Hobgoblin uses Twitter and Google Maps to connect drinkers around the globe

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Bottled ale maker Hobgoblin has launched a Twitter and Google Maps mash-up to connect beer aficionados around the world. The move coincides with the growing popularity of craft beer and real ale among younger, tech-aware demographics. The application uses the Twitter API, enabling anyone enjoying a Hobgoblin beer to literally put themselves on the map, by simply publishing a geolocation-tagged tweet featuring the hashtag #Goblineers.

Brand: Hobgoblin | Sector: Food and Beverage, Alcohol | Country: UK | Objective: brand awareness, consideration and purchase | Format: Social, Twitter, Mobile

A look at the real-time map reveals check-ins from a host of locations around the world. The UK and the US are the most active regions, reflecting the growing popularity of craft beer and real ale in these countries.

But ale drinkers outside of the brand’s traditional heartlands are making their voices heard, with photos and tweets from those enjoying the beer appearing in Kazakhstan, Thailand, Morocco and even Iran.

The name #Goblineers itself is a crowdsourced moniker. When challenged via Twitter and Facebook to name their ‘army’ late in 2013, Hobgoblin’s 70,000-strong social media fan base responded with over 1,000 suggestions.

This is an example of a brand successfully leveraging a highly engaged social audience, evidenced by the wider Bring Taste to the Nation campaign. This includes a series of challenges including introducing friends to Hobgoblin beer, taking a Hobgoblin ‘selfie’ and filming a 30-second tasting video.

The pay-off for loyal fans is a place in a prestigious Goblineers army with exclusive access to the brewery, an invitation to the Wychwood VIP summer party with special rock star guests, personalised Hobgoblin tankard, the honour of becoming a social media beer taster and a case of the legendary ruby beer.

For the Hobgoblin brand, the goal is to introduce greater swathes of the population to its ale, as traditional audiences are increasingly joined by the younger drinker with an interest in taste and provenance.

Food and drink brands can use data to create engagement

The lesson for food and drink brands is clear. Tapping into the technologies and data now made available by social networks can be the perfect starting point for gaining a greater understanding of who and where your fans are.

Engaging fans in an ongoing, interactive campaign centred on the product is the perfect way to build excitement and online share-of-voice.

The campaign was created and managed by UK PR agency Clarity, who specialise in social media and modern communications.



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