With love letters at Valentine’s Day being as ubiquitous as ornaments at Christmas, one California retailer picked this holiday to encourage women to do something a bit different. Chrystal Bougon, who owns a San Jose plus-size lingerie shop called Curvy Girl Lingerie, asked women to write letters to their bullies.
As owner of a plus-sized boutique, Bougon is in a prime position to know all about fat-shaming and the impact it has on plus-sized women. Inspired by Plus Size Mommy Memoirs, she decided to encourage women to write love letters to people who had bullied them because of their size, opening her Facebook page as a platform for posting the letters. This “Love Letter to a Bully” campaign had the stated goal of giving fat-shamed women a voice and creating the kind of empathy and compassion that allows people to see the beauty in all women. Did women write in? They sure did—check it out!
It’s a really nice thing for Bougon to have done. By opening a forum where voices of the bullied can be heard, she addressed the issue of body image and self-esteem in an original way, giving women the opportunity to take back their power.
You know what else it is, though? It’s brilliant marketing. Curvy Girl’s Facebook page is brimming with these photos and letters, but those posts are interspersed with photos of lingerie for sale at the company’s store and on the website. The promotion got news coverage, not just on the local news, but also on Yahoo! Shine, which means that women across the country now know about this business. Interest piqued by the articles, or any subsequent posting or re-blogging, leads to new visitors to the website, where they can order lingerie—from anywhere in the country. Promotion across platforms? Done! She has carried it from her website to her Facebook page to her Twitter feed, seamlessly.
What’s the takeaway? Getting to the heart of your demographic can have a big payoff. This doesn’t have to be cynical; it’s pretty clear that Chrystal Bougon truly cares about giving a voice to her customers. Social media marketing creates connections between people—how better to forge these connections than by demonstrating that you understand, and perhaps even share, your customer’s experience? By touching on the human experience, and perhaps plucking the heartstrings, you create a natural bond with your target audience. If you can figure out where your business touches people, and what really matters to potential customers, you’ll know where to direct your attention in order to go beyond traditional advertising and into an almost organic promotion.