Date of Award


Degree Type



Exercise Science

Director of Thesis

Mary Wagner

First Reader

Christopher Huebner

Second Reader

Christopher Huebner


This project sought to bring awareness to the newly developed Galen Health Fellows and health sciences programs at the University of South Carolina. In collaboration with the University of South Carolina Office of Admissions, investigators created and promoted a trackable social media marketing campaign for prospective program participants composed of online profiles of current USC health science students. These profiles aimed to promote the beyond-the-classroom experiences and advantages gained from pursuing a health sciences career at the University of South Carolina, particularly as a Galen Health Fellow. Student profiles were posted on the USC Admissions account of the blog site Medium and “shared” via clickable link on the USC Admissions Twitter page. Three Twitter post styles for each student profile were created based on research that asserts that human attention and online clickthrough behavior is drawn to vivid visual imagery. These formats included one text-only post, one post with a graphical text image, and one post with the student’s image plus text. In order to measure the success of each post format, investigators tracked each post’s online interactions in the form of Twitter clickthrough data. This enabled investigators to use the information obtained to determine the most effective social media marketing method for the Galen Health Fellows and health sciences programs at USC. Investigators hypothesized that the post style with the most vivid visual imagery would result in the highest number of online clickthroughs. Study results revealed that the hypothesis was unsupported, indicating that despite the results of research conducted, online users are less likely to click on a social media post with vivid visual characteristics. In future marketing endeavors, University of South Carolina Admissions officials will utilize the results of this study to improve the development of future social media campaigns and elicit an increased response from social media posts.

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© 2017, Sarah Adair Roof