On a day like today, when temperatures have been in the high 90s and
the heat index is in the tripple digits, I’d definitely tweet for a free sample of a cold drink.

Have you seen this? The world’s first vending machine that offers tea for Tweets has been introduced in South Africa. The engineers behind the machine created a specific hashtag(#) that a user Tweets, the machine syncs with Twitter and filters by the hashtag, and if the hashtag is correct it will dispense a drink.

The company, BOS Ice Tea, developed this unique social media interaction as a new way to sample their product. And it seems, it’s the tip of the iceburg where product promotion is concerned. Anything from tshirts to electronics can be dispensed in a vending machine, and then there’s ways to either Tweet, Facebook or check-in for an experiential sample.

TwitterSo what’s next? Why stop at the vending machine?

Facebook “likes” for free chocolate samples?

Instagram photo and hashtag for an extra day’s stay at a hotel? (or to board a plane?)

Google+ “Plus” for free a free dispensed coffee?

Coffee dispensed via an App for espresso samples at your corner coffee shop?

The opportunity is immense. What do you think about the connection? What do you think the next social media / sampling or experience will be? Leave a comment or share other cool product interactions you’ve seen.

P.S. The BOS activation was conceived by Cow Africa who worked closely with Thingking to make it happen.