When you just need a beer and a friend #BeerPressure

It’s amazing what happens when you break ideas down to the simplest form. I created Pints, Forks & Friends as way to bring like minded people together around common interests. It started with guest bloggers, then getting our social channels built up via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and a little on Pinterest. After that came the hard part most companies don’t like to do, actually ENGAGE with people that you feel would be great connections. It takes time entering search phrases on “search.twitter.com” and listening to what people are talking about. It takes time spreading the word on IG and Facebook commenting on other pages getting our profile seen , along with running a “like” ad campaign wondering if the likes facebook is obtaining for you are even real people, haha ~ that is another story on a different tangent.

So I built the website, added a social members area, and increased our community collectively around 8k people. Yes, the hard part is done… Phase 1 is DUNZO! What has transpired during our phase 1 process was discovering existing social tools & platforms that make it easy to set up real in-person events! So I’d like to share a little more.

First: SnapChat Geofilter experiment

snapchat geofiltersIt was the start of college football season… Really the only football I watch. So I had been reading about SnapChat’s Geofilters and how cheap and easy it is to create a custom one. I thought since I’m smoking a brisket (with my Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Smoker) now would be a great time to try a Pints, Forks & Friends branded Geofilter. The interface was easy to follow and I was quickly starting the process. First step was downloading the templates they provide. I used the Photoshop template and designed my filter. The biggest challenge I had was getting the file size under 300 KB. Once I simplified my colors, exported as a transparent PNG file everything was fine. Funny thing was I started thinking “hey, I’m going to set my filter to cover my entire town”. After all SnapChat was promoting the $5 price. Ahhhh wake up call, I now see how SnapChat makes a good chunk of their money. My entire town ranged from $500 to $1200 dollars. It was very cool process setting up the GEO area where I wanted to target though. So I reconfigured just around my house and got the price down to $6.

The SnapChat Geofilter experiment was a success. I now know how much to budget for any upcoming #BeerPressure meetups and I can simply keep costs low by just outlining the place of interest. The ability to brand your own events, or even client’s events is a great marketing tool, especially if the people at the event use it on their own accounts. I don’t have a lot of followers on SnapChat as of yet, but I like being able to download the content I create on SnapChat and share on my other social channels.

PFF Geofilter
Second: Backyard BBQ

Now that I have my custom branded Geofilter, I had to create content around it right? Naturally, it made sense to fire up the smoker and throw a beef brisket on it. A little pre-game brisket recipe…

  1. Cover the brisket on all sides with Bertman Original Ball Park Mustard
  2. Add your favorite rub – mine is a Southwest Rub
  3. Wrap it up and put in refrigerator overnight
  4. Using lump charcoal I keep the temp around 225°F
  5. I prefer adding a few chunks of apple wood as well
  6. After a few hours (depending on the size of your brisket)  -or when meat hits 195°F temp it’s ready!
  7. Fork test – stick a fork in the brisket, and if it twists easily, it’s done.

Check out some photos & content generated below…


Backyard BBQ

 Third: #BeerPressure

Beerpressure OhioWhile I was building this craft beer/food community I connected up with John Andrews from North Carolina that shared the same interests as me, and profession as well! Through Twitter and an app called Path we started a conversation, shared photos, referred business, broke bread, and even did a North Carolina – Ohio craft beer exchange. I can’t take credit for the term or hashtag #BeerPressure, John brought me in on that. We were currently using #PFFSocial but that really wasn’t sticking, so I asked him if our community could start using it. John added me to the NC #BeerPressure group on Facebook which also has some #coffeeheads in it as well;) I was recently down in Raleigh, NC on business and got to meet a few people in the group. We started thinking…  What if we try and grow this #BeerPressure concept between both our communities? So moving forward some of the guys in the group are doing a #RaleighBurgerBoss challenge visiting local restaurants that claim to have great burgers and rate them… Naturally we have to do one up here in Ohio, so coming soon is the #AkronBurgerBoss challenge. We just narrowed down the restaurant choices, and hope to get going next week. In the works is more synergy between the two groups and hopefully more #BeerPressure groups in more states! If I’m a brewer or an owner of a food business doesn’t it makes sense to reach out to groups like us, then to try and push traditional advertising? Everyone’s eyes and ears are their smartphones… I guarantee the reach and target audience we get in front of is more matched than any local paper, or forced online ad, plus the organic content we post can dominate your market’s share of voice.

I know building this organic community has taught me so much and will continue to do so while enjoying great craft beer, awesome food & friends. #Beerpressure is a always looking for more like-minded people to enjoy a beer with!

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