A Case Study in the Power of Social Influence

February 14, 2011

Below is a summary of a great case study from Macallan Single Malt Liquor Company demonstrating the power of engaging social media influencers to enlist networks to interact with your brand. I especially like this case study because Macallan managed to engage these influencers in a way that was genuine, the most effective way to engage an audience.

The Macallan Single Malt Liquor Company was looking for a way to create some online buzz about their product within the food/wine/spirits industry.  They wanted to use this buzz to drive product recommendations as well as to create a curiosity in consumers to want to try their product.  To achieve their goals they decided to host a pairing tasting at a trendy NYC restaurant.  To make the event a success, and to ensure that the live event turned into online buzz, they researched and invited social media influencers with large followings to attend the event, as well as 5 key bloggers to participate from home.  They wanted these influencers to share their experiences with their followers through Twitter, Photos, videos, blogs, etc.  During the event a six course dinner was served and paired with one of 6 Macallan expressions.  The fun expressions (and of course the alcohol) facilitated great conversation.

So what kind of results did these social media influencers create?

  • 28 influential “twitterers” from food/spirits/ and lifestyle industries attended the event, together they had a combined follower ship of 46,000 people.
  • The followers of each of these guests matched the preferred demographic of the product. (25-55 years old)
  • 5 lifestyle/luxury bloggers participated in the event from their homes with samples while following along on Twitter.
  • 800 initial tweets during and right after the event, which led to several high-profile blog posts which were also highly circulated.   Total blog reach was over 150,000!
  • Created a digital presence with media, blogs, followers, etc.

The moral of this story; Quality over Quantity wins when it comes to consumer engagement.  Macallan reached out and touched just 32 people, and let them do the marketing for them, resulting in exposure and influence of over 150,000 people.  Macallan saw the power in utilizing social influence, and they made it work to their advantage.  This is a great example of social media marketing strategy at it’s best.