With a near constant stream of marketing messages and a growing number of communication channels, it is harder than ever to reach today’s college students using traditional marketing and advertising methods. According to Ad Week, peer-to-peer (or word-of-mouth) marketing has emerged as one of the most powerful tools for reaching young adults today.
Barnes & Noble College is leveraging this new reality through our Student Ambassador program, which was developed in collaboration with award-winning agency Mr. Youth. This program hires students to promote their college bookstore by reaching out to professors, students, campus organizations, and friends using conventional grass roots and evolving social media tools.
One such Student Ambassador event was recently held at the Barnes & Noble at Texas Tech bookstore in Lubbock, Texas. Student Ambassador Katy L. organized a free study break mini-massage event for the students and faculty on campus. Katy sent out 450 flyers and 500 Facebook invitations to the much “kneaded” event. She also sought and received donations from Chipotle, Krispy Kreme and Little Caesars, and created gift baskets with items geared toward helping students make it through the long hours of studying for exams. These gift baskets were given as prizes to students who “liked” the school’s bookstore Facebook page. Other prizes included one free 60-minute massage and one 30-minute massage compliments of the local Serenity Therapeutic Day Spa.
Katy also recruited volunteers to help work the food and greeter tables and encourage students to like us on Facebook. The event was a huge success – over 600 people attended and the Facebook fan base increased by 100 fans.
This industry-leading program has proven exceptionally powerful for connecting with students. Schools with the Student Ambassador program have seen an 8 percent increase in sales, and an 11 percent increase in student loyalty to the bookstore.
Barnes & Noble College promises unmatched retail excellence and to deliver the next-generation of educational content to our campus partners. Is your bookstore a Barnes & Noble College bookstore? Visit bncollege.com to see a listing of our newest college partners.