FRCC CAPS Program in Action: Promoting Washington Business Through Tiktok

The CAPS Business program, run by FRCC (Four Rivers Career Center), is living up to its mission statement of having “young businessmen and women develop new companies in our community by inspiring, educating, and innovating.” 

 The students show this through their semester project given to them by the board of directors. The young entrepreneurs asked by Downtown Washington Inc. were to select and pitch a type of inquiry, business, or social media platform campaign to the board. Through this selection, their objective was to increase foot traffic within a specific age demographic while promoting Downtown Washington. 

A group of Juniors, Jillian Huellingoff, Abigail Gilliat, Alyana Royal, and Olivia Zastrow, chose to present a social media campaign promoting businesses by using Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to director Tyler King. Once all groups pitched their ideas, directors King and Cassidy informed the students that they would receive feedback from the directors through email. 

“After we heard from the board, they were pleased with our proposal and wanted us to proceed with the promotional TikTok page.”, Hulleinghoff said, “Unfortunately, the Incorporation was already running an Instagram and Twitter page. Therefore, those platforms were not made available for our use.” 

Now that the girls had permission from the board, they were set on their goals to produce content. However, what were those goals?  “While making our layout, we had to select a target market to bring into the community, and we picked female young adults ages 15-30,” said Hulleinghoff. “Our content was to attract this demographic by highlighting the businesses attributes and combining those with current trends.” How were these businesses selected? 

“We’re promoting each individual or small business that sponsors the Washington Inc. organization.” Gilliat said, ” We go into these businesses, meet with the owner/s, explain our mission, show the page and ask if they would like to be a part of the project. After the owner/s tell us what part of the store or product they wish to highlight, we proceed to film. ” 

Once the TikTok has finished, the girls pick a trending sound and click post! 

“Our original goal was to reach 200 followers and maintain a consistent social media presence until this upcoming Small Business Saturday, November 26th.”, said Gilliat,  “However, I am glad to say we have surpassed this goal by gaining 800+ followers in the past few weeks and plan on keeping the page alive through the end of the school year.” 

The TikTok page @downtownwashmo has not only put a spotlight on downtown Washington itself. Yet businesses featured like Undergrounds, Andy’s Produce, Envy Boutique, and Beautiful Journey have brought the stats and page immense growth. 

“Before starting this project, I had no idea even half of these shops and boutiques existed.”, said Gilliat, “I hope to see the people in our community become more aware of the diversity and uniqueness that downtown Washington has to offer, through our TikTok page.”