Why Patron Tequila is Getting Serious About Social

Special Guests: Adrian Parker

Social Pros Podcast | Real People Doing Real Work in Social Media

Adrian Parker, Patron

Adrian Parker, Patron

Adrian Parker, Vice President of Digital Marketing at Patron Spirits Company, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to discuss the hurdles in expanding a social presence of a well-established brand, navigating the highly regulated presence of alcohol in social media, and the impact measurement has on strategy and culture.

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Tweetable Moments

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” -@adriandparker (tweet this)

Get the Culture Right

Something unique about our discussion with Adrian is that, while most of the social pros we interview have held their current position for more than a year or two, Adrian has been with Patron for less than 100 days.

In fact, over the past 8 years, Adrian has created a new position at each company where he’s worked. It’s challenging because, “you’re having to navigate not only a new job, but also new work organizations and new groups.”

So what’s the most important thing in the first 100 days as a social pro at a new organization?

Learn the product, learn the people.

“The best social strategy or digital campaigns will fall short if you don’t have the cultural nuances to be able to work inside your organization.”

Adrian traveled the country to meet with Patron’s sales, marketing, HR, and legal teams. All this helped him get a clear sense of the pulse of the company. Who makes decisions and defines priorities? Do we have the right agencies and partners? How can we continue to listen to each other and build collaboration? What are we going to measure, and how?

Regulations, Regulations

Having a feel for the brand and its voice is especially important in an industry as highly regulated as the global alcohol industry. A few months ago, Jason Miller from Beam Global explained the legal hurdles involved in social media as an alcohol company. Patron is wading in the same waters.

Patron Secret Dining Society

Members of the Patron Social Club can join the Patron Secret Dining Society.

As they expand their digital media presence under Adrian’s new position, they’ll be evaluating each channel individually based on the risks (and regulations) versus the rewards. Patron defined the “ultra-premium” category of tequila 25 years ago, and now they aim to become the number one tequila voice in social.

“A great case in point would be Instagram, where we have about 22,000 posts of Patron every month, but we don’t have an account yet.” Twitter, too, is a prime target for his team.

The opportunities to expand are there, but it’s important to keep growth in check. Adrian wants to make sure that the projects they take on, they do really well. Expanding in too many ways too quickly will not benefit the brand or its image online.

“From a digital marketing, social media experience, this is a dream come true. It’s a strong brand with great sales, with great sentiment, that just needs some curb appeal in terms of a digital makeover.”

Social Media Number of the Week: 44

This year during Super Bowl XLVIII, 44 commercials featured hashtags, as opposed to 39 that had some form of URL. That was 50% of the ads that had hashtags. Many of them were still using the hashtag as an afterthought rather than a clear call to action, but during last year’s Super Bowl, only 33% of the ads featured hashtags.

The one commercial that stood out as having a clear CTA with its hashtag was Esurance‘s giveaway of $1.5 million with the hashtag #esurancesave30. The ad ran after the game was over, in the last commercial break. Since the campaign began, Esurance saw its Twitter followers jump from 8,900 to 109,000.

Holy Social!

You don’t necessarily need to be armed with big brand awareness to break through the static; sometimes, all you need is a flaming sledgehammer.

Jamie Casino’s 2-minute local Super Bowl commercial has gone national. In a bizarre combination of true story, perceived injustice, and construction equipment on fire, he has now told his story to the world.

Adrian was impressed – not in the sense that he would hire Jamie Casino to represent him – but “it made me take a step back into the bigger picture of why we communicate, who we communicate to, and why we’re all doing it”

The Big Two – Adrian Parker

What’s your one tip for becoming a social pro?
Focus on your strengths, and don’t overplay your weaknesses. There’s no need to be a know-it-all. “I’m not going to out-blog or -content Jay Baer… but I’m going to lead transformation like no other for some of these really cool brands.”

If you could do a Skype call with any living person, who would it be?
Richard Sherman, of the Seattle Seahawks.

See you next week!

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