Today, social media is built into every consumer-facing initiative. In this space, spirit brands are offered a direct link to the consumer via platforms accessed the most frequently: More than television, more than print, the public spends a bulk of its time at work, at home and on the scene, connected to Twitter and Facebook. Conversations develop and evolve on an ongoing basis in the social space, and it is the brand’s obligation to inspire, control and monitor the discussions surrounding their name and identity.
We can’t neglect or forget the fact that the driving force behind social media is not developing technologies but the experiences we have with friends and colleagues beyond the digital space. And this is precisely where liquor brands dominate. As we saw this past summer during the Heineken Red Star Access tour, users posted celebratory photos, created invites, promoted events and fueled conversations—all using the #redstaraccess hashtag. Another popular spirit-related hashtag is #henny. And today, the Hennessy Cognac consumer is the young, active male; steeped in culture and quite literally a “social drinker”. It should come as no surprise that in 2010, the Pew Internet & American Life Project reported that of the Twitter audience, the most active users in the United States are men, between the ages of 18 and 29.
Today, micro-social communities like Untappd are emerging around the lifestyle of spirit. Committed consumers are checking in at their favorite bars, lounges and public houses, and calling out not only their drinks of choice, but their label of choice.