Ohio University Strategic Social Media

Crowdsourced Learning Lab #ouj4530

Category: Katie Abbott

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

JCPenney’s #TypingWithMittens a #SocialFail

By: Katherine Abbott

JCPenney, well-known for is successful chain of department stores, has undergone many business restructures over the last couple of years. The company has made various efforts to increase its customer base, while retaining its current customers by rebranding itself. With the help of a new CEO, the business strategy changed to “Every Day” prices, where the prices on items would replace the use of coupons. After sales plummeted, the company decided to make a shift back to a promotional pricing strategy. With decline in business continuing, the company has decided in January 2016 to relaunch in the business of selling major appliances (Wiki, 2015).

JCPenney has undergone many changes and it is important to understand some of the brands history to realize how much JCPenney’s #SocialFail impacted the brand. With so much going on in the company, the brand needed a successful marketing campaign to promote the new brands it was becoming involved with. With the SuperBowl quickly approaching, it was a no-brainer the company would launch a creative marketing campaign to sell Team USA mittens for the Olympics. JCPenney’s idea was clever but its audience on social media, specifically, Twitter, did not think the same (Costill, 2015).

In hopes of selling the mittens, JCPenney had the idea of Tweeting during the
SuperBowl while wearing the FullSizeRendermittens. JCPenney would send out misspelled tweets that would hopefully create positive conversation about the brand (Costill, 2015). The outcome was the complete opposite. The brand successfully got the spotlight at the SuperBowl but for all the wrong reasons. Twitter fans thought that whoever was in charge of JCPenney’s Twitter account was having “too much fun” at the SuperBowl. Fans starting making jokes that whoever was writing the Tweets for the company was intoxicated because of the misspelled words. It was not long before JCPenney figured out that its creative campaign took a turn for the worse (Berman, 2014).

JCPenney’s #TypingWithMittens is a great example of a #Social Fail. The company did get a lot of attention from it’s Twitter audience, which is difficult to do in the 25 million SuperBowl Tweets (Sullivan, 2014). Even other companies began to join in on the fun. Coors Light Tweet said, “@JCPenney We know football goes great with Coors Light, but please tweet responsibly (Heine, 2014).” Although the tweets making fun of JCPenney were humorous, it doesn’t help the fact that the company had made a huge social media blunder. There was a total of 131,000 tweets throughout the game. This included people who were retweeting or tweeting about the brand (Sullivan, 2014). Each of the tweets received close to 20,000 retweets and close to 10,000 likes per tweet (Ruggiero, 2014). JCPenney’s tweet not only devalued the brand but its tweets did not give a good reason to buy a pair of gloves (Picchi, 2014). If only the brand had a more clear and concise message, it may have created conversation in a positive light like some of the other brands.

JCPenney could have made this campaign work if it approached the idea a little differently. I think the brand had tried way too hard. The Tweets were not only misspelled but they came across confused. One Tweet asked if they were at a baseball game (Ruggiero, 2014). If the company would have stuck to a couple typos instead of complete confusion, I think the marketing campaign could have had a chance. JCPenney’s idea was cute and creative but I think the brand took it way too far. It would be a completely different if an employee actually came to work drunk, while trying to create an image for the brand. Now that would make an interesting story. Let this be a lesson, don’t “drink and tweet” or in JCPenney’s case, “Don’t tweet with mittens (Ruggiero, 2014).”



W. (2015, February). J.C.Penny. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._C._Penney

Costill, A. (2015, May 12). Lessons From These 15 Epic Social Media Fails | SEJ. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from https://www.searchenginejournal.com/learned-15-epic-social-media-fails/121432/

Berman, J. (2014, February 3). Someone Needs To Tell J.C. Penney It’s Trying Way Too Hard. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/03/jc-penney-drunk-tweet_n_4716708.html

Heine, C. (2014, February). JCPenney Isn’t Drunk Tweeting the Super Bowl-It’s Wearing Mittens. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/jc-penney-isnt-drunk-tweeting-super-bowl-its-wearing-mittens-155437

Picchi, A. (2014, February). J.C. Penney’s Super Bowl tweets backfire. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/jc-penneys-drunk-super-bowl-tweets-backfire/

Ruggiero, R., & Ranasinghe, D. (2014, February 02). JC Penney’s Super Bowl tweeting tactics. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.cnbc.com/2014/02/02/jc-penneys-super-bowl-tweeting-tactics.html

Sullivan, D. (2014, February 02). It’s True: @JCPenney Might Have Won The Super Bowl Buzz. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://marketingland.com/jpc-win-superbowl-72739





Tom’s #WithoutShoes Campaign a #SocialWin

By: Katherine Abbott

The popular shoe brand, Toms, is known for being involved in global issues around the world. Their compelling business strategy, shoe the shoeless, has started a revolution that has supplied needy children with new shoes across the globe (Cava, 2015). The brand launched a compelling social media campaign in 2015 that inspired thousands across the world called, One Day Without Shoes. The brand not only wanted to celebrate its 9th anniversary but also wanted to use this as an opportunity to launch something really meaningful (Papachristos, 2015). The campaign was launched in hopes of raising awareness for the lack of children’s health and education across the world (Hoffman, 2015).

In attempt to raise awareness of global hardship, Toms quickly created buzz by building a successful campaign around its shoes but this time it had a twist. “By leveraging Instagram, we can really make this participatory event globally,” Says Mycoskie, 38, the brains behind the entire Toms brand. Consumers are becoming more attracted to brands that give back and do good things for the community (Cava, 2015). The brand was not looking for any type of support or promotion from its customer base from the campaign. Toms simply wanted to give back and that is what inspired the thousands of Instagrams followers to successfully engage (Couch, 2015).

To participate in this campaign, which lasted from May 5th-21st, a person had to Instagram a picture of bare feet and tag #withoutshoes and that would donate a new pair of shoes to a child in desperate need (Toms, 2015). The engagement in this campaign exploded because it was not only for a good cause but it was easy to get involved. Not everyone who posts these pictures had to be a Tom’s customer. Anyone who wanted to post to make sure a child received a new pair of shoes could (Couch, 2015).

Needy child receiving new shoes on feet

Photo originally Published by USA Today

Toms #WithoutShoes campaign is a great example of a social win. The brand extended the time frame to build anticipation, as well as time to give more. Within 3 days of the campaign taking off, the hashtag showed over 99,000 posts (Henning, 2015). By May 21st, Toms announced that 296, 243 children would receive new shoes thanks to the campaign. This means that engagement with the hashtag reach 296,243 posts on Instagram (One, 2015). The amount of engagement with the Instagram community was overwhelming. The campaign was a great non-monetary way for people to get involved with a company.

Although Toms, A Day Without Shoes, was clearly a success, there is always room for improvement. I think the use of Instagram was a great idea but also one that could have limited the brand awareness. Concentrating on multiple platforms during the event could have brought more success. I think Facebook would have been a great resource to utilize. Different platforms have different types of audience members. I also think there should have been an option to donate if need be. Not everyone likes to give back the same way. Especially with older generations that may not have had a presence on Instagram, if a platform like Facebook was utilized, I think there could have been not only a more broad and differentiated audience but also offer other ways different demographics could get involved.

In the end, Toms succeeded in hopes of gaining awareness in the lack of children’s health and education across the globe. Thanks to, “A Day Without Shoes”, 296,243 children in need will receive new shoes (One, 2015). Due to the overwhelming amount of engagement with the campaign, the brand will continue to launch this amazing cause for years to come. Would you walk a day without shoes?



One Day Without Shoes is May 21, 2015 | TOMS. (2015, May 21). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.toms.com/one-day-without-shoes

Papachristos, A. (2015, May 13). TOMS’ #WithoutShoes Campaign Promotes “Social” Responsibility. Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.1to1media.com/weblog/2015/05/toms_withoutshoes_campaign_pro.html

Cava, M. D. (2015, May 05). Toms uses Instagram to give away a million shoes. Retrieved February 08, 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 08, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/21/toms-shoes-without-shoes-_n_7360312.html

TOMS Kicks Off Its Eighth Annual One Day Without Shoes Campaign. (2015, May 5). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/toms-kicks-off-its-eighth-annual-one-day-without-shoes-campaign-300077875.html

Hoffman, E. (2015, May 05). Toms will give free shoes to children if you Instagram your bare feet. Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.businessinsider.com/toms-one-day-without-shoes-2015-5

Henning, K. (2015, May 08). Toms’ One Day Without Shoes Instagram Campaign. Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://footwearnews.com/2015/fn-spy/media/toms-one-day-without-shoes-social-instagram-campaign-28790/