Social Media Marketing Case Studies

Higher Ed Social Media Marketing Case Studies

Real Businesses, Real Results: See the Power of Social Media Marketing in Action

About The Author

Picture of Andrew Stephen, Ph.D.

Andrew Stephen, Ph.D.

Andrew T. Stephen is the L’Oréal Professor of Marketing at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. Prior to joining Oxford, Andrew was a marketing professor at the University of Pittsburgh and INSEAD, and earned his Ph.D in marketing from Columbia Business School in New York. Andrew is a globally recognized expert on social media marketing, has taught social media marketing to undergraduates, MBAs, and executives throughout the world, and has consulted with some of the world’s leading companies on this subject.

Meet the Cases

At Stukent, the goal is to bring relevant and updated materials to your classroom.

While much of the principles and content in this courseware are evergreen, much of the examples and stats are dated by choice of the authors.

Digital Transformation at Disney World

Author: Andrew Stephen

The Disney theme park experience is designed to be an immersive, exciting, and definitely magical experience for guests. Disney famously wants the reality created inside its theme parks to be better than the reality that exists outside. Despite all of the success that Disney was having, executives at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, grew concerned in the mid-2000s about longer-term existential threats to their seemingly successful formula of family fun in massive, immersive, carefully-created destinations with expensive attractions and complex operations.

Imagine Dragons & Their Superfans

Author: Andrew Stephen

The band Imagine Dragons, which was formed in 2008 and rose to international prominence in 2011, has become one of the most popular and successful rock bands in the world in recent years. The band’s music has had admirable crossover appeal. To many, Imagine Dragons came from nowhere and took the music world by surprise. Even Dan Reynolds described the band’s rise as “a little overwhelming” and “nothing short of a dream” in an interview in 2013. As is almost always the case with any success in the music business, this was not, however, a fluke and the band was certainly not an overnight success.

Now, a few years – and millions of fans and a Grammy later – manager Mac Reynolds and the band are reflecting on what they did to drive this impressive success.


Author: Andrew Stephen

In 2008, the soft drink marketing team at PepsiCo Inc. nervously launched a new flavor of their nearly 70-year-old caffeinated soft drink brand, Mountain Dew. The new flavor was called Voltage and was chosen by the brand’s fans as part of a crowdsourcing program. With the success of this product launch (DEWmocracy), they were eager to try it again. Will it work? Could this crowdsourcing model be used for other mega brands in PepsiCo’s portfolio?


ISBN: 978-0-9907983-5-4

American Eagle Outfitters Inc.

Author: Andrew Stephen

In 2012, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (AEO) enjoyed an 11% increase in revenue over the previous year and set a new annual revenue record of $3.5 billion. In early 2013, senior executives at AEO were presented with an intriguing, if not slightly odd, idea for a social media-based campaign that, they hoped, would “go viral” and generate a lot of positive buzz. What kind of quirky idea did they have and should they implement it?


ISBN: 978-0-9907983-4-7


Author: Andrew Stephen

When music celebrities with a large following and a big record label release a new album, it generates buzz. Not just online, but everywhere. Since it has been done so many times, there are standard best practices, channels, and processes for a new release. In this case, you’ll study the unconventional approach that female pop artist Beyonce took using her social media outlets to announce her new release. SPOILER ALERT: She went 100% digital.

ISBN: 978-0-9907983-9-2


Author: Andrew Stephen

Social media can be great for a business. It can also haunt businesses. This case study examines a famous musician that had his guitar broken in transit, a passenger that got kicked off of a plane prior to take off because of his weight and size, and U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan who were charged extensive baggage fees. In each bad experience, these folks took to social media to tell the world about their terrible experience with an airline.

ISBN: 978-0-9967900-0-0

E2 Kickstarter Project

Author: Andrew Stephen

e2 is a small restaurant located in Pittsburgh, PA. Chef Romane took over the space in early 2010. After two years of ownership, the chef decided that the restaurant was in dire need of renovation. They budgeted $17,000 for the project and turned to Facebook and Kickstarter to crowdfund the renovation. After a fantastic first week of funding, the hype and excitement cooled off. The team is left with a decision: continue or change course?

ISBN: 978-0-9907983-8-5