MashTag Beer

I spend a fair bit of my time talking about what’s NOT social commerce. Using a reviews plug-in for your ecommerce store? Not social commerce. Linking to your seasonal sale via Twitter? Not social commerce. Posting pictures of your products on Pinterest? Not social commerce (and also really hard to say). So, what makes me such an expert in what’s not social commerce? Spending all day every day helping brands sell things in social: your actual, proper, bona fide social commerce. That’s what.

But there’s more to social commerce than just the selling bit. Social commerce also means listening to your customers, giving them what they want, using your audience to help shape what you sell and how you sell it. And here’s a great example of that kind of community involvement in action – the first ever recipient of the BRESNARK BIG HAND AWARD*, BrewDog Beers.

Scotland’s BrewDog did something really cool last week. Over the course of five days, they asked their Twitter followers, Facebook fans and blog readers to vote for all the constituent factors that shape a brand new beer: style, booziness, bitterness, special twist and name. They received almost 5,000 votes in total and their brand new beer, #MashTag, will be hitting the stores… well, pretty damn soon by all accounts, with work already underway. As a nice little wrinkle on the story, they’re also running a competition to design the label – making this the world’s first ever 100% user-generated beer. Nice.

I’m a massive fan of giving your customers what they want. But the key is knowing how to ask them in the first place. BrewDog nailed that with a great cross-platform campaign, a healthy splash of wit and masses of the enthusiasm (both theirs and their fans’) which has seen them become the UK’s fastest growing food and drink company.

Now, to make this the perfect social commerce campaign, BrewDog should also allow their customers to buy the new #MashTag beer collaboratively via a Co-buy. That would make it community-designed, community-named and even community bought – a real world first and something I’d definitely raise a glass to.

*An award so massive, it’s in upper case. Although it has no actual monetary value. And you don’t get any kind of real, physical gong. It’s just a nice thing – don’t be so materialistic.