Social media is the single best tool for marketing craft beer and it doesn’t cost a dollar. It’s where hype is built, and it’s where beer fans are finding out about new beers and new breweries. For small breweries, it’s easy for social media to fall by the wayside as you focus your limited time and efforts on making great beer. Here are three reasons why you can’t let that happen.
Social media builds your brewery’s brand
We’ve talked before about how some craft breweries have unmistakable brands. When your brand stands out in a crowded field, you’re already one step ahead in your marketing efforts. For a small brewery with minimal resources, that can mean an awful lot.
Social media is where your voice can shine, and where you remind people that your brewery is run by actual humans and fellow beer fans. It’s where you project yourself as someone that folks would want to have a beer with. If you’re of the generation that’s grown up with social media, this is a no-brainer. But not all brewery owners have been online since middle school. If you aren’t familiar or comfortable with posting on your own personal social media accounts, you definitely don’t want to do it on behalf of your business. It’s best to hire someone social media-savvy to tackle your beer marketing services.
Social media allows for direct interaction with fans
Part of the reason why tasting rooms are so great is that they allow a beer fan to chat with someone behind the bar who knows the brewery inside and out. Brewers love to talk about their beer with drinkers in tasting rooms.
Consider your social media an extension of your tasting room. Treat someone interested enough in your brewery to comment or write on your Facebook or Instagram the same as someone who walked into your tasting room for the first time.
Look at how much customer service goes on in this single Instagram post from Boston’s Trillium Brewing Company:
Here’s the whole comment thread:
They not only answered questions from customers promptly — they did so with enthusiasm.
Social media is how you promote your beer releases
The most-hyped breweries in the nation right now couldn’t do what they do without social media. For instance: Monkish Brewing in Torrance, California. Monkish often announces at 2 p.m. on all social media channels that a new canned IPA will go on sale when the brewery opens at 4 p.m. At opening, there are already some 250 people in line. How do we know that? Because Monkish announces the line count on Twitter. In the coming hour, they tweet how many cases of beer are left and how many people are in line, which lets people know whether it’s worth it to try to make it to the brewery. Meanwhile, in the comments section on Instagram, folks are working out beer trades and chatting with each other while they stand in line.
Typically, shortly after 5 p.m., the brewery announces on Twitter that the beer has sold out. Bam. That’s it. Roughly 3,500 cans — approximately $16,000 worth — of beer sold in an hour. It’s hard to imagine how this sort of thing could ever happen without social media done right. It’s easy to see, however, how this could be a poorly coordinated disaster without it.
Of course, not every brewery will create this kind of frenzy, nor would every brewery want it. But social media announcements will always give people a reason to come to your tasting room. Without these announcements, you’ll rely only on established regulars and curious brewery explorers for business. It’s that simple.
On a more personal note, social media is also a fantastic way to document your brewery’s journey from idea to reality. After a few years of success, you’ll look back nostalgically at that first Instagram post of an empty industrial space and not recognize it as the home of your brewery.
Social media is free, of course — but it does require a substantial time commitment. We understand that time is an essential commodity for any small business, and there’s never enough of it. That’s why it may be your best option to bring someone on board. At Flashpoint, we’re marketers first and beer fans second. We know how to build your brand, amass an online following and get folks in your door to drink your beer.
Get in touch with us for a free craft beer marketing assessment of your brewery.
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Download the 2017 Craft Beer Marketing Rundown for Breweries
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