A Case of Influence: Tweet-a-Beer
In 2011, Waggener Edstrom showcased its digital creativity at SXSWi, an enormously popular gathering of cutting-edge startups and well-established leaders in interactive media. The question we asked was, how could we make SXSWi attendees’ time more productive during the event? The answer was to build an app, Hot Spots: The Heat Map of Main Events, which monitored Foursquare check-in data and showed a color-coded, real-time heat map of the festival’s most- and least-attended events. By the week’s end, one in four attendees was using the app.
So for SXSWi 2012, we wanted to be useful in a different but equally compelling way. Following our fearless leader’s advice to create value through partnership, we tapped two talented fresh ‘n’ local Portland outfits — creative agency tenfour and Twitter commerce-enabler Chirpify. Six days later, our baby Tweet-a-Beer was born. Almost immediately, this refreshing app was sparking new friendships and renewing longtime relationships.
When SXSWi attendees are your clients, getting noticed is the first high hurdle you must leap. This five-day festival is packed with keynote panels, workshops, educational meet ups and networking gatherings that last into the wee hours, feeding the most information-hungry swarm of minds assembled anywhere at once on the planet. With the focus being interactive media, our
strategy was to help attendees connect in a way that was practical, memorable and not necessarily confined to the event itself. We wanted to offer something more than another cool widget of the moment. Attendees needed to have a compelling reason to use it, it needed to be fun to use when they did and it needed to have broad appeal.
SXSWi attendees use Twitter as their personal live feed, commenting on happenings of the moment and also using it to organize their days and nights, rallying followers for upcoming gatherings of every type. Beer, of course, plays the role of social lubricant, helping people find common ground by connecting over a pint. Our ingenious tenfour buddies saw a way to combine tweets with toasts.
Measure of Success
Tweet-a-Beer is inspired by the limitless possibilities for personal connections that can only be found online. SXSWi, a venue where virtual contacts meet face-to-face, was an ideal place to launch. Everywhere you go, questions are asked. Debates are had. Friendships are formed. And the host city being gregarious Austin, Texas, many pints are raised. We wanted to make it so that the southern hospitality that flows between two people in a Texas pub could happen anywhere. Tweet-a-Beer is simply about sharing admiration and appreciation with a click when you can’t clink.
It was all made possible by a trio of talent merged in partnership. And almost immediately, was a roaring success. We took a tool built on a tenfour’s clever concept and Chirpify’s elegant technology, and handed it to an audience that was eager to start paying it forward, one frosty mug at a time.
What more could you ask for? Well, these achievements, for starters:
- 100+ unique stories
- Notable articles include a Mashable “How To,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek video (also featured on LinkedIn), PCMag.com’s list of “11 Fun Apps”, CNN write up and two inclusions in LA Weekly blogs
- On Fast Company’s Co. Create online magazine’s list of most buzzed-about-topics at SXSW
"My world is complete: you can now send beer over Twitter."ALEX WILHELM, the next web