Ohio University Strategic Social Media

Crowdsourced Learning Lab #ouj4530

Category: Lincoln Rinehart


Our campaign is centered on a new Twitter account, @JoinUSColumbus, and a new hashtag, #KeystoColumbus. The overarching goal of the campaign is to increase awareness of the Certified Tourism Ambassador program in Columbus, while the more specific objective is to obtain 3,000 followers on the new Twitter account. We aim to reach 3,000 followers for @JoinUsColumbus in the three months of the ongoing campaign, from May 1 to August 1, 2016.

Team Experience Columbus from left — Alex Schell, Amanda Moline, Lincoln Rinehart, Garrett Smith

Team Experience Columbus from left — Alex Schell, Amanda Moline, Lincoln Rinehart, Garrett Smith

We plan to obtain these followers through a successful #KeystoColumbus campaign that will stretch across the Twitter and Facebook accounts for Experience Columbus, as well as the new Join US Columbus Twitter. After the successful completion of the Certified Tourism Ambassador program, participants will be given a physical key along with their certificate. CTAs will be encouraged to take photos of themselves and their key at “key” places to visit in Columbus and email them to a designated email. @JoinUSColumbus will post these photos, @ExpCols will retweet some of the best photos, and the Experience Columbus Facebook page will showcase an album of about 300 of the best photos.

This campaign will encourage engagement not only with current CTAs, but also with prospective CTAs who would like to learn more about the program and the fun aspects of receiving the certificate. The increased hype centered on #KeystoColumbus will bring attention to the Certified Tourism Ambassador program in Columbus and, in turn, increase enrollment into the program.

Ohio Auditor’s Social Media: A Public Service

Interview with Carrie Bartunek, Director of Communications for Ohio Auditor Dave Yost

By Lincoln Rinehart

Social media use in politics has been all the buzz lately with the national election, so I decided to take a closer look at how state and local governments take advantage of the digital universe. Carrie Bartunek is the communications director at the Ohio Auditor’s office where she manages several social media accounts for the office and State Auditor Dave Yost. According to the Ohio Auditor’s website Bartunek has a long history working in media, including working on the administration for former Columbus Mayor Dana G. “Buck” Rinehart, serving as spokesperson for the Columbus Division of Police and communications director at Hilliard City School District.

The Auditor’s office currently operates a Facebook page, Twitter page, YouTube channel and Instagram account – all, Bartunek explains, serve different purposes for the office.



Source: twitter.com/carriebartunek


Q: How does the State Auditor’s office utilize social media? What platforms do you use the most?

A: Bartunek stated that the Auditor’s office uses Twitter most frequently to notify citizens of Audits being released or about important events that the Auditor will be attending. They also use Facebook and YouTube for more detailed content, and are considering adopting Periscope for use at conferences and other events.


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

A: “Twitter is important for us to reach people because many reporters are using it to pick up stories,” Bartunek said. “In our world we think the most important social media is Twitter.” Bartunek explained that social media (Twitter especially) helps people become aware of auditing as a public service, and also serves as a platform to provide quick and easy access to public records.


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

A: “Don’t let any post go without having at least two sets of eyes on it. Also think about the audience for each platform.” Bartunek emphasized the importance of being timely and relevant and reaching the audience at times they are likely to be using social media.


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

A: Bartunek said the Auditor’s office social media feeds are usually populated with news media accounts, other government entities and politicians. “Media might break news on something we need to know about or be involved with.”


Q: How do you use the responses you get from citizens on social media (if at all)?

A: “We don’t get too many people responding to our content,” Bartunek said. “Most people come to our pages just for information.”


This interview provides an interesting insight to how government entities may use social media, and how their social media practices differ from those working for a commercial brand. Social media platforms at the Ohio Auditor’s office are used mostly to keep citizens informed and educated about auditing services. Rather than attempting to harbor consumers and hope for increased sales numbers, the State Auditor’s social media profiles offer a public service by allowing quick and easy access to public records.



A.1. Cuts Ties with Steak; Consumers Approve

By Lincoln Rinehart


Kraft Foods A.1. Case Study

A.1. is a sauce created by Kraft Foods that is traditionally known as a steak sauce. Sales of A.1. began in 1831, and from the 1960s until May of 2014 the sauce was marketed as “original Steak Sauce.”

In 2014 Kraft Foods decided to market A.1. as a sauce that could be used on much more than steak. This decision was accompanied by a video (below) shared on A.1.’s Facebook page – the video announced that A.1. is no longer in an exclusive relationship with steak, and is now called “A.1. Original Sauce.”

Not only did A.1. break up with it’s beefy companion, but the brand also began relationships with several other foods to announce that the sauce was no longer meant just for steak.


Source: http://shortyawards.com

Key Insights to the A.1. Case Study

The social media campaign was nominated for a Shorty Award in 2015 with a description claiming that the sauce had to change because it was “the clear category leader in a dying category.” People were no longer buying sauce exclusively for steaks. It was crucial that the brand pivoted in a way that opens the market to consumers of all sauces, rather than just the niche, steak sauce consumer.

The video was originally posted on Facebook and currently has 3,147 likes and 796 shares. The second time A.1. posted the video to its Facebook page it garnered an additional 3,835 likes and 906 shares. The YouTube video has 1.3 million views, and an article on econsultancy.com claimed that the video was viewed nearly “100,000 times in a couple of weeks.”


Why is this Case a #SocialWin?

CP+B is the agency responsible for this innovative and epic implementation of a new brand image. The campaign was an effective combination of humor and strategy, and made clever use of the resources available to brands on social media. The video shows A.1. changing its relationship status with steak to “It’s complicated” and messaging steak on Facebook.

The humor behind A.1. being in a relationship also humanizes the brand, making it more relatable to consumers. Many people have been in a situation where they are with a significant other but are considering seeing other people. Although it’s main purpose is humor, an underlying effect of personifying the brand on social media might be increased brand loyalty.

The advertisement ended with the quote: “For almost everything. Almost.” which clearly announced A.1.’s entry into the general sauce category. The advertisement dominated its goals of making a groundbreaking announcement that A.1. broke up with steak. The social media video was accompanied by the integration of the campaign into several additional platforms including TV, radio and in-store ads.

Obviously the social component – the video shared on Facebook and YouTube – can be declared a #socialwin because of the high amount of shares and interactions with the content. Many users interacting on Facebook commented on the original video and agreed that A.1. didn’t belong with steak in the first place. This is a perfect case where the company recognized that consumers were not using the product the way it was being marketed and effectively rebranded. In fact, the only recommendation worth making to the campaign is shortening the video shared on social media; it runs a bit long at 1:59.

What we can take from this is that social media provides opportunities for companies to seek out what consumers want, and when brands give their consumers exactly what they want (with a creative twist) the return can be extraordinary.



A.1. Facebook page. (2014, May 14). [Facebook post]. Retrieved  from https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=664445756937721

A.1. Facebook page. (2014, June 11). [Facebook post]. Retrieved  from https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=678608958854734

(2014, May 15). After 50 Years, A.1. Steak Sauce Ends Exclusive Relationship With Beef,    Drops “Steak” From Name And Friends Other Foods. prnewswire. Retrieved    from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/after-50-years-a1-steak-sauce-ends-  exclusive-relationship-with-beef-drops-steak-from-name-and-friends-other-foods-  259402271.html

(2014). 7th Annual Shorty Awards Nominee description. Retrieved  from http://shortyawards.com/7th/a1-new-friend-requests

Moth, David. (2014, May 28).  Seven of the best social media campaigns of May.  econsultancy.  Retrieved from https://econsultancy.com/blog/64913-seven-of-the-best-  social-media-campaigns-from-may#i.x18oluxwmfntyo

Oster, Erik. (2014, May 15). CP+B Changes A.1.’s Relationship Status with Steak. adweek.  Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/agencyspy/cpb-changes-a1s-relationship-  status-with-steak/66579








CrossFit’s “Open Diabetes” ad does it all wrong

By Lincoln Rinehart


CrossFit #socialfail Case Study

CrossFit is a fitness program started by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai in 2000. The program offers high-intensity interval fitness training to members of over 13,000 participating gyms. Recently CrossFit has associated itself with issues involving the state of health and wellbeing of Americans, namely increasing health concerns due to excessive weight gain.

On June 29, 2015 CrossFit began a campaign to promote awareness of the correlation between excessive sugar intake, subsequent weight gain and higher risk of contracting type 2 diabetes. The promotion was in the form of a Tweet with a picture of a modified Coca-Cola ad with the line “open diabetes” and a quote from Greg Glassman, CEO of CrossFit. The quote was: “Make sure you pour some out for your dead homies.”


Key insights to the CrossFit diabetes campaign

The Tweet and quote garnered hundreds of replies from members and affiliates of the diabetic community stating that the ad is misinforming its audience. There is no evidence to claim that diabetes is caused by excessive sugar intake, but the ad could imply otherwise. Excessive sugar intake can lead to weight gain which does correlate with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, but CrossFit missed the target on that association. People replied saying that the company was ignorant, uninformed, shameful, in poor taste, etc. The Huffington Post published an article that aggregated the issues of political correctness involved in this advertisement.

Rather than apologizing or removing the Tweet CrossFit continued to enforce its stance on diabetes and soda consumption. In some cases the company Tweeted rude or sarcastic comments directly at insulted users.

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 1.43.22 PM

Source: CrossFit Twitter page


Musician Nick Jonas is a type 1 diabetic and expressed his outrage with the campaign via Twitter as well by calling CrossFit’s comments “ignorant.” According to an article on The Russells Matt Knox from “Good Morning America” contacted Greg Glassman, CEO of CrossFit, in order to receive a response to Jonas’ Tweets. Glassman responded with the quote below.

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 2.33.27 PM

Source: therussells.crossfit.com

The advertisement and quotes by Glassman were obviously very controversial. Many of the users who replied negatively to this advertisement simply wanted CrossFit to clarify that diabetes is not directly caused by consuming sugar, but increased weight gain can lead to a higher risk of contracting type 2 diabetes. In more recent versions of the campaign CrossFit does at least clarify that they are talking about type 2 diabetes.


Why the CrossFit “Open Diabetes” ad was a #socialfail

I think it should be pretty obvious that no advertisement should ever insult any potential consumers. With that being said, there is statistical evidence supporting the correlation between excessive weight gain and having a higher risk of contracting type 2 diabetes. CrossFit attempted to support a worthy cause, but did so in a very offensive manner. They sparked a powder keg with the initial advertisement, and then continued to fuel the flame by replying to upset consumers with sarcasm and blatant insults. The issue would have been partially avoided if CrossFit accepted its mistake and removed the advertisement. Without doubt the most harmful element of this #socialfail is the method that CrossFit and Glassman took in addressing the reasonable public concerns toward the ad with stubbornness and insensitivity.

Instead of prolonging the issue and continuing to offend its audience CrossFit could have made a simple apology and removed the advertisement. Then they could have replaced it with a similar ad that clarifies that they are referring to type 2 diabetes and the increased risk consumers face through gaining excessive weight. Doing so would mend much of the offense taken from the original ad and also continue to raise awareness of type 2 diabetes. Advertisements are meant to inform, or at the very least spark informed discussion, not perpetuate ignorance.



CrossFit Twitter. (2015, Nov 30). [Tweet]. Retrieved  from https://twitter.com/CrossFit/status/671427672463966208

Glassman, Greg. (2015, June 29). [Tweet]. Retrieved        from https://twitter.com/CrossFit/status/615539464232902656

Greenberg, Riva. (2015, July 6). People Disgusted by CrossFit’s ‘Open Diabetes’ Coke    Tweet. Huffington Post.  Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riva-  greenberg/people-disgusted-by-cross_b_7721848.html

Greene, Russ. (2015, July 7). Greg Glassman’s Full Comment on Coca-Cola and Nick  Jonas. The Russells. Retrieved from http://therussells.crossfit.com/2015/07/07/greg-  glassmans-full-comment-on-coca-cola-and-nick-jonas/

Jonas, Nick. (2015, June 30). [Tweet]. Retrieved from  https://twitter.com/nickjonas/status/615873890191998976

(2015, July 2). Nick Jonas Chides CrossFit Over Diabetes Tweet; Company Fires Back. ABC  News. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/nick-jonas-chides-crossfit-  diabetes-tweet-company-fires/story?id=32172324