Advocacy Group, Inc.

Speaking to American University’s Master’s of Digital Marketing Class

In early December I was asked by my friend Danny Allen to speak to his American University master’s degree students about digital marketing, specifically social media marketing. I was of course flattered, but also overwhelmed: the impact social media has had on the marketing industry cannot be overstated. And the range of topics to cover, from viral marketing to big data personalization to inbound, could have easily comprised a course of its own.

Rather than an academic approach, I decided the easiest way to convey these topics was to find my favorite examples of each type, then talk about why it is/was effective for that given campaign. Many of these received an outsized amount of traditional media after going viral online, and are therefore are well known (Human Rights Campaign, Oreo Super Bowl). Others remained online and are therefore lesser known outside the social space (Frito-Lay, Unicef). But they all serve as terrific examples of social media marketing done right.

Below you’ll find the presentation in its entirety, as well as some notes to accompany each slide written after the fact.

Do you have a favorite use of social media marketing? Share it with me at

Slide 1: Introduction
Slides 2-4: Human Rights Campaign Facebook profile variations; rate of profile picture changes over time
Slides 5-7: Oreo Super Bowl ad traditional spot vs. earned online reach; analysis of Super Bowl social tie-ins
Slide 8: Innovative Frito-Lay video explaining how they chose their newest flavor
Slide 9: Unicef’s very unconventional campaign
Slide 10: A famous example of what not to do in social media marketing
Slide 11: Keys to success—things to remember when devising your online campaign
Slide 12: A step-by-step outline for getting your marketing plan accepted in your organization
Slide 13: TVE’s favorite uses of social media marketing