Last night, I attended a Summer Cider Garden Party, an event held to launch Rekorderlig's pop-up Summer Garden. Based in Manchester's Great Northern Square, customers can sit back and relax in the Swedish-influenced outdoor bar while they sip on the new passion fruit flavour cider or Abro, the brand's new beer.
I found out about the event through Facebook, when one of my friends shared a link as part of a competition entry. As a Rekorderlig fan (who doesn't like a nice glass of cider in the sun?), I thought this was worth a like, share and an email.
Sure enough, the following morning I received an email to tell me that I had won two tickets to the VIP launch event. Luckily, the sun actually shone in Manchester (for once) and I had a really lovely evening.
Now's probably a good time to mention that I'm not just showing off here... There's actually a valid reason I'm telling you all this, and it's because I think this is a great example of a brand using social media to initiate and promote an event, ultimately creating a good experience for their fans and customers. What better way to launch a new product line than to set up a series of small local events to showcase it (and get plenty of positive social media PR in the process)?
There are a few reasons why I think this worked so well. Firstly, it was simple to get involved and the sharing mechanic of the competition meant that the brand was able to reach plenty of new fans and followers. Secondly, it's a great way to get people talking about a product in a positive way -- think of all those pictures of Rekorderlig that will have been popping up all over Instagram last night, subtly reminding followers of the delights of an ice cold cider on a summer's evening.
Here's where the 'but' comes in...
Attendees secured their tickets by performing some kind of social action, whether it was a RT on Twitter or a share on Facebook, but I think it would have been interesting to explore a way of prompting attendees to talk about the launch party whilst they were actually there too.
What if there was some sort of competition running during the event that encouraged people to be even more proactive about posting pictures, and talking about the new flavours and cocktails? Attendees could have maybe been challenged to take a picture and then tag a friend who they thought would like the new flavour for an opportunity to win tickets to the next event.
By running these types of events, companies are able to create memorable experiences for its customers; all being well, these attendees will become (for a couple of hours at least) brand evangelists who will take to their social media channels to spread the word. Ultimately, though, I believe brands like Rekorderlig could bolster their success further if they can try and continue the conversations beyond the initial interaction, and leverage the power of customer recommendations in new, even more interesting ways.