Social media is often the first place people go to learn about a company. That’s why it’s important to give your audience an experience that leaves them feeling satisfied from the first glance. Craft breweries tend to rely on a great product with unique branding to build a name for themselves. Standing out on social media is similar. Leveraging your brand across multiple channels will get your audience buzzing as much as your signature IPA does.
Many companies create profiles and push the same content across each of them. However, to truly succeed on social media you need to capitalize on the opportunities each social platform provides by taking full advantage of their strengths.
Are you making the most of your existing social? We’ll give you a fresh perspective on how to improve your brand’s storytelling and where to best place your thumb-stopping, share-worthy content.
A quick refresh on the basics
The basic but crucial foundation of your social media strategy is content. Luckily, in the world of brewing, there’s a wealth of potential stories to tell. We’ve outlined three content pillars, which are unique to each brewery, and demonstrated how you can use them to build compelling and effective content.
Whether it’s the neighborhood, city or state – where you operate is the introduction to your brand’s story. Local ingredients and landscapes serve as the inspiration for why you started brewing in the first place. Capturing the energy and ‘sense of place’ of your surroundings will help you convey the feeling of your brewery. This, in turn, will give your audience more context about where and how your beer is produced.
Audiences love to see ‘behind the curtain’ of their favorite products and yours is no different. You’re already doing the hard part. Now show them what sets you apart! Highlighting the process behind your flagship ale builds on what we were talking about above. The inspiration from your surroundings is now being distilled into a product. This is also a great way to showcase key figures in your company whose craft and dedication are driving production.
If you’re telling the story of a brand online, your final product is the climax. You’ve taken inspiration from the amazing area you’re from, its finest ingredients, and literally brewed them down to a delicious, frothy beer. Your brews are the culmination of the passion of your team and that should absolutely be celebrated, often.
Right now, one brewery doing a stellar job of telling their story on social media is Allagash Brewing out of Portland, Maine. They leverage remarkable photography to capture the magic of their surroundings and their meticulous brewing process to introduce truly unique and beautiful beers and bottles.
Now that you know which stories you’re going to tell, the next most important step is how you tell them. Remember, each social media platform has unique features that will help you tell your brand’s story and grow your community.
Building an online home for your audience
Facebook is undeniably the biggest social media platform in the world. With 2.4 billion monthly users worldwide, there’s a good chance your audience is waiting for you here.
With its most recent updates, Facebook is giving more algorithmic weight to “Groups” and “Events”. Use these to your advantage if your brewery has a restaurant or tasting room. For example, if you have a recurring weekly event, create a group that allows your audience to interact with each other online under the banner of your brand. Event pages are also a great way to organically spread the news about exciting things going on in your tasting room.
Many breweries simply use Facebook at a surface level. But there are numerous options for customization of your business page using third-party apps. Take Lagunitas Brewing who have a “What’s On Tap” tab that informs customers if their favorite beer is available before they visit.
Surprise and delight
Instagram is the most popular social media platform with Millenials. Over 270 million interact with the app every single month. In today’s attention economy, you need to offer a balanced mix of content (perhaps guided by the pillars above) if you want to see any success.
Short-form videos, stop-motion animations, and boomerangs all have the ability to catch eyes when they show up in your audience’s feed. Whatever you do, don’t stop there. Stories have become an essential tactic of any well-rounded social media strategy. One of the most effective tactics is to use Stickers to add an extra touch of personality to your posts. They make static images pop, let your audience ask questions (give you suggestions on the next flavor to brew), or even be an effective branding tool!
Using Giphy, a source for high-quality GIFs, Dogfishhead Brewery created their very own Instagram Stickers, which allows any fan to become an ambassador.
When we think about social media, one wildly popular platform is often overlooked.
Pinterest has over 250 million monthly users who love to discover and share new content. You can effectively leverage this platform by organizing your boards thematically. You can even take the content pillars mentioned above to help lay the groundwork for your new account. Make sure they link back to your website, or social accounts, to drive as much qualified traffic as you can.
Stone Brewing out of California is a great example of a brewery capitalizing on Pinterest’s strengths by producing the ideal content for their audience. Their profile may only have 17,000 followers yet their pins still have over 500,000 monthly views.
It takes time, intent, and a little bit of planning to stand out on social media. When you follow the best practices and use each channel to its fullest, your audience will grow and your community will flourish. Of course, social media is only one aspect of a well rounded digital strategy.
Read Developing a crisp website strategy for your brewery to help inspire your next website and ensure you manage a coherent online experience that will delight your audience.