Ohio University Strategic Social Media

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Category: Kelsey Miller

Glenn Avenue Soap Company Campaign Proposal

Our ultimate goal for Glenn Avenue Soap Company is to increase social media following by incorporating our client more into the local community of Columbus and increasing brand loyalty and recognition. We developed three different tactics that incorporate this goal and help accomplish it. Each tactic brings our brand into the community, encourages following, and increases our brand recognition among the audience.

Team Glenn Avenue Soap Company from left — Erin Pogue, Kelsey Miller, Mira Kuhar

Team Glenn Avenue Soap Company from left — Erin Pogue, Kelsey Miller, Mira Kuhar

         One tactic is to create an event out of a partnership with other local businesses. We chose local breweries because we can make the connection between them and the beer soaps we make using their beers. The idea here is to bring our name into other audiences and continue to idea to support local businesses. There is a “sharing” contest on Facebook of the event page that the breweries and us will be posting about. It encourages people to follow us and share the event page as well as including their own part of the post saying why they are excited (modified UGC)  and using #SudsForSuds for a chance to win some free drinks at the event. There is also a raffle contest during the event that forces people to visit all the breweries on the crawl to get their tickets fully punched to enter, as well as encourages them to follow us on Facebook because we will be revealing the winners the next day on our account. This furthers our goal to increase social media following.

        Another Tactic is an Instagram photo contest that encourages followers to share soap carving photos of summer images. This builds a brand community and encourages interaction with our account. It also encourages the purchase of our own soaps through promotional content with the contest. They must tag our account in the photo as well as using the hashtag #SudsySummer. This helps continue to put our name out to more followers and gets them interested in checking out what we are doing and possibly joining in on the fun.

        Our third tactic is on Twitter, which incorporates the Clippers baseball team. Once again, we strive to get our name out there with other local brands, especially names that are bigger than Glenn Avenue’s, which can help bring us up in the community as well. This Twitter campaign is also revolved around followers engaging with our posts to help us reach a greater audience through retweets of our content. This is a tactic targeted at the families of our target consumers because we are revolving the contest around a giveaway of family-pack tickets to a Clippers game. This tactic will increase engagement and further our name within the local Columbus community.

        Our campaign time period takes place from April-June because of the idea of warmer weather activities and mindsets that our tactics promote. It is the time that people will be most active and willing to participate in events and can relate to our contests. Through our tactics, we will create a stronger sense of brand loyalty and recognition within the Columbus community and build a long-term relationship with our audience.



Busting The Myth On Social Media ROI

I write about social and emerging media & technology.

If you have any doubt that social media is an absolute goldmine primed to be picked out of the ether like an apple off a tree, you need to invest the two or three minutes it will take to read this post.

Image result for social media roi

Photo from www.ashop.com.au

The first thing you must realize is the notion that social doesn’t drive serious business impact and, let’s be clear, revenue-specific impact, is perpetuated by an industry rife with self-described gurus and smoke-and-mirror imposters who’ve never had to demonstrate ROI.

Stop listening to anyone who tells you that social media can’t generate revenue. What those people are really telling you is that they simply don’t know how.

It’s not rocket science. It’s social science — and there is an absolute, surefire, step-by-step path to success.

 Full article available via Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/gretchenfox/2016/04/20/busting-the-myth-on-social-media-roi/#7d4f79c60a31

Starbucks Gets a Double Shot of Backlash with #RaceTogether Campaign

Kelsey Miller

When Starbucks put the conversation of race into coffee shops, it made people second-guess when ordering a black coffee, a caramel macchiato or a white chocolate mocha.

Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz expressed his concerns with race relations in the U.S. to partners (Starbucks refers to all employees as partners) shortly after the Ferguson, NYC and Oakland shootings and asked their opinions.

Shultz received insights from Seattle partners about their experience with racial tensions. After holding 2,000 open forums with partners sharing their personal stories of racism in L.A., Oakland, St. Louis, New York City and Chicago, the CEO decided to use his chain to make it a forum for all customers.

And the Race Together campaign was born. The purpose of the campaign was simple: initiate the conversation of race. Baristas were asked to put “Race Together” on coffee cups to strike up a conversation with customers about race with the hope of it becoming a national conversation online with the hashtag, #RaceTogether. The New York Times and USA Today gave Starbucks a one-page ad space to show support of the cause.

Then, the people spoke up…


Tweet from AdWeek (bit.ly/1Luo1tl)


Tweet from BBC (bbc.in/1GWVjKU)

Crystal Fleming from the Huffington Post voiced her concerns about the lack of formal knowledge on race. Because Starbucks’ intention was to merely have baristas starts convos about race, the company made the point when confronted on Twitter that they were not educating their partners about race through formal training. As an African American woman that is educated on race, Fleming pointed out that racial ignorance is really harmful in that it could alienate people that have been affected by racism.

“I do not want to hear from random members of the public who have not studied race share their uninformed opinions with or around me in the early morning hours,” Fleming said.

She’s obviously not alone…


Tweet from Buzzworthy


Tweet from AdWeek

Kate Taylor, from Entrepreneur, agreed with Fleming but also took the defense of the baristas in her article. She’s concerned with the barista POV in the things they would hear if talking about race with others. If a customer were to say something ignorant or offensive, is it the barista’s obligation to address it or take “the customer is always right” approach?

“…Race Together goes beyond offering a weak solution – it shifts the responsibility for finding a resolution to employees suddenly tasked with a role that was never in their job description,” Taylor said.

Another tell tale sign of the #socialfail of the campaign happened when VP of Global Communication, Corey duBrowa, deleted his Twitter account temporarily due to the criticism of the campaign.

“I was personally attacked through my Twitter account around midnight last night and the tweets represented a distraction from the respectful conversation we are trying to start around Race Together,” duBrowa told Business Insider. “I’ll be back on Twitter soon.”


Tweet from Business Insider


Tweet from Business Insider


Tweet from Business Insider

Yet another #socialfail sign is the fact that SNL made a spoof about it…

PR Week asked pros to analyze what went wrong with the campaign. David Johnson, CEO of Strategic vision told PR Week that more advertising would have been key.

“Starbucks failed to lay proper groundwork and preparation in launching this initiative. There was no massive explanation of what the company was seeking to do,” Johnson explained.

Mr. Johnson makes a great point in that there wasn’t much context to what the coffee chain envisioned for this campaign. It just happened all of a sudden. The idea was unrealistic in this day in age. If Starbucks wanted to make a statement about race, another idea would be to invest in putting employees through formal diversity training or donating money to professional organizations that focus on starting a conversation about race instead of taking matters into their own hands.

In 2016, we’ll just leave it to Beyoncé to talk about race relations.



Beyonce’s ‘Formation’ Is A Visual Anthem. (2016, February 11). Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.npr.org/2016/02/08/466036710/beyonces-formation-is-a-visual-anthem

Bradley, D. (2015, March 18). How Starbucks can bounce back after Race Together flop. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.prweek.com/article/1338951/starbucks-bounce-back-race-together-flop

Crellin, O. (2015, March 17). Starbucks #RaceTogether campaign mocked online – BBC News. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-31932351

Cullers, R. (2015, March 18). The Internet Is United in Despising Starbucks’ ‘Race Together’ Cup Campaign. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/internet-united-despising-starbucks-race-together-cup-campaign-163540

Fleming, C. (2015, March 19). #RaceTogether and the Harm of Racial Ignorance. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/crystal-fleming/racetogether-and-the-harm-of-racial-ignorance_b_6895070.html

Maskeroni, A. (2015, March 30). Pep Boys Mechanics Reflect on Gender in SNL’s Perfect Spoof of Starbucks’ ‘Race Together’ Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/pep-boys-mechanics-reflect-gender-snls-perfect-spoof-starbucks-race-together-163748

Peterson, H. (2015, March 17). A Starbucks exec deleted his Twitter account after backlash over the company’s ‘race together’ campaign. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.businessinsider.com/starbucks-race-together-campaign-2015-3

Starbucks Drops its ‘Race Together’ Campaign After One Week. (2015). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.buzzworthy.com/starbucks-call-it-quits-on-race-cups/

Taylor, K. (2015, March 17). Why the Starbucks ‘Race Together’ Campaign Is Bad for Business. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244035

What ‘Race Together’ Means for Starbucks Partners and Customers. (2015). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from https://news.starbucks.com/news/what-race-together-means-for-starbucks-partners-and-customers

How Esurance Took Over Super Bowl XLVIII

Kelsey Miller


The Super Bowl is notorious for being the center of All-American culture and the best ads of the year. Insurance is notorious for neither. With insurance being the least sexy topic of all time, Esurance had to get creative if they wanted to create buzz in the biggest night of the year for advertisers. The company managed it simply by snagging the least sought after ad spot…. after the big game.

The purpose of their social media campaign, #EsuranceSave30, was to simply spread awareness about the up and coming insurance company that targeted tech savvy millennials. What better way to reach their audience than through their favorite channel of Twitter?

Key insights from Mintel Oxygen tell us that if a brand wants to hit a lot of people with advertising at once, the Super Bowl continues to be the best time. According to a study over the 2015 game, “More than 65 million people were talking about the Super Bowl, up by 30 percent from the year prior (2014).” On Twitter, the same study revealed that there were 28.4 million tweets related to the game compared to 24.9 million in the 2014 game.

WARC research suggests that Esurance was a small fish in a shark tank of very well developed insurance companies; not to mention the fact no one likes talking or even thinking about insurance. The small direct insurance brand was also outspent 10-1 in comparison to their big competition of GEICO and Progressive. Their target also enjoys late night television, so partnering with Jimmy Kimmel to announce the winner was another smart move for the young company.

By nabbing the first commercial after the Super Bowl, the company saved 30 percent, or $1.5 million. Thirty percent is the amount they guarantee to save their customer, blowing their competitor, GEICO, completely out of the water. The sweepstakes was simple: tweet #EsuranceSave30 to be entered in a chance to win that $1.5 million Esurance saved. This did not include any offensive tweets that disagreed with company values. The company also had the right to do a background check to make sure the winner was worthy of the prize according to CNET.

Social Media Explorer praised Esurance for their smart social media marketing of making the commercial and the sweepstakes align with the company values of transparency.

“They have designed their model to be able self-service and efficiency. These efficiencies are where savings happen. Kinda like the ad. They made a play for efficiency in buying time at the end of the game and then pointed it out to everyone that it was on purpose and that everyone should save along with them,” the author, Tracey Parsons, explains.

This was by the far the biggest social win of the 2014 Super Bowl. Time found that in the first minute after the commercial aired, there were already 200,000 submissions. Advertising Age reported that by the day after the Super Bowl, the campaign generated 1 billion impressions on Twitter and Esurance’s Twitter following skyrocketed from 8,900 to 155,000. WARC found that the insurance company also saw an increase of business with quotes jumping 43 percent and a 15 percent boost in policies in year-over-year growth for the month of February (Feb. 2013 vs. Feb. 2014).

If given the opportunity, I don’t know if I could make this campaign better. If I had to make a change, I would suggest that the winner of the competition followed Esurance on Twitter and maybe threw in a five-year policy of their choice, just to sweeten the deal. The campaign received so much buzz that Esurance hosted a similar campaign in the 2016 Super Bowl where they are giving MORE money away with the hashtag, #EsuranceSweepstakes.


G. L. (2015, February 12). Social Media’s Impact on the Super Bowl – 12th February 2015. Retrieved February 8, 2016, from http://academic.mintel.com.proxy.library.ohiou.edu/display/729906/?highlight

Chicago, L. B. (2015). Esurance: #Esurancesave30. Retrieved February 8, 2016, from http://www.warc.com.proxy.library.ohiou.edu/Content/ContentViewer.aspx?MasterContentRef=d700f716-2e47-4157-be7c-9cc1986f4af8&q=esurance&CID=A104653&PUB=CANNES
Terdiman, D. (2014, February 3). Esurance Twitter contest goes viral but ties company to offensive tweets. Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.cnet.com/news/esurance-twitter-contest-goes-viral-but-ties-company-to-offensive-tweets/
Parsons, T. (2014, February 06). Five reasons Esurance won the Social Super Bowl – Social Media Explorer. Retrieved February 08, 2016, from https://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/social-media-marketing/five-reasons-esurance-won-the-social-super-bowl/
Luckerson, V. (2014, February 3). Esurance’s $1.5 Million Giveaway Is Making Twitter Go Crazy. Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://time.com/3851/esurance-save-30-twitter-contest/
Schultz, E. (2014, February 3). Behind Esurance’s $1.5 Million Super Bowl Twitter Giveaway. Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://adage.com/article/special-report-super-bowl/esurance-s-1-5-million-twitter-giveaway/291472/