Ohio University Strategic Social Media

Crowdsourced Learning Lab #ouj4530

Author: alliewetzel

Learning the “Business” of Social Media

Information from “8 Resources to Learn the Business of Social Media” by Eric Stoller, Higher Education.com

In class we have discussed various social media platforms and how to select the best platform for your company. The 8 Resources to Learn the Business of Social Media, by Eric Stoller, takes an in depth look at 8 top social media sites and how higher education businesses can utilize them. Stoller addresses Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google +, LinkedIn and Tumbler and what these sites offer higher education institutions as businesses, but the advice can easily translate to any business entity.

The article offers a short description of each outlet, links to learn more about each outlet, and each description mentions different help tactics such as “Pinning Principles” and “Creator Playbook”. This article provides help and guidance to any company looking to add more social media to its strategic communication tactics as well as individuals who are already engaged but wish to strengthen their communication knowledge in the social world. Something I really like about this article is how Stoller presents the information. He does so in a way that allows any type of audience to understand the information. People who may not be extremely tech savvy or someone who has no idea how to use social media would not struggle to understand and learn from the information. Below is a link to the article to learn more about the tactics Stoller provides.


Read the full article at https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/student-affairs-and-technology/8-resources-learn-business-social-media





McDonald’s Social Media “McFail”

by Allison Wetzel

In January 2012 McDonald’s launched a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #McDStories. A few days prior to the release of #McDStories McDonalds launched the campaign #MeetTheFarmers. Its purpose was to promote McDonalds use of fresh produce and quality meat. The hashtag linked to an enjoyable video to promote the message and the brand. Although the first hashtag was successful and did not create any controversy for McDonalds, it did not receive the media boost expected. In an effort to increase awareness of its new social media campaign McDonald’s launched a second hashtag, #McDStories. Its purpose was to allow customers to share their happy experiences with the brand that has been around for 75 years, McDonalds even paid to have the hashtag promoted on Twitter’s homepage.

McDonald's Tweet

McDonald’s Tweet

Unfortunately McDonalds did not receive the feel good customer commentary they expected. Instead customers used the hashtag to report and share their McDonald’s horror stories.Within one hour of its release customers had tweeted over 1,600 negative tweets about the brand and within two hours of its launch McDonalds pulled the hashtag, resulting in a social fail for the company.  Forbes.com commented that the promoted hashtag turned into a “bashtag”, and allowed customers to share their “#McDHorrorStories. AdWeek calls the campaign a “McFail”, and Advertising Age would eventually list the campaign as one of the biggest advertising fails in 2012.

Customer Tweet

Customer Tweet

The two hour run time and the thousands of negative tweets are evidence to the fail of this campaign. Business Insider reports an emailed comment from McDonald’s social media director Rick Wion stating,“ With all social media campaigns, we include contingency plans should the conversation not go as planned. The ability to change midstream helped this small blip from becoming something larger”. Obviously the campaign was a fail if the social media director admits to it.

Several changes could have helped to create a social win for McDonalds rather than a social fail. First, the platform they chose was not the smartest decision. Although Twitter is a great platform for quick comments and shares, and the birthplace of the hashtag, for this particular campaign McDonalds should have looked into other options. McDonalds has over 17,003,110 Likes to its Facebook page. With this amount of traffic and the control that Facebook offers companies perhaps this would have been a smarter platform to focus on. Customers could have posted heartwarming and fun stories to the companies Facebook page, not only would this have created a social media presence which was McDonalds goal, it is also a more controlled outlet than Twitter. If negative comments and stories were posted they could easily be removed, where as a snowballing hashtag on Twitter is nearly impossible to contain. Still to this day you can search the #McDStories hashtag and users are still using it to tweet content related to McDonalds.

Second, when considering promoting a social media campaign promoting fresh products, McDonalds PR team should have focused on its brand identity more carefully when selecting the hashtag. Customers usually do not identify McDonalds as the fresh and healthy choice, it is constantly criticized for its poor ingredients and where said ingredients actually come from. Therefore, it is understandable that they would want to try and change this image, but the word selection was extremely poor. #McDStories is too ambiguous, McDonalds needed a hashtag that was more direct and content focused. Such as #McDHappyTimes, a play off its popular Happy Meal or #WhyAreYouLovinIt, based on their slogan “Im lovin it”. In this example the subject is clearer and therefore the comments would have more easily followed the subject.

Advertising Age. (2012, December 28). Where Advertisers Went Wrong In 2012. Retrieved from http://adage.com/article/news/biggest-advertiser-disasters-2012/238930/

Dugan, L. (2012, January 24). McDonald’s Twitter Ad Campaign Was A #McFail. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/mcdonalds-twitter-ad-campaign-was-a-mcfail/59445

Lubin, G. (2012, January 24). McDonald’s Twitter Campaign Goes Horribly Wrong #McDStories. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/mcdonalds-twitter-campaign-goes-horribly-wrong-mcdstories-2012-1

Huffington Post. (2012, January 23). #McDStories, McDonald’s Twitter Hashtag Promotion, Goes Horribly Wrong. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/23/mcdstories-twitter-hashtag_n_1223678.html

Hill, K. (2012, January 24).#McDStories: When A Hashtag Becomes A Bashtag. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/01/24/mcdstories-when-a-hashtag-becomes-a-bashtag/


Real Beauty Sketches Prove The Truth

by Allison Wetzel

The Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign is part of Dove’s 10-year running Real Beauty campaign. Fernando Machado, the global brand vice president for Dove Skin at Unilever says the purpose of the campaign is “to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence and not anxiety” (The New York Times, 2013). Market research conducted by Dove found that only 4% of women consider themselves to be beautiful and 54% of women consider themselves to be their own worst critic. Business Insider reports that is roughly 672 million women worldwide. These numbers prompted the campaign and a social experiment for Dove. Through the campaign they achieved their goal of proving to women, “You are more beautiful than you think.”(Dove Website, 2013.)

The Dove Real Beauty Sketches film features women describing their physical appearance to artist Gil Zamora. Zamora is an FBI forensic artist, who according to PR Newswire has drawn over 3,000 sketches in his 28-year career featuring his trademark Compositure Methodology technique. The real women appearing in the film were not seen by Zamora, he asked the women a series of questions about their physical appearance and based the sketch off those descriptions.

Following the original sketch of each woman, Zamora would then complete a second sketch. However, the description for this sketch came from a stranger who had met the woman the day before when they were asked to spend time with each other, without any indication as to why. In each case the second sketch was much more flattering and a truer representation of what the women look like. When the two sketches were revealed to the women they began to see that they are more beautiful than they believe.

Real Beauty Sketches SharesCampaign was wildly successful and the numbers prove it. It became the most watched viral video of all time and has been viewed more than 114 million times. Published on 22 of Dove’s YouTube channels, in 25 different languages and viewed in over 110 countries. The video won Ogilvy & Mather a Titanium Grand Prix. The rate in which the video spread was also record breaking. Within the first two weeks of the films release it was shared 3.17 million times.

Although this campaign was extremely successful and a definite social win for Dove, there are a few improvements that could be  made. The campaign did feature real women, they were not models or actors, but they were generally similar. Dove should have selected a more diverse group of participants, ranging in age, race, and weight. There were a few exceptions, but I felt that the majority of the  women were young, white, thin and attractive. If the campaign would have featured more variety in participants it would be more relatable to a larger demographic.

I also would add a third drawing. The sketch based off the strangers interpretation was important because their description was based on appearance, which the campaign is trying to prove to women they are more beautiful than they believe. But Dove could have asked loved ones of the women to describe how they looked. It would have been interesting to see if an emotional connection would have played a role in how they described the physical appearance of their mother, daughter, grandmother or friend. Showing to women that they are beautiful on the inside and out, which ultimately being beautiful within is the most important kind of beautiful.

Stampler, L. (2013, May 22). How Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ Became the Most Viral Video Of All Time. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/how-doves-real-beauty-sketches-became-the-most-viral-ad-video-of-all-time-2013-5

Bahadur, N. (2013, May 20). Dove Real Beauty Sketches Ad Becomes Most Watched Advertisement Of All Time, Company Claims. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/20/dove-real-beauty-sketches-ad-becomes-most-watched-advertisement-of-all-time_n_3307012.html

Vega, T. (2013, April 18). Ad About Women’s Self Image Creates a Sensation. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/19/business/media/dove-ad-on-womens-self-image-creates-an-online-sensation.html?_r=0

Florindi, M. (2013, May 20). Dove Real Beauty Sketches Becomes the Most Viewed Online Video Ad Of All Time. Retrieved from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dove-real-beauty-sketches-becomes-the-most-viewed-online-video-ad-of-all-time-208124071.html

Nudd, T. (2013, June 22). Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ Earns Ogilvy Brazil Titanium Grand Prix. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/doves-real-beauty-sketches-earns-ogilvy-brazil-titanium-grand-prix-150587

Real Beauty Sketches. (2013). Imagine a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. Retrieved from http://realbeautysketches.dove.us/