Last Updated on June 6, 2023
Show off your personality and build a community of local beer-lovers with a brewery marketing strategy that takes advantage of social media’s power.
The craft brewing industry is crushing it right now. It contributes over $67.8 billion to the U.S. economy, and there were 6,655 active breweries in the country as of June 30, 2018.
More than 4,000 microbreweries and brewpubs have opened in the U.S. since 2010, with more planning to open every day.
Being part of the craft beer revolution is great news, but it also means you need a better brewery marketing plan than your beer to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Is your brewery marketing plan positioned to help you achieve your goals?
Your craft brewery marketing plan: Let’s get social
Good news: You don’t have to be a “marketing person” to come up with marketing strategies to promote your brewery.
Two of the biggest selling points for your brewery are your brand’s personality and the fact that you’re local. Personality sells. Local sells. And you don’t need to spend a ton of money on traditional marketing to see a solid return on your efforts. In fact, you probably already have everything you need installed on your smartphone.
Your best bet—especially if you’re just getting into the craft brewery marketing game—is leveraging social media. It’s free (unless you want to budget for sponsored posts or ads) and it puts you in direct contact with your community and the folks who are going to buy your beer.
Social media is cheaper and easier than some other forms of traditional marketing, but that doesn’t mean totally winging it. You still need a solid strategy behind your brewery marketing on social networks.
Here’s a fun idea! Come up with hashtag games for your brewery patrons, and display photos and leaderboards on your walls to increase engagement while promoting your brews. Start building your social wall today!
First, decide which social platforms you’re going to use. You don’t have to be on every single one of them—it’s far more important that whatever networks you choose, you’re realistic about the amount of time you can commit. That being said, Facebook and Instagram tend to be worth the effort for most breweries. Twitter can also be helpful if you have time.
You really don’t have to post that often, either. According to a study by Rival IQ, these are the average number of posts per day, per channel for breweries:
- Twitter: 1.55
- Facebook: 0.87
- Instagram: 0.81
Keep your posts around those numbers and focus on quality content—it’ll be hard to go wrong.
The social posts that help bring in brewery business
Photo and video posts
It can be tempting to just shoot off some quick reminder status updates on social media, but across the board, photos and videos are the most-viewed types of post. People aren’t just looking, either—they’re engaging with those posts the most, too.
A big part of craft brewery marketing is showing that there are actual people behind the brews. Your followers want to see pictures and videos of you, your staff, what it looks like behind the scenes, a fun day in your taproom, and (especially) your pets. Help your current and potential customers get to know your whole team on a deeper level.
Another way to use photos and videos in your social marketing is by reposting user-generated content. If someone tags your brand or brewery in a photo, share it with the rest of your followers. There are so many benefits—you don’t have to come up with unique content, the original photo-taker will likely get excited and tell friends, and it encourages other customers to tag their content with hopes that they’ll end up in the spotlight, too.
Create and promote events
If your brewery is open to the public, social media is a fantastic way to get the word out and generate buzz.
First, create a Facebook event for every single event you host. For example, do you invite a different local food truck to park outside every Friday night in the summer? Create individual events for each night. Each “yes” or “interested” click on Facebook events will display the event on the news feeds of the user’s friends, providing valuable information on popular food truck partners and expected attendance.
And of course, post during the events (Twitter is excellent for real-time updates) and after the events as well. Show photos, videos, and text updates about how much fun everyone had. A lot of social media is FOMO—Fear Of Missing Out—and even if someone didn’t come to your event, they might come next time after seeing what a success it was.
Make hashtags your best friends
On social platforms that are hashtag-driven—like Twitter and Facebook—a solid hashtag strategy can make a difference as to whether or not potential customers can find you. They’re also a fun way for current customers to engage with your brewery.
In Rival IQ’s study, they found that Yuengling Beer’s average engagement rate across all of its Instagram posts was 2.55%—that’s 2.2 times higher than the industry average. The brand was consistently using a variety of hashtags to reach new audiences and improve the growth of followers. Rival IQ noted that seven hashtags per Instagram post seemed to be the optimal number.
Limit your Twitter hashtags to two, as studies show that more than two can reduce engagement. Use general industry terms such as #craftbeer or #craftbrewery, and include one or two of your own branded hashtags consistently used in your brewery marketing on both Instagram and Twitter.
Strategize, adapt, and have fun with your brewery marketing
Remember, your social media marketing needs to play up what your customers love about you. You have a cool personality, you’re in their backyard, and you serve high quality, unique brews. Pretend you’re talking to your closest friends and get creative—then pay attention to how your followers engage and adapt your content until you hit that sweet spot.
Want to spread the word of your craft brewery without lifting a finger? Use Everwall to create monthly contests that incentivize customers to snap photos of your brews and share them on social media! Start building your social wall today!
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