Apricotton, winners of Hootsuite’s Social Media Makeover for Small Businesses, sparked rapid growth with customized content, paid ads, and smart analytics.
When Jessica Miao took her younger sister bra shopping for the first time, she realized something was missing. Visiting lingerie stores to get measured was a daunting experience, and it was a struggle to find bras that fit her sister properly. Knowing that this was a problem facing every young woman during this self-conscious stage of growth, Miao teamed up with her university classmate Chloe Beaudoin for their final project and conceptualized Apricotton, a line of bras designed specifically for tween and teen girls. What started as a university project quickly became a full-time business. Now, the company consists of its two founders, Chloe Beaudoin and Jessica Miao, and several volunteers who assist the duo with content creation and social media management.
As first-time entrepreneurs, however, during a global pandemic that has been particularly hard on small businesses, Beaudoin and Miao felt constrained by their limited resources. They knew they needed help to achieve their ultimate goal of becoming the number one tween bra brand globally.
It’s just the two of us, behind the camera, trying to film an ad with Jessica’s sister. It’s a lot more difficult on such a small budget, even though it’s what makes a huge difference for our company.
In May 2021, Hootsuite Launched The Very Big Social Media Makeover for Small Business—providing small businesses across North America the opportunity to win a once-in-a-lifetime social makeover with 10,000 dollars in prizes.
The founders of Apricotton learned about the contest through one of their volunteers. It was a golden opportunity that could help boost their social presence. They submitted a video entry and were crowned the winners after a panel of industry-leading judges reviewed more than 3,000 contest applications and considered factors like scalability on social, social commerce opportunities, and market differentiation.
Working with experts at Hootsuite over the course of a month, they received over 66,000 impressions on their social platforms, saved hours of time from tracking metrics, and increased their sales by 108%.
Apricotton worked closely with Hootsuite to increase its social media presence through comprehensive social media strategy consulting, advertising, and content creation. To get the brand started, Hootsuite provided Apricotton free lifetime access to Hootsuite’s Team plan and an all-access pass to Hootsuite Academy, the brand’s industry-leading online learning platform.
Beaudoin and Miao learned how different social media platforms serve different purposes to their users through Hootsuite Academy— Hootsuite's online learning platform that empowers education and growth through a wide range of certifications.To engage their Gen Z audience, the duo started experimenting with tailored content on TikTok, which recently reached more than 1 billion monthly active users around the world, and Pinterest. They also added reviews to the brand’s LinkedIn bio and increased the volume of Instagram Reels on their channel to boost audience engagement.Through Hootsuite Academy, Beaudoin and Miao also learned that a third of content should be geared towards driving sales while two thirds should be focused on engagement. As a result, Apricotton curated niche content tailored to its audience, such as puberty advice, relatable blog posts, and interactive polls on Instagram.
In the past, Beaudoin and Miao tracked their social media metrics and created their own reports through Google Docs—a time consuming and laborious process. After being introduced to Hootsuite Analytics, the duo was excited to run ads directly through the platform and track insights and metrics from their organic and paid content. Now, Apricotton leverages Analytics for audience engagement, determining target audiences, and optimizing the best times to publish content.
Hootsuite Academy provided the Apricotton founders with hands-on training, helping them to master social listening—the process by which companies can monitor their social media channels for mentions pertaining to their brand, competitors, products, and more—through the Hootsuite dashboard. Beaudoin and Miao began to leverage the tool to track mentions of Apricotton, monitor relevant hashtags, and stay up to date on conversations pertaining to their competitors and the fashion industry. Most importantly, they were able to learn about what it was that their audience needed and wanted the most.
Apricotton was given the opportunity to set up a display at their alma mater, Western University, and decided to use a brand asset from its Hootsuite Social Makeover prize package as a full size banner. It held a premium position in Western University’s bookstore that garnered high visibility from students. Taking inspiration from the branded assets, Miao and Beaudoin created a new banner that has made appearances at Toronto’s Summer Market at Toronto Premium Outlets and Stackt Pop Up Market.
Apricotton also ran a paid advertising campaign from August 29 to September 12, 2021 using the Social Makeover prize budget of $5,00 CAD. Over those two weeks, they garnered 66,000 impressions across Instagram and Facebook, which resulted in an increase of 108% in sales.
Looking ahead, Apricotton aims to increase its Instagram and Facebook following by 10% every month, and increase engagement by 20% for likes and 10% for comments month-over-month.
Apricotton’s founders launched its product line in a local London, Ontario store this past summer and are looking to continue expanding its product line. As the business grows, it continues to look for new ways to use its training and insights to inspire more authentic conversations with teen girls around the globe. Check out their full video case study HERE.