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Jack Daniel?s monitors social media to hone Honey brand Web presence

Jack Daniel's newest digital summer campaign leverages mobile as a sweepstakes entry device that taps into existing behaviors the spirit brand has noted from target consumers via social listening.

Capturing fun, unique and memorable moments is the social currency for millennials, and the Jack Honey Summer Swarm seeks to target this smartphone-wielding group and incentivize them to ease into the hard stuff via an eight-week photo challenge running across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SMS. Brands like Jack have similarly realized that social networks offer an opportunity to directly interact with the right consumers. And while many marketers are quick to create an account and call it ?mission accomplished,? Jack conversely goes beyond just posts and tweets by using social success to engage with fans more comprehensively in other locations.

?We want to have a relevant two-way conversation about these moments and make it easy for consumers to share them,? said Casey Nelson, senior brand manager, Jack Daniel?s flavor portfolio.

?By making the Summer Swarm program rooted in social and in particular mobile-friendly social, we increase the likelihood of consumer participation.?

Buzz words
Eight weekly challenges went live May 29 and will continue through July 31. Fans are being prompted to post photos of themselves and their ?swarm? of friends that pertains to the theme of the week via social media and a responsive microsite.

Two sets of prizes will be awarded each week to the best pics chosen by a combined judging panel and crowd-sourced user votes, as well as a wildcard feature that will randomly select an entry. The grand-prize winner will receive a trip and tickets to the 2015 Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago.

The campaign also implements SMS, where photos can be sent in by texting ?Summer? or ?Swarm? to 8066, and represents part of a long-term strategy to build a database of opted-in consumers Jack Daniel?s can later use to retarget participants for upcoming campaigns.

Paid media is running on Facebook, Gawker and Buzzfeed, and has quickly impacted the engagement rate of Summer Swarm compared to its inaugural running last year, where social was not a main channel for advertisement.

?We are currently in week six of our eight-week campaign, so we do not have full results just yet, but we're very encouraged with the consumer response and engagement with Summer Swarm,? Mr. Nelson said.

?We surpassed last year?s consumer participation a couple weeks ago and we continue to grow each week.?

Mining for hived data
Conversations on the Web produce large amounts of unstructured data which present an opportunity for brands to improve CRM by way of a social listening initiative.

While both social media and person-to-person feedback-gathering strategies have value, social has caught on to quickly become a prime customer-intelligence tool for brands to gain insight about consumer perception and preferences via monitoring online customer support forums, using software tools to gather comments from social outlets such as Facebook and Twitter and encouraging customers to suggest new product features and vote on their favorites.

Social media monitoring tools can mine text and Internet conversations for specific keywords that can then be transposed into numeric values that are analyzed against traditional data mining techniques.

Within the food and beverage sector, Jack isn?t the only brand enlisting digital for a comprehensive summer campaign. The fact that a major TV advertiser such as Miller Lite is getting behind user-generated content points to the growing influence that mobile devices are having not just in the dissemination of ads but in their creation as well.

Activating brand ambassadors on social, Miller is rewarding those who tag and tweet a #ItsMillerTime summer moment photo for a chance to win a spot in a national commercial set to debut this fall. Moreover, @MillerLite followers who share their best snaps on Twitter will each win $1,000. Ten new winners will be selected every day for 100 days.

Budweiser also looked to social media to capitalize on its sponsor title for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil with its #KingOfCheers campaign which solicited fans to submit video of their soccer celebrations on Vine and Instagram, as shared on Twitter, and is rewarded the best content with a trip to the event in South America.

Creating, sharing and consuming photos remain a constant with today?s consumers. While social content boasts not only in popularity, it also can prove influential concerning buying decisions.

Following other beer brands who have exemplified this concept, Jack Daniel?s hopes to strengthen brand awareness through real consumer stories, which is an outside-the-box approach to validating users.

?Consumers like to share and be recognized and the Summer Swarm program allows for both all while reinforcing Jack Honey as a great go-to product for delicious summertime cocktails,? Mr. Nelson said.

 Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York