend. I think it’s important to keep your customer engaged in every type of business, not just fashion.”
Part three of three parts covering the talks given at the Perfect Pairings Event Tuesday, March 25. Read about the first talk with Cowork Buffalo founders Kevin Purdy and Brian Fending and the second talk with Katie Buseck of Event Elements.
The event, sponsored by Social Media Club of Buffalo, featured several Western New York area business owners who used social media in order to promote their businesses.