Ohio University Strategic Social Media

Crowdsourced Learning Lab #ouj4530

Category: Erica Stonehill

Brothers Drake #EntertainWithMEAD

Through our Social Media Campaign Proposal, the primary goal is to increase the bond between Brothers Drake Meadery and the community, as well as the consumers around them. Brothers Drake Meadery cares about the community in Columbus, and wants to give back to them the freshest mead made from locally grown ingredients.

Team Brothers Drake from left — Riley Carlton, Jillian Barcia, Tiffany Bey, Erica Stonehill

Team Brothers Drake from left — Riley Carlton, Jillian Barcia, Tiffany Bey, Erica Stonehill

With hopes of increasing social media engagement across three platforms (Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest), Brothers Drake can create more buzz marketing and word-of—mouth advertising. We want the consumers to create user generated content that can not only give tips to Brothers Drake, but to other community members as well. Through this, we will use #EntertainWithMEAD and #HelpMEAD hashtags to track the engagement rates and therefore create conversion rates of how well our user content increased from start to finish.

Across the three social media platforms we chose to implement for this campaign proposal, we want to increase the content in which Brothers Drake publishes as well as its consumers. We hope to make Brothers Drake more than just a local hang out with the freshest mead in town. In addition, we hope to have Brothers Drake’s social media accounts be a hot spot for entertaining tips including cooking and drink recipes, partying tips and overall tips for when you’re hosting an event. These tips can be shared and people can then give their impact and feedback. Customer satisfaction is an extremely important objective for us to keep track of, therefore the feedback being conducted throughout the three month period can influence any new flavors or recipes served at Brothers Drake in house facilities.

Brothers Drake Meadery is a unique brand because they have a strong social media presence currently. They keep themselves immersed in the community through their social media platforms of Twitter and Facebook, but there is even more that they can do. We are determined to make Brothers Drake be a one stop shop for both locally made drinks and food as well as a place to find tips and ask any question including mead.

Instagram & Snapchat: The New Hustle (A SXSW Panel Discussion)

By Erica Stonehill

I had the privilege of attending this year’s South By Southwest (SXSW) Film, Interactive and Music conference in Austin, TX. My mind was flooded with information about what was next for music, as well as social media and its involvement in the industry.

Instagram and Snapchat: The New Hustle was one of my favorite sessions I attended. This panel featured Julz Goddard, best known for her huge following as a Snapchat influencer, Sheila Hozhabri, Director of Digital Marketing for Crowd Surf/Reign Deer Entertainment, and Aubrey Flynn, Vice President of Digital for Combs Enterprises.sxswpanel2

One of the main things discussed was the difference between using Snapchat and Instagram, and social media in general, as an artist or influencer vs. as a brand.

Goddard explained that as an influencer, she sees Snapchat as a raw and authentic platform that appeals to the public’s need for reality TV. She has found that she receives more engagement and replies from her fans when she pos
ts a snap asking what shoes she should wear, rather than promoting an event or product.

“People just want to feel like they’re a part of what you have going on,” she explains.

Flynn has experience on both sides of the equation, as he works alongside Sean Combs himself, as well as his many brands, such as CIROC and REVOLT.

He says it’s important to create a character for your brand that is in line with your target audience because it brings a personal, relatable touch to the company. This is simple in his case, because Flynn can channel Combs’ voice in his brands’ media.

Another great insight was one from Hozhabri who manages digital marketing and strategy for artists such as Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears and Steven Tyler, among many others. When asked how important it is for entertainers to be on the forefront of social media and new developments, she said that artists don’t need to be early adopters.

“It’s all timing,” Hozhabri says. “You don’t have to be first; it just needs to work.”

Goddard echoed this, saying that as an influencer, she isn’t going to get involved with a new platform if it doesn’t feel right. You can tell when artists feel uncomfortable on certain social media, and it’s clear to fans that they aren’t into it.

There were so many huge takeaways from this panel and many other sessions at SXSW. I could write an entire book with all the notes I took. But I believe this discussion brought up great points, some of which I wasn’t able to touch on.

Many sessions were recorded for either podcasts or livestreams. If you’re interested in learning more of what I did, check out the official SXSW website!

From one young pro to an even younger pro: An interview with Elaine Carey

By Erica Stonehill

Elaine Carey is a recent Ohio University grad, currently working as the Guest Relations Assistant at Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, located in Pittsburgh, PA. Before landing her position with the Hospitality Group, Laine interned with WYEP 91.3FM in Pittsburgh throughout the summer of 2013, and was the Team Smiley Brand Marketing Intern for Eat’n Park for a little over two years.

0406077While Laine and I were involved in the Scripps Chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and ImPRessions at the same time for the first two years of my college career and the last two of hers, our paths had really never crossed until this past weekend. I attended the Pittsburgh networking trip with Scripps PRSSA and had the pleasure of meeting and speaking more closely with Laine during our visit to the Eat’n Park Hospitality Group. Our similar career goals and paths throughout college had me convinced that I needed to hear more about her time in the social media industry and what she has learned so far.

Erica Stonehill: Were you always interested in social media as a profession?

Elaine Carey: I always knew I loved to write, so I started with the intention of doing something with journalism. Through classes over the course of college, I decided I wanted to do something more marketing/PR related which led me straight to social media.

Stonehill: In what ways does your job vary from what you expected as an undergrad?

EC: My current job as Guest Relations Assistant for Eat’n Park is very…reactive. I respond to negative Facebook reviews and posts in general, negative tweets, and negative Yelp/Trip Advisor/etc. reviews. While negative posts are the only aspect of social I’m directly responsible for, my position is considered part of our Interactive Marketing Team, so I do get to help strategize, put together content calendars for all of our brands, and get creative to some extent! I hope to move more in that direction.

Stonehill: What are some of the major challenges you face within your position, and how do you go about solving them?

EC: I guess a big challenge of my position is how much time I’m able to commit to social media. Since my job in general is so much, (Sole point of contact for guests – phone and online – for 73 restaurants) I wish I was able to give more time to it. Some days I only have 3 things that require a response, some days I have 20. We use NewBrand/Sprinklr and Hootsuite so that makes it easier to spot what’s important and needs a response quickly, but I still wish I could put more time into monitoring. Also, the negativity isn’t that fun!

Stonehill: What are some of your favorite parts of your job, and why?

EC: I love the collaboration I have with everyone I work with. I also love how accommodating the company is to allowing people to test the waters – I write the monthly newsletter for the email club of one of our brands, Six Penn Kitchen, because I asked to. I also love seeing interesting/crazy things on social media – if a post contains swearing, or even the Twitter/Facebook page contains overly questionable content, we won’t respond. While I’m not thrilled to see anything negative about the company, one less thing to respond to! I’ve had so many “Who in their right mind would post that?!” moments.

Stonehill: Many brands are criticized for using the same generic response when addressing customer complaints. How do you work to stray away from cookie-cutter responses and really personalizing the conversation?

EC: The struggle is real. I think this can be applied differently to a lot of different jobs in the social media world, but for me, it’s basically finding different ways of saying “Hi ______, thanks for your feedback, please fill out our comment form so we can follow up with you directly and address your concerns to the fullest extent: (link)” so that I don’t sound like a robot. It’s tough sometimes on Twitter to sound personal and keep it short! Also, I respond on a separate Twitter account solely for responding to negativity – @EatNParkCares. Check it out if you’d like, and excuse that one time I started tweets with “Oh no!” 2 times in a row…It’s tough! Also, when I respond to reviews on Yelp, it has my name and picture with the response. So, “Laine C. from Eat’n Park responded: ________”. I think that helps personalize it a lot.

Stonehill: How do you handle the 24/7 aspect of social media? How do you find the balance between personal life and work life?

EC: Honestly, my position might be a bit different than most, but if I’m not at work, I’m not checking our pages very often. Like I said, I don’t do much monitoring – I usually respond en masse for about an hour once a day using our NewBrand reports that are sent to my email, as well as tweets that Amy flags on Hootsuite (Amy is the one who’d be more likely to be attached to her phone and computer – she is Interactive Marketing Assistant and is responsible for all things social media.) I will certainly respond and make sure the problem gets solved, but it just does not need to be absolutely immediate.

Stonehill: How has using social media professionally changed how you use it personally?

EC: I look at everything through a more critical lens – the hows and whys. I make sure that anything I post makes me feel like I am contributing unique, legitimate, actual content to the universe, and not mindless stuff.

Stonehill: Do you use it less? More?

EC: I think I’ve just used it less throughout and after college. I only really post to Instagram and Snapchat. I check Facebook and Twitter, but I’m not very active. Instagram is definitely my fav.

Stonehill: Do you post different content than you used to?

EC: I was always a pretty careful poster. I think I still post the same things – my dog, my friends, etc.

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

EC: Always have somewhat of a plan, but don’t be afraid to deviate from it. Also, take the steering wheel. Speak up with ideas and have goals for what direction YOU would like to see the brand going on social. Back everything up with research and strategy! Aspire to have the same sort of free reign, and the same amount of fun, that the Denny’s social media person has. #someday

I’ve come to find that insights and advice from recent grads tend to resonate more with those of us who are still working toward a degree. It seems more authentic coming from someone who was in this same place just 10 short months ago. Social media is an ever-changing industry and it can be difficult to seem genuine in a world of 140 characters or less when speaking with an upset customer. But Laine seems to have not only found her footing in that world, but the professional world as well, which gives hope to the other aspiring young pros out there.

Starbucks ‘Race Together’ Failed Together

By Erica Stonehill

In March of 2015 Starbucks launched the “Race Together” campaign, which allowed baristas to write “Race Together” or put stickers with the phrase on customers’ cups. It also encouraged baristas, if they felt comfortable, to engage in conversations about race with customers. The campaign last about a week’s time after receiving 2.5 billion impressions in less than 48 hours, the majority of which were negative and hateful comments toward the company, campaign and the CEO, Howard Schultz, himself. Christina Dorn, a Networked Insights analyst, analyzed the campaign and found that one-third of the related mentions were categorized as “hate” and 60 percent were negative.

Schultz launched the campaign as the first step in a more long-term initiative to “begin to re-examine how we can create a more empathetic and inclusive society—one conversation at a time.” But it was perceived as quite the opposite: a less-than-adequate attempt to address a very deeply-rooted issue in our society. Customers took to social media, using #RaceTogether to voice their displeasure:


An article on LinkedIn provides three red flags for why the “Race Together” campaign failed: brand misalignment, lack of authenticity and poor reaction. I believe brand misalignment is the biggest reason the initiative was a social fail. The following infographic breaks down the diversity within Starbucks.


Clearly, it seems ironic for a massive corporate brand, such as Starbucks to attempt to tackle such a complex issue when only three of the 19 executives and 40% of the 200,000 workers are of color.

Additionally, lack of authenticity played a big role in the online backlash to the campaign. One Huffington Post article attributes part of the backlash to Starbucks’ failure to talk about their contribution to gentrification. Gentrification is the process of improving a house or district of houses in order to conform it to the middle-class taste. According to this article, “since 1997, homes near Starbucks locations have appreciated in value by 96%, almost doubling their original price tags.” In short, Starbucks is viewed as an upper-middle class brand and this is reflected in the value of the locations. This makes the “Race Together” initiative seem insensitive, because when a Starbucks is put in a traditionally black neighborhood, property prices increase and ultimately, drive away those traditional inhabitants.

Finally, poor reaction is a risk any company faces when launching a campaign, especially with the real-time factor of social media. Consumers are able to publicly voice their opinions on a campaign and seriously affect the perceptions of a brand, whether it be positively or negatively. Unfortunately for Starbucks, their campaign led to negative connotations.

I believe the campaign had good intentions, but race is a beast that cannot be countered by a short conversation initiated by your barista on the morning commute. I think one of the biggest oversights on the corporate level is the lack of knowledge many ground-level workers have on the issue. It’s unrealistic to expect normal people to initiate and lead an educational conversation on something so sensitive. I would have been interested to see what the long-term initiative consisted of, because I think a big brand such as Starbucks has the reach and power to make a noticeable wave in the ocean of discontent within our country. That being said, it doesn’t seem as though they thought it through enough.



Ziv, Stav. (23 March 2015). Starbucks ends phase one of Race Together initiative after grande fail. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/starbucks-ends-phase-one-race-together-initiative-after-grande-fail-316043

Gebreyes, Rahel. (19 March 2015). Starbucks’ ‘Race Together’ Campaign Ignores the Company’s Troubled History with Gentrification. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/19/race-together-starbucks-gentrification_n_6903060.html

Herman, Barbara. (23 March 2015). Starbucks ‘Race Together’: How It Could Have Been Better. Retrieved from http://www.ibtimes.com/starbucks-race-together-how-it-could-have-been-better-1856094

Carr, Austin. (15 June 2015). The Inside story of Starbucks’ Race Together Campaign, No Foam. Retrieved from http://www.fastcompany.com/3046890/the-inside-story-of-starbuckss-race-together-campaign-no-foam

Tran, Tai. (22 March 2015). #RaceTogether: 3 Reasons Behind Starbucks’ Failure. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/racetogether-3-reasons-behind-starbucks-failure-tai-tran

Morrison, Kimberlee. (25 March 2015). What Went Wrong With the Starbucks #RaceTogether Campaign? Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/starbucks-race-together-campaign/617593



Burberry first major fashion brand to conquer Snapchat

By Erica Stonehill

As Snapchat has picked up momentum among millennials, brands of all industries have been working to establish themselves on the platform. The fashion industry specifically has struggled the most with this, unsure of how to use the app to their advantage. Burberry, however, may have cracked the code.

Burberry has often been an early adopter of new media; they were the first fashion brand to launch a channel on Apple Music in September 2015. They proved their innovation, yet again when they tapped into the curiosity of millennials and shared their spring and summer lines on Snapchat a day before the London Fashion Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 11.55.17 AMWeek launch. This approach was such a success, earning them the number six spot in Ad Here’s “Top 10 Influential Social Media Campaigns of 2015”  that they decided to try it again by taking fans behind-the-scenes of their spring 2016 photoshoot. Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s chief creative and chief executive officer said they wanted to, “play with the traditional format of an advertising campaign to make it much more immediate and accessible.” Queue the first ever 24-hour fashion campaign.

Through their partnership with Snapchat, Burberry became “instant and genuine,” two very important attributes in today’s society. The fashion industry is often criticized for not being transparent or honest enough in their campaigns. This approach allowed fans and followers of the brand to see what goes on behind-the-scenes of a fashion shoot, and while the brand was able to pick and choose what they posted to the live story, it still appeared to be raw and unrehearsed.

Similarly, the spontaneity of the campaign created a sense of urgency among followers. Since the snaps would only be live for 24 hours and the actual campaign wouldn’t be released until January of 2016, fans were given a reason to follow along with the story. Marketing Magazine dubbed the campaign “the best piece of marketing in 2015,” saying, “FOMO [fear of missing out] is rife, and exclusive Testino shot fashion ranges that last 24 hours are as good a reason as any to be there in the right place at the right time.”

A way for Burberry to extend the success of this campaign would be to partner with prominent models in the fashion industry and have them promote important release dates and collections. A New York Times article quotes a 12-year-old from Manchester, England saying rather than follow brands on Snapchat, he and his friends follow people “close to the streetwear brands” who snap release dates or locations where products can be bought. So while Burberry’s target audience is probably a bit older than 12, the same principle applies. Because Snapchat allows for fans to feel more engaged with celebrities, they enjoy following those people who are prominent in the industries they are interested in. If Burberry wants to increase engagement and conversion rates with their target audience, they should utilize those models or designers who are already engaged with that group.

Other fashion brands like Louis Vuitton and Micheal Kors have tried, and ultimately failed, to use Snapchat as a springboard for fan engagement, but Burberry seems to have conquered the beast. By focusing on the innate sense of curiosity we all have, as well as the need for instant gratification, Burberry was able to partner with Snapchat for one of the best social wins of 2015.



David, Eunice. (2015, December 11). Top 10 Influential Social Media Campaigns of 2015. Retrieved from http://www.adherecreative.com/blog/top-10-influential-social-media-campaigns-of-2015

Drain, Kelsey. (2015, October 21). Snapchat Teams Up with Burberry, Mario Testino for Exclusive Look At Upcoming Ad Campaign. Retrieved from http://www.fashiontimes.com/articles/23812/20151021/snapchat-teams-up-burberry-mario-testino-exclusive-look-upcoming-ad.htm

Kirkham, James. (2015, October 22). Why Burberry’s Snapchat Testino campaign is the best piece of marketing in 2015. Retrieved from http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1369558/why-burberrys-snapchat-testino-campaign-best-piece-marketing-2015

Paton, Elizabeth. (2016, February 4). Fashion Industry Scrambles to Find Use for Snapchat. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/05/fashion/fashion-snapchat-app.html

Navarro, Andrea. (2015, October 22). Burberry Used Snapchat, an iPhone, and a Bunch of Your Favorite Models for Their New Ad Campaign. Retrieved from http://www.teenvogue.com/story/burberry-snapchat-spring-summer-2016-campaign

Wilbur, Hayley. (2015, October 22). Burberry shoots Spring 2016 campaign live on Snapchat in a fashion first. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2015/10/22/burberry-ad-campaign-snapchat/#d8Toka16bmq8