Ohio University Strategic Social Media

Crowdsourced Learning Lab #ouj4530

Category: Jonah Ort

COSI Proposal

After a thorough analysis, it is clear that COSI’s social media presence needs improving as a whole. We decided it was necessary to restructure the initial objective of the analysis from increasing awareness of one event, Up All Night, to increasing the awareness of all events at COSI. We plan to do this multiple different ways, such as promoting and broadcasting events more effectively by using social media.

Team COSI from left — Jonah Ort, Katie Abbott, Scotty Moore

Team COSI from left — Jonah Ort, Katie Abbott, Scotty Moore

Overall Objective: Increase awareness of COSI’s events by 30% within 3 months by measuring engagement of event-related posts on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Our proposal has multiple stages that we believe will achieve, even surpass, the overall objective. First, Twitter will be a live feed of all events taking place at COSI. These posts will also include polls, competitions, and other ways for users to engage with the brand. Second, Instagram will be efficiently utilized, mostly focusing on the use of video. We want the user to see all the fun taking place at COSI and feel like he or she is missing out. Third, Snapchat will be incorporated as a behind-the-scenes view of what happens at COSI’s events and increase event awareness.

To support these three stages, we have built out a three month comprehensive social media posting calendar. Each platform will support one another, whether it is posting a snap story on Instagram or an Instagram posts that redirects the user to Twitter to vote on a poll. 

We would like to thank you for the opportunity to analyze and compose a social media campaign for COSI. We appreciate all of your time and consideration. If you have any questions regarding the information in this proposal, please feel free to contact us at your convenience.

Thank You,

Katherine Abbott, ka099711(at)ohio.edu

Jonah Ort, jo206011(at)ohio.edu

Scott Moore, sm490613(at)ohio.edu

TOMS Celebrated Its Birthday by Giving Back With #WithoutShoes

by Jonah Ort

TOMS celebrated its 8th birthday by giving gifts rather than receiving them. With the #WithoutShoes campaign, TOMS got their fans involved in a creative way to do something special for kids across the globe. Using social media to help those in need is always a social win, but what TOMS did was truly special.

The concept was simple: people should go a day without wearing shoes to help themselves understand the struggles faced by children who don’t have access to shoes. How can TOMS spread awareness about childhood poverty on a global scale? The answer was simple: through Instagram, of course.

The campaign had Instagram users take pictures of their bare feet and post them with #withoutshoes, and TOMS will donate one pair of new shoes to children in need. TOMS already donates a pair of shoes for every pair you purchase, but this time there was no purchase necessary.

The benefits of this campaign are threefold. For starters, it makes TOMS look great and shows off their humanitarian side. Secondly, it got users engaged with the brand on Instagram and spread awareness of the TOMS brand organically. And, most importantly, kids in need will receive new shoes.

The campaign took off quickly, with over 14,000 posts on the hashtag within 24 hours. Despite the campaign lasting less than a month, over 250,000 unique Instagram photos were taken with #withoutshoes. That’s over 250,000 pairs of shoes for kids.

Many celebrities also endorsed the campaign as well, like artist P!NK and actor Jeff Bridges. This kind of publicity undoubtedly boosted engagement and got more people posting. The celebrity involvement was also completely organic; TOMS did not pay anyone to sponsor the campaign. That’s the power of philanthropy for you.


The campaign did great across Facebook and Twitter as well. Social Media analytics company Unmetric found that the #withoutshoes campaign was one of the best campaigns, in terms of engagement, for the month of May. TOMS was so pleased with how the campaign performed that they plan on doing something similar in 2016.

Though there’s no doubt that the campaign was a social win, I can think of a couple ways to make it more profitable for TOMS and more engaging for fans. I think TOMS should also require users to use @toms in addition to #withoutshoes. I know there was some confusion surrounding the hashtag and what it meant, so that might clear things up and bring the messaging back to TOMS.

I also think that TOMS should set goals throughout the promotion, much like a Kickstarter or IndieGoGo campaign. For example, at 100,000 posts, TOMS can give away an extra 20,000 shoes. Goals like these could inspire people the spread the word to get more people to participate. This also helps the campaign maintain momentum up to the very end; with the deadline approaching, TOMS would most likely see a big boost in engagement as users try to reach the next attainable goal.

Though TOMS’ #withoutshoes campaign was an excellent example of social media promotion, what really matters is that hundreds of thousands of kids in need will get a pair of shoes. Stuff like this demonstrates how social media changes the world for the better. If that isn’t a social win, I don’t know what is.


Cava, M. D. (2015, May 05). Toms uses Instagram to give away a million shoes. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/05/04/toms-using-instagram-to-try-and-give-away-a-million-shoes/26892739/

Couch, R. (2015, October 27). Instagram Users Went #WithoutShoes This Month And Gave 265,000 Pairs To Kids In Need. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/21/toms-shoes-without-shoes-_n_7360312.html

Kotenko, J. (2015, May 05). Toms is donating one pair of shoes for every photo of bare feet on Instagram. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/toms-anniversary-one-day-without-shoes/

PRNewswire. (2015, May 5). TOMS Kicks Off Its Eighth Annual One Day Without Shoes Campaign. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/toms-kicks-off-its-eighth-annual-one-day-without-shoes-campaign-300077875.html

Wander, E. (2015, December 30). Here’s a Month-by-Month Look at the Most Engaging Brand Content of 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.adweek.com/news-gallery/technology/here-s-month-month-look-some-most-engaging-brand-posts-2015-168772


Bud Light Doesn’t Know About Consent, Ruins Successful Campaign

by Jonah Ort

Bud Light’s idea was simple enough: show off your carefree, party-hard attitude with #UpForWhatever. The campaign was huge for Budweiser; it lasted over a year and even had a Super Bowl ad attached to it.  Bud Light’s hope was for consumers to associate the Bud Light brand with spontaneity, rebelliousness, and fun.

The primarily Twitter-focused campaign poised itself to be a Social Win, tweeting fun things to do while going out with #UpForWhatever. That is, until two gaffes turned the campaign into perhaps the biggest Social Fail of 2015.

It all started on Saint Patrick’s Day of 2015. Bud Light tweeted: “On #StPatrickDay you can pinch people who don’t wear green. You can also pinch people who aren’t #UpForWhatever.”

As anyone but Bud Light could’ve predicted, this set off some serious backlash. Consent is a serious subject that someone on Bud Light’s marketing team did not take very seriously. Twitter users slammed Bud Light for the insensitive tweet. One female Twitter user suggested spreading #UpForThingsIExplicitlyConsentTo as a response.

The tweet was quickly deleted. But it wouldn’t be the end of Bud Light’s issues with understanding of consent.

The following month, Bud Light started making bottles promoting the #UpForWhatever campaign. Here’s one particular bottle:

"The perfect beer for removing 'no' from your vocabulary for the night."

“The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.”

It pretty much speaks for itself: the message of not saying “no” can easily allude to issues of consent and rape. Anyone remotely in-tune with modern college life would know that consent is a big discussion point among college campuses; one in five college women are sexual assault victims.

Though the controversy started on a beer can, the backlash ended up on Twitter. One user tweeted that “I’m not #UpForWhatever if #UpForWhatever means a lack of consent and rape, sorry beer bros.”

Bud Light was quick to comment and stated that they “missed the mark” and “would never condone disrespectful or irresponsible behavior.”

However, it was too late. Numerous news outlets reported the offensive bottle, and the entire integrated campaign was in shambles. It actually ended up broadening the ongoing dialogue about alcohol and consent on college campuses, which might be the only positive thing to come from the controversy.

I have two tips for Bud Light moving forward. First off, hire some women, because there’s no way a woman looked at that tweet and thought it was OK. The fact that the bottle got through numerous editors and packagers shows that there’s something seriously amiss with Bud Light’s work culture. The “beer bro” demographic that the one Twitter user mentioned may include the majority of Bud Light’s marketing staff as well.

Secondly, if Bud Light’s targeting Millennials and college students, they should probably do some light Googling about current college politics and issues. It doesn’t take a nuanced view of rape culture to know the tweet and that bottle were insensitive. Saying they “missed the mark” is pretty light language regarding a sensitive issue that commands respect.

Bud Light wanted women to remove “no” from their vocabulary, but “no” is exactly what women are telling Bud Light.


Garcia, A. (2015, March 17). Bud Light’s Awful St. Patrick’s Tweet: Pinch Women Who Aren’t ‘Up For Whatever’ Retrieved February 07, 2016, from http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/bud-light-up-for-whatever-tweet

Ive, N. (2015, January 16). Real-Life Pac-Man? See Bud Light’s #UpForWhatever Teaser (and a Trailer Load of Other Super Bowl Previews). Retrieved February 07, 2016, from http://adage.com/article/special-report-super-bowl/bud-light-a-trailer-load-super-bowl-previews/296634/

Monllos, K. (2015, April 28). Bud Light Says It ‘Missed the Mark’ With Line About ‘Removing No From Your Vocabulary’ Retrieved February 07, 2016, from http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/bud-light-says-it-missed-mark-tagline-about-removing-no-your-vocabulary-164374

Pallotta, F. (2015, April 28). Bud Light’s #UpForWhatever slogan causes social media uproar. Retrieved February 07, 2016, from http://money.cnn.com/2015/04/28/media/bud-light-bottle-slogan-uproar/

Parish, W. (2015, March 17). Bud Light’s St. Patrick’s Day tweet stirs controversy. Retrieved February 07, 2016, from http://www.marketingdive.com/news/bud-lights-st-patricks-day-tweet-stirs-controversy/376327/

Zaino, J. (2015, July 21). Changing Definitions of Sexual Consent on College Campuses | Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved February 07, 2016, from https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/university-venus/changing-definitions-sexual-consent-college-campuses