Ohio University Strategic Social Media

Crowdsourced Learning Lab #ouj4530

Category: Abbey Saddler

Great Westerville Food Truck Festival- Campaign Proposal Write-Up

The Great Westerville Food Truck Festival provides a friendly family environment that is much more than just a food truck festival- it is a philanthropic event whose main purpose serves to benefit those in the Westerville area in need.

Our client has made a dedicated Facebook page for the event, but has strayed far from the page’s original purpose. We believe the solution to this weakness is to recenter the focus on the actual event itself, as well as its philanthropic benefits for the surrounding community. We believe creating a Twitter and Instagram account dedicated to the event will greatly benefit our client as these platforms will increase awareness and thusly attract new eyes to the event.

Team WFTF from left — Mackenzie Holden, Abbey Saddler, Jonathan Camargo

Team WFTF from left — Mackenzie Holden, Abbey Saddler, Jonathan Camargo

Our over-all goal for this campaign is to increase awareness of the Great Westerville Food Truck Festival. Our strategy revolves around highlighting the philanthropic benefits of the event, all the while generating ‘hype’ centered around the event itself through countdowns and other promotional content. To keep engagement steady year-round, our team suggests the maintenance of these social media channels on the event itself, rather than straying away from the festival, which is what the Great Westerville Food Truck Festival’s current social media presence has done.

By expanding onto other social media platforms, our team plans to grow the Great Westerville Food Truck Festival into a thriving staple of the Westerville community, both physically and virtually. To measure our success with this campaign, we plan to evaluate the campaign at three specific points in time- the beginning, or launch of the campaign, a month into the campaign, and a few weeks after the end of the actual festival. With our analysis of the festival, as well as strategically planned tactics, we believe this will help the festival accomplish its goal of increasing awareness, and thusly attendance, of the event.

Abbey Swihart, the Social Media Queen, Shares Her Success In Social Media Marketing

By: Abbey Saddler

Abbey Swihart is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University, receiving her degree in Communication Analysis and Practice with a focus on terrorism communication and politics and minor in Arabic. Abbey is a fashionista and shares her style through blogs and Instagram accounts. She also runs social media accounts for multiple companies. Abbey works for Capital Energy Ohio as their Director of Marketing.


Credit: Abigail Swihart’s Facebook account

Q: Briefly describe a typical day on the job

Swihart: 8 am – Get to work and check our google analytics to track website traffic. I find patterns of traffic based on our current public pricing, digital advertisements and radio ads. Different sources of traffic mean different channels of advertisement are benefiting us or hurting us. 10 am – Check email, follow up with our radio sales team at 97.1 the fan. I receive an excel file of all the spots we have ran on the radio for the last two weeks. I add this information into my marketing analytics excel file to track overall trends. 1pm –  Create direct mailers and matching online/social media content that is used together for marketing campaigns. 2:30pm – Meet with vendor, select promotional products from vendors for company events. 3:30pm – Check our social media accounts to make sure our future posts are clean and ready to go. Check scheduling manager (If this then that, IFTTT.com) to make sure all channels are ready to post. Add a couple of Facebook posts that will be scheduled for next month (we work a month ahead of time right now). More pressing, time sensitive social media posts are added in when necessary.

Q: How did you prepare for you career? (Experience, education, mentoring, internships, etc.)

Swihart: Worked part time with the company before graduation, moved into a full time role after graduation. Interned with multiple companies as a marketing specialist and promotional events coordinator.

Q: What do you like best about your job?

Swihart: Variety. Everyday there are new marketing trends appearing and it is fun to take those trends and coordinate them with my company in the energy industry.

Q: How do you network?

Swihart: Networking events, energy conferences, marketing conferences, networking groups, Facebook networking groups, colleague referrals, LinkedIn messaging.

Q: What companies/organizations do you follow to stay up-to-date on social media trends and why?

Swihart: I subscribe to a newsletter that sends me trends and patterns that I look at. Some social media trends are not relevant to our industry because we specifically target only home owners. A lot of the new social media trends take a while to hit older generations (ie. Home owners). Usually the teens/early generations are the early adapters and out of those trends, only so many make it to the older generations. I do like to read up on it and stay up to date though.

Q: Why do you think social media is important to build consumer engagement?

Swihart: Social media is so important for brands in this market for a couple of reasons…. Building brand awareness is important for reputation and trust in the customer. CONISISTENT Social content is important because it shows the customer that there are regular posts from this business which lets them know that they are consistent and can be trusted. Also, it allows the brand/business to build an image of their own ie. We want to look like a customer service friendly, energy efficient, green company with competitive rates. Social media also is important because it allows the brand to directly interact with customers that may or may not have won over yet. Responses to customer service issues, engaging on consumer’s accounts, responding to comments on the brands own accounts are all ways that interaction plays an important role in terms of building consumer engagement. In an opposite view, this can really hurt a company. I would not buy a shirt from a company with 3 followers on twitter and no posts. I want to buy a shirt from a company that looks big, even if they look bigger than they really are.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring social media professional?

Swihart: Creativity sets you apart. Everyone in your major will go through the same course list and have the same curriculum. Learning new trends, reading from marketing professionals and researching the competition are all good ways to set yourself apart from your classmates, but companies want more than that, because anyone can do that. Companies want to see what you personally have to offer and what ideas you can come up with. For ex, one thing that helped me set myself apart was my creativity with the current budget and reaching a specific target market. We did not have a lot of money to send out direct mailers to a specific community, so I created a Facebook advertisement that was geo-located and added a gift card prize for people who shared it. All of a sudden we only spent like $45 dollars on Facebook and $50 for the gift card and it hit almost 10,000 homes. We could not have afforded to send direct mailers to 10,000 homes but we could afford that facebook ad. It worked so well that we did it two more times and saw that our website traffic had a 33% increase from facebook. Little ideas like that with major impact is what can help set you apart

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Rising Wear & Co

Very useful information for students like me who are aspiring careers in social media. If you would like to see her work for yourself I encourage you to follow her social media accounts! You can find her on her personal Instagram account, clothing line account Risingwear & Co,  Capital Energy, Title Boxing Club where she runs the accounts for Polaris, New Albany, Henderson Road, and Hilliard locations.

IHOP tweets inappropriate breast joke #SocialFail

by Abbey Saddler

IHOP is known for their delicious pancakes, hints IHOP stands for International House of Pancakes. Their Twitter account is famous for their mouth watering images of their glamorous pancakes with many clever and trendy captions. The hip tweets were intended to attract the younger generation on Twitter; which has been proven to be very successful by the increase in their retweets.

But it was all fun and games until they posted a very sexist tweet. The tweet read “flat but has a GREAT personality.”


Source Social Media Week

The purpose of the tweet obviously was not to offend anyone, but to make a joke about small breasted women. It wasn’t long after the post was tweeted that costumers were responding with outrage. Responses came from people all over including celebrities such as Ben Dreyfuss and Judd Legum. E totally bashed IHOP’s entire Twitter account stating “Take a breath, IHOP. Don’t you know that as long as there are stoners and senior citizens, your target markets will never abandon you?”

IHOP deleted the tweet and attempted to apologize. The tweet read “Earlier today we tweeted something dumb and immature that does not reflect what IHOP stands for. We’re sorry.”

Even with the poor attempt at an apology, this was a complete social fail. The trendy tweets were a great idea, considering Twitter is primarily a younger audience. The short but comical tweets with a mouth watering picture definitely attracts the younger generation. IHOP’s retweets were booming. But you cannot insult women along the way. It was very downgrading to women and more specifically the younger women who are more susceptible to be insulted by the post.

There really is no way to correct this epic failure. The only answer is simply do not do this again. Fortunately for them, it appears that they are still pretty successful with their trendy tweets minus this horrible attempt at a “boob joke.” First, I think whoever posted the tweet through the IHOP account should have been fired. I’m not exactly sure how many people have access to the account information and how they get approved to tweet their posts, but I think it would be smart to have a team of professionals that specialize in social media. The team could generate the trendy slang-spun tweets and they all should agree whether or not the post is appropriate and effective enough to post. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to throw in a woman friendly post to gain the forgiveness of the female followers.

Matias, C. (2016, January 5). The top 10 most embarrassing social media fails from 2015. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2016/01/most-embarrasing-social-media-fails-2015/

Mosbergen, D. (2015, October 19). IHOP tweeted a joke about breasts. It didn’t go too well. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ihop-tweet-breast-joke_us_56249e61e4b08589ef47eacb

IHOP sends out controversial tweet suggesting women’s breasts are like pancakes. (2015, October 19). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2015/10/19/ihop-sends-out-suggestive-tweet-about-pancakes-and-women-breasts/

IHOP twitter account. (2012, January). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from https://twitter.com/IHOP?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author

Haikel, D. (2015, October 19). IHOP Lets Loose With Sexist Boob Joke as Twitter Account Has Quarter-Life Crisis. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.eonline.com/news/707878/ihop-lets-loose-with-sexist-boob-joke-as-twitter-account-has-quarter-life-crisis

Ohio University’s Delta Gamma fights to defy society’s stereotypes #SocialWin

by Abbey Saddler

Recently there have been many scandals of sorority girls across the nation getting brutally ridiculed for their recruitment videos and what they post on the media. Sororities carry many different negative reputations and stereotypes. Ohio University’s Delta Gamma Sorority conducted a campaign to fight these negative stereotypes that society has given women in Greek life. The campaign consists of many different pictures of the women in their chapter and a quote describing how they defy the negative stereotypes that society has placed upon them.

This past year was a tough one for women in Greek life. The sisters of Alpha Phi at the University of Alabama were put down for their most recent recruitment video because of the amount of shots of the girls in their bathing suits and Alpha Chi Omega was poked fun of for a shot of the girls taking “selfies” at a baseball game. The women of Delta Gamma wanted to speak out and tell society this is not what all of Greek life is about.


Source: Delta Gamma Zeta Rho Chapter

The women of the Zeta Rho Chapter of Delta Gamma took numerous pictures of the women individually standing next to their quote explaining how they defy the negative stereotypes. The pictures were filtered in black and white and posted on their Facebook page. There were twenty four pictures in total. The campaign went viral. There were many articles and interviews with the media such as Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, and The Today Show.

Video courtesy of The Today Show

This campaign was a social win. It was clearly shared on the best type of forum for what they wanted to accomplish. The audience this campaign is directed at are future employers of sorority sisters, possible new members, and all of the population not involved in Greek life. This particular audience is present on Facebook. Facebook also has a feature that allows you to share a post. This feature is how the campaign went viral. They received a lot of positive feedback. Kaitlin Hatton, the photographer and creator of the campaign, reports, “Several people have told me our photos have changed their minds about sorority girls and others said how grateful they were that someone is breaking stereotypes.” The Facebook post has reached over 13,000 shares and nearly 7,000 likes.

Although the sisters have gained so much positive feedback a few of there negative responses include that all of the girls pictured in the campaign are “pretty” and the photos are filtered (referring to the black and white effects). Obviously, stating that all the girls are “pretty” is a matter of opinion. I think the campaign could have executed the photos better. I prefer a smiling photo instead of the mug shot. If the girls would have been smiling I think it would have added a friendlier vibe that coincides the objective of the campaign. I also think adding a group photo of all the girls involved in the campaign or possibly the entire chapter at the end would have been a good idea. This would have shown a glimpse of the strong sisterhood. I also think they could have promoted the campaign on multiple social media sites to increase the views of the campaign.


Ohio University Delta Gamma. (2016, January 19). Retrieved February 8, 2016, from https://www.facebook.com/OhioUDeltaGamma/?fref=ts

McNeal, S. (2016, January). A group of sorority girls are fighting back against people who think they are “spoiled” partiers. Buzzfeed.

Koman, T. (2016, January). 10 powerful photos that bust sorority girl stereotypes. Cosmopolitan.

Zaslow, A. (2016, January). Sorority rallies to break stereotypes with inspirational photo series. Retrieved from http://www.today.com/news/sorority-rallies-break-stereotypes-inspirational-photo-series-t68576