Craft beer fans are extremely passionate, but tend to have a short attention span, always looking for the next great beer. Social media for breweries can be a challenge, but with just a few tricks you can capture the attention of your followers.
This post outlines what many people in the craft beer industry see as a problem. There are too many craft beer fans are always searching for the next great beer and brewers are having to release new limited beers faster than ever. This is definitely a problem for brewers who have having to try and come up with as many as 25 new beers each year, but with the right marketing and social media strategy, you can take full advantage of each release and make each one extremely profitable.
Recognizability and Branding
Whatever your branding is for your brand keeping a consistent theme across all your beers is key. Ideally you want a customer to pick up any of your beers in a can or bottle and be able to easily identify it as yours instead of your competitor. It’s more than just a logo, it’s a consistency in label art, naming, etc.
Building the Buzz
Once you have the idea for what your new beer will be and the branding down pat, start teasing the concept online. An easy way to do this is just with a simple instagram post featuring the main ingredient and a release date. For example if you’re releasing an imperial stout made with local doughnuts just grab a couple of doughnuts and shoot a picture and have the release date as a caption. Give your fans just enough info to get their attention but not enough to completely spell out everything.
High Proof Media took the same approach when unveiling the new spring line of apparel for our long time client State Traditions. We teased new never before seen designs for spring 2019 with posts and stories with subtle clues to the new logos.
Now take the next step. Another photo with your label designed staged with key ingredients describing the beer with the release date. Continue to post variations of this over the coming days to maximize the number of people that will eventually see these posts.
This section is specific to Instagram, utilizing stories has become a great way to get in front of your followers throughout the day. This is a great spot to really play up the ingredients of your beer and continually hammer your fans with your impending release in a fun and playful way. Every time you add to your story it gets pushed to the front of the story feed so make sure you space them out throughout the day and this will give you even more opportunities to get in front of your followers.
The Power of Friends – Facebook Event
Facebook events are typically an underutilized tool. By creating an event you get to tap into something special, that annoying red notification on the Facebook app. When that red badge appears people want to immediately see what it is.
When someone marks that they are interested in attending an event their friends get a notification soon after. (Facebook understands FOMO, keep reading on that)
So not only are you using another tool to catch your Facebook fans attention you’re now getting in front of their friends, which you usually have to pay for via Facebook ads.
Video – Google’s not so secret weapon
Most small businesses right now are spending an overwhelming majority of their time on Facebook and Instagram. Rightfully so, it’s where a majority of the social media attention is. But, a lot of businesses are missing out on the opportunity that is staring them right in the face, YouTube. Google’s video platform is the second most popular search engine in the world right behind Google itself. The average number of hours of videos watched on YouTube is increasing every year and not slowing down any time soon.
By creating descriptive videos about your latest small batch release you’re doing two things. First, you’re using another platform to get in front of potential customers. Second, you’re helping your SEO. Google loves video right now and anything that goes on YouTube helps with search engine optimization. So taking the time to shoot a quick 2-3 minute video (which can also be used on Facebook and Instagram) only helps your business.
Scarcity is Key
FOMO, scarcity, whatever you want to call it, people want to be part of the in crowd, especially craft beer drinkers. They don’t want to be the one person who missed their chance to try the new hazy double IPA, fruit sour, or Barrel Aged Chocolate Cake Imperial Stout. So make sure to emphasize that this is a limited release and even go so far as to mention how many bottles, cans or kegs you have to let people know once it’s gone it’s gone.
Think about how liquor stores announce ahead of time about shipments of Pappy Van Winkle. They’ll say that they’re only getting 12 bottles and will still have 40 people line up for the chance. Fear is a powerful motivator.
Release Day & Follow Up
The day of your release is just as crucial as all the buildup before hand. You want to make sure you show people enjoying your latest beer. So make sure you have post ready to go with people lining up (even if it’s only 5-10 people, it’s better than nothing). But, what’s even more important is reposting your followers with the beer. Even in today’s social media driven world, word of mouth is king. By reposting someone with your beer you’re giving validity to it and having their seal of approval is big.
This means every time someone posts a story with your beer repost it. Every time your tagged in a picture repost it, even if it’s days later. Using fans for social media content is always a hit.
Now that you have a step by step guide, use some of this techniques on your next small batch release and watch the fans line up for your next beer.