** UPDATE: I was not hired ***
“Ninkasi Now” is my submission for an example of a social media campaign for Ninkasi beer. This campaign and the technology involved has not been launched. While the app does currently function, it is not in the app store nor does it post to fb. This is to avoid any ownership rights should this campaign be adopted by Ninkasi. Both are currently in my possession only. This post is a deeper look into that social campaign and the technology involved. The center piece is a mobile app with upload capabilities to Facebook. Working with an Open Graph Facebook app and server side PHP processing to complete the function. The phrase “Ninkasi Now” is used to invoke a bond between the brand and the shareable moments spent enjoying Ninkasi products.
Description of the campaign:
The “Ninkasi Now” focus is on Facebook and photos. Photos of Facebook users enjoying Ninkasi products in the moment. Rather than attempts to get people to share pics to the Ninkasi page, a branded app will showcase these photos on the user’s timeline. This approach allows flexibility of the campaign to change with the users. The open source nature of the technology gives this campaign a price tag of $0. The Ninkasi app uploads photos to Facebook with labels and geolocation. Appearing in friends facebook feeds and staying on their timeline page. Use of facebook tagging increases the visibility of these posts. Using an Open Graph app rather than simply soliciting pics gives the advantage of a more permanent place on the user timeline and access to developer analytics. Beer event goers are like any facebook user. Showing off interesting places they have visited is an obsession. Branding that obsession turns users into advertisers. Here is a screen shot of the app running on my phone. A Samsung Nexus S running Android 4.0.4 with an iPhone version also available.
The Mobile portion of the app includes:
- Facebook log in
- Event choosing (Sharing a Pint, Event, ..etc)
- Photo uploading to Facebook (touching the Polorid graphic begins the choosing and upload process)
- Text box to enter a description
- Location service to include where you are
- Add to timeline button to finalize your selection and send the image, location, and your description to Facebook
Who is your target audience?
- As a hashtag on Twitter #ninkasinow
- As a hashtag on Instagram #ninkasinow
- As a board on Pintrest showcasing chosen pictures
- As a separate account name in any social network shown as /ninkasnow
Tweets tagged as such can include links to the app itself to help increase the number of users and create an avenue for Twitter users to find others enjoying Ninkasi products. Hashtags are often used across social networks.
As discussed above, the social sharing of pictures is the main goal. To achieve this a mobile app is employed. This app is based on open source code from Facebook. A copy of this source can be found at GitHub. Along with the source for creating .apk(android) or .ipa(iphone), the Facebook SDK is used to pass information to fb Open Graph. The handling of the photo uploads is done server side by PHP. Heroku is suggested by fb but not necessary.
Information passed to Open Graph Insights will track and display the number of users and the frequency of use. Demographics of the users will also be displayed. Age and location of total users will show the effectiveness of the app ability to spread the Ninkasi brand further across the country via Facebook. Since the app stays on the user’s profile page the brand will be represented longer than the life of a photo appearing in the friend feed. In the same vain with the app remaining on the user’s phone after downloading the opportunity to reuse the app and share another “Ninkasi Moment” is present.
Beyond Facebook, use of the phrase or hashtag can further the campaign in social media. For example, Twitter and Instagram both use hashtags. Following and interacting with users of the hashtag generates content for Twitter and could raise total number of followers. Increased usage of a hashtag can lead to SEO value as well. With further development the integration of Twitter could be achieved in mobile app. This would include the creation of a Twitter app separately communicating with the Twitter API.
Interaction with photos would begin with Facebook tagging. Ninkasi can be tagged and thus alerted to the photo. Appropriate likes and comments would follow. Comments, likes, and tags are important factors in the EdgeRank Facebook now uses to determine the likelihood of your posts being seen.
While the campaign heavily relies on technology and users to spread the message, the Ninkasi fan page, Twitter, and all other accounts should be actively spreading the awareness of the app and its over all message. Enjoy Ninkasi Now. Tweets and status updates promoting this idea and hashtagged would be part of the campaign. For example:
“Finally friday! Time to enjoy a #NinkasiNow …. And probably all weekend!”
“@guyontwitter we saw your pic. Now that is a #NikasiNow moment”
Cultivating virility is difficult and unpredictable at best. Instead of the shot in the dark most attempts at viral campaigns are, this approach is measurable and flexible with little to no risk of loss.
Again this campaign is not launched and solely existing in my possession.
A full version of this with upload and posting capabilities enabled will be created, but in no way will have anything to do with Ninkasi.It will be owned by me. So I can launch with out worry of ownership transfer. (in order to post to Facebook you must launch the app in the app store, thus owning it outright) It will serve as a control version for debugging and testing.
Thanks to Apple for not letting me test on an iPhone 3G and implying that I should buy a newer device after upgrading Xcode.