Early this year, New Belgium released its year-round Snapshot beer with a multiplatform campaign centered on user participation. New Belgium dedicated a blog to the new beer, detailing its flavors, pairings, and brewing process. Snapshot also launched a nation-wide tour with a Photomobile van, which stopped by different beer stores and pubs to take photos of participants. The campaign encouraged user to post those photos and others on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #snapshotwheat. The photos live on an interactive map on the New Belgium site.
To keep the stream of user-generated content post-tour, New Belgium hosted a series of weekly “Snap Challenges” and asked the Reddit community for input on contest topics. Two Reddit-selected contests were “Who has the best group activity?” and “What’s the most important item in your bag or pocket?” Other contests solicited pictures of a happy place or a pet. More than 3,250 posts were tagged with #snapshotwheat, and all Instagram photos were featured in a feed on the brand’s mobile site.
The Snapshot campaign is just one example of New Belgium’s social media efforts. The ‘Genius’ brand has the most followers (194,038) of all brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beer, and its loyalty program rewards those who interact with it on social media. New Belgium started as a micro-brewery, and now is the runner up in the L2 Beer Index, second to Bud Light. Its success provides an example of how smaller craft brewers can leverage digital.