Top Four Tips For Using Social Media To Promote Your Brewery

Social Media and The Conversion of a Non-Believer

Over the last few years, I’ve talked about deleting my Facebook account.  People would get mad at me since they’d send me a Facebook message and I wouldn’t get back to them for three months because I wouldn’t ever check my notifications.   After I found my beautiful wife after college, Facebook just didn’t seem to serve much of a purpose for me anymore and I lost interest.  I got my first personal Twitter account around a year ago and had tweeted a total of 4 times.  Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat were things that my sister or wife would try to explain to me what they were and what purpose they served.  To sum it up, I was a non-believer of social media and didn’t really get the point.

As I was in the process of starting up MicroBrewr, I created a token Twitter and Facebook account just because I thought that having those pages would make the site look more “professional”.  I wasn’t planning on putting much effort into those pages because I didn’t think I’d get that much return for all the time that was required.  When I finally launched the site, I had a couple of Facebook likes and maybe a handful of followers on Twitter.  Then, something crazy happened that instantly turned me into a believer in social media.

Some Shares of the MicroBrewr Article on Twitter

Some Shares of the MicroBrewr Article on Twitter

When I launched MicroBrewr, I was hoping for maybe a couple of hundred people to visit within the first week.  After all, MicroBrewr was a brand new site out there that no one had ever heard of. I figured that I should send out a post to the few followers that I had about the articles that I was including in the launch.  The morning of the launch, I sent out a tweet and Facebook post on one of articles which was called 61 Brewers Speak Out: What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting a Brewery.  Suddenly, my phone started buzzing with a number of people who had shared the link.  This post took off and lead to hundreds of tweets and over 3000 page likes on Facebook.  The sharing took on a life of its own and led to 25,125 unique visitors within the first week of having the site launched.

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With most craft breweries, advertising budgets are tight (if they even exist) and social media gives you a great way to create loyal fans for free.  As we discussed in the post How Small Craft Brewers Continue to Dominate the Corporate Giants, one of the key drivers of the craft beer movement is people wanting to buy local and know who is brewing their beer.  Social media gives you an easy connection to build those lasting relationships which translates into loyal fans.  If you’re running a brewery or are thinking of starting one, there’s no doubt that time is also tight so here’s some quick tips on how to get the most return out of your precious time.

Top Four Tips When Using Social Media For Your Brewery

You Can’t Do It All – One thing that kept getting me stuck is that I was overwhelmed by the number of social media sites that were out there.  I figured that if I was going to do one, I had to do them all.  After some soul searching I decided that I needed to focus on just a couple and do them well.  Since this arena is constantly changing, I’m continually looking for changes in demographics and trends to see which ones will give the best response (here’s a great update of 2013 social media demographics).  For breweries, Facebook and Twitter are still key but there are a couple of others that seem to be emerging.  Instagram has potential since users have very high levels of engagement and is very skewed towards younger users that are very supportive of the craft beer industry (as long as they are drinking age).  The other one that I believe is key is Untappd since I don’t know how you could get a much more targeted audience than that.  The key is to pick a few social media platforms to focus on and do them well.

No One Likes Someone Who Talks About Themselves All the Time – While you should be sending out reminders of the next brewery event or new beer you’re releasing, these should not be the only thing that you’re sending.  With the bombardment of content that our society gets especially now with social media, people are very reluctant at being sold to.  While talking about that happy hour special is great, make sure you’re also actually connecting with people rather than trying to just sell to them.  Once people get to know you through social media, when you do send out those posts promoting your new small batch beer, people will be much more willing to listen.  Gary Vaynerchuk wrote a great book about this called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook which I’d highly recommend checking out if you get a chance.

Each Social Network Has Its Own Rules That You Don’t Want To Break  If you started out like me and didn’t use social media much before, it takes a bit to learn the “rules” of each platform.  People communicate differently on each platform and if you don’t take the time to learn the right way to share, prepare to be ignored.  Some examples that I see every day are people who automatically share copy their Twitter posts to Facebook.  If I see you talking about “@someone” on Facebook like you’d reference a person in Twitter, I know that you automatically updated your Facebook page and I immediately lose that personal connection with you.  If you’re new to a social network, Gary V’s book that I referenced above is a great way to get you quickly up to speed.

Honestly Ask Yourself If You’d Share What You’re About To Post if It Came Across Your Feed – Social media can have amazing returns if you put out content worth sharing.  The beauty of social media is that if you send out good content, the sharing can take on a life of its own and reach so many more people that you could have yourself.  Think of how you scan through your feed on Facebook or Twitter and how little time you spend looking at each individual post.  If you’re like me, you’ll probably scroll though quite a few posts before stopping to take a closer look at a picture or headline that catches your eye.  Taking the extra few minutes to make that content stand out can really make a difference on the engagement and ultimately new fans that you get for your brewery.

Since time and money is tight, I’ve put together an e-book with six free social media tools that you can use to build your presence online and get your beer into the hands of more people.  As my thanks for visiting MicroBrewr, simply click the button below and I’ll send you the e-book free to your email.


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4 replies
  1. Hayden Little
    Hayden Little says:

    I think the best part of this is when you tell us to sit back and ask “would I share that” because I’ve seen a lot of posts that missed that step

  2. Alex Standiford
    Alex Standiford says:

    Respect what makes different social networks tick. I have written articles on LinkedIn, where it was very popular. I then shared that same link on appropriate subreddits, and got a completely different opinion of the article. I didn’t feel that the content was bad (I never write bad content on purpose), but clearly the content was not good for Reddit. This was a hard-lesson I had to learn.

    Learning the rules of each platform is definitely important. It takes time to understand what makes a social network tick, and each one runs differently. If you aren’t a professional who is focused on keeping up with these trends, your best bet is to experiment with a few, figure out what naturally works with you, and pursue that network aggressively.

    Great article Nathan!


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