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Craft Beer and Hat

Social Media for Breweries

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.

Teaser post for State Traditions Spring 2019 line.

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.

Story Highlights

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

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.

Working with Social Media Influencers

Working with Social Media Influencers

If you own a relatively well known business more than likely over the past 24-36 months you’ve been approached by a “Social Media Influencer” promising to grow your social media following for a free meal, hotel room or products.

How do you know this person can legitimately provide the services they’re promising? Do you need to pay them? Do you need an agreement in place to work with them? We’ll lay out a few key points that can help make it easier to try and work with real influencers to help grow your business.

  1. Ask Questions
    • Treat them just like you would anyone trying to sell you anything. A healthy degree of skepticism is ok in this situation. Especially if they are asking for free products, services, or money.
    • Ask what the demographics of their following.
      • Do they line up with your ideal customer or customers you’re looking to attract?
    • Ask about any past work they have done with other businesses.
      • Can they give specific examples of growing followers, or increasing sales
  2. Set Expectations
    • Set very clear guidelines of what you would like this person to achieve.
      • An example of this could be we would like to see a 5% increase in social media followers.
      • Another example could be giving them a discount code or coupon to try and track sales that originated from this person or persons.
    • Explain exactly what support or services you will provide them with.
  3. Put Together an Agreement
    • This part is crucial if there is a transfer or money.
      • It doesn’t have to be written by a lawyer, but having something in writing can be very handy if this person fails to live up to expectations.
      • The basic outline should be (insert influencer or their company name) will provide (insert expectations) for (insert goods, services, or $ amount) by (insert DATE)
  4. Measure Results
    • This last step can often get overlooked but it is just as important as the other steps
    • Can you tangibly look back and see positive results from this experiment?
      • If yes, then it might be worth developing an ongoing relationship with this person or persons.
      • If you didn’t get tangible results, take it in stride and learn from the experience.

Influencers can be a valuable tool to your social media strategy, and when utilized properly can provide a huge value to your business. Summer is a great time to dip a toe into the influencer ecosystem, with so many people traveling it is a great opportunity to gain new followers and customers that you might never have the opportunity to reach otherwise.

What to do when Instagram hides your likes…

I’m sure you’ve read the dozens of articles the past few weeks about Instagram testing out hiding the number of likes on posts. Now this is only a test and there’s no reason to think that Instagram is going to roll this update out world-wide, but it doesn’t hurt to go ahead and start planning just in case they do.

So the question is, if others can’t see how many likes are on a post, how will this affect Instagram’s algorithm, my discoverability, and the ability to get in front of my followers?

First things first, likes do not equal dollars. Just because a post gets a lot of likes doesn’t mean that it translates to actual business.

At this point obviously there’s no real way to tell if this will have an effect on fan interaction and discoverability, but in my opinion it does show that Facebook and Instagram are pushing more and more towards conversation and what they call “real connections”. So in my opinion that’s the biggest thing your Instagram strategy should focus on. Here’s a few ideas to keep in mind if this update comes to the rest of the world.

Encourage Conversations

As of this moment, Instagram seems to prefer posts that have lots of comments, specifically conversations. If Instagram does go the route of removing likes it seems like even more emphasis will be put on comments and conversations. Your content should try to encourage people to tag a friend or share their experience.

Instagram post with lots of comments performs well
Stories. Stories. Stories.

When Instagram introduced a stories function many thought that would be the end of snapchat. Stories have become a valuable tool for brands to continue to get in front of their followers even when their main posts might not be easily seen.

Example of popular stories
The stories that are pushed to the left are a combo of updated recently and ones that you interact with the most

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the stories that tend to show up on the top left of your screen are the brands / people you tend to watch the most. This absolutely falls in line with Facebook always saying that they want to show the content they think people want to see first (not necessarily chronologically). So with that being the case your brand should have a solid stories strategy to get as many views as possible and be able to stay in front of your fans even if your main posts don’t.

Increase the Number of Posts

This is an easy strategy. Most brands don’t post enough as is, due to the sheer number of brands people typically follow your post might just get lost in the shuffle. By increasing the number of posts in a day, you’re increasing the likelihood that your posts will be seen by fans.

3 Tips to Improve Your Instagram Page

Social media is hard. For every business you follow that has 50,000+ followers there are businesses that are struggling to get their content in front of their followers. Here’s 3 tips you can use to fix your Instagram.

If you look at how much time people spend on Instagram it makes sense why it’s one of the most popular social media tools. It’s a beautifully constructed platform designed to keep your attention as long as possible. If your business has struggled to reach your followers lately it might be time to retool your IG strategy.

  1. Generate More Content
  2. Encourage a Conversation
    • Right now Facebook as a company wants to encourage authentic connections with people. They view this as conversations.
    • Comments are one of the biggest boosters of your content in a Facebook or Instagram feed.
  3. Location for Local Exposure
    • Instagram’s explore page is one of it’s best features to keep the user’s attention.
    • Adding your business’s location to your posts helps local users near you find you from the explore page.
    • Adding your location to your stories also groups you on the “Local Story” in your and can let other users who don’t follow you find you.

You’re Not Posting Enough. Fix Your Social Media Content.

“I don’t want to overwhelm people.” One of the most common quotes I hear when I sit down with businesses owners.

The fact of the matter is that almost every business is fighting a battle with one arm behind it’s back. For the most people people are spending more time on their phone than ever, but thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and Google they’re also seeing less of your content than ever before. 

I relate social media and blog posts to swinging at pitches in baseball. You can’t hit the ball if you’re not swinging. You’re also not going to have a great batting average if you’re only swinging once a game. 

Let’s look at it from a simple math perspective. Most companies post between 5-7 times a week on social media. Let’s take 6 x 52 weeks per year. 

That’s 312 social media posts per year.

312 times you’re hopefully getting in front of your fans (I say hopefully because let’s be honest the algorithms will come into effect.)

If you just added 4 more posts per week…..

That’s 520 social media posts per year.

208 MORE opportunities to be in front of potential customers.

Now to keep the baseball analogy going, you can’t swing at bad pitches and think you’ll make the hall of fame. That means you can’t put out terrible or uninteresting content. Because the answer isn’t just post more often and get more customers. The answer is to figure out what your customers want to see and create posts and blogs about that. Come up with a plan and strategy ahead of time and create images and videos that can be used for multiple posts. 

If you feel like your social media has gone stale. Get in touch with us, we’d be happy to offer so help. 

LinkedIn Social Media Strategy

What platforms are you currently using for social media?”

“Right now we use Facebook and Instagram mostly. With some Twitter.”

“What about LinkedIn?”

A lot of businesses forget about social media channels outside of the big three. Some companies include Pinterest, and a lot have moved away from Snapchat with the addition of stories to Instagram, but a ton of companies neglect LinkedIn. 

And for some it’s easy to forget about LinkedIn, it’s not as popular as Facebook, it’s not as active as Twitter, and not hip and sexy like Instagram and Snapchat. But, the one thing that LinkedIn does have going for it, is a large active user base of business minded professionals. 

It’s astounding to me the number of B2B companies focusing their marketing efforts on traditionally B2C platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and rarely, if ever post on LinkedIn.

And while Snap Inc’s IPO got lots of media attention this year, most people forget last year LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft for around $26 Billion.  That’s right, LinkedIn the red-headed stepchild of social media is worth almost as much as Snapchat.

LinkedIn has 467 Million users and 25% of those are using it daily. The advantage that LinkedIn has over traditional social media is that it’s the “business” social media. It’s where you go to connect, network and learn more about companies, what they are about, and their employees. So this makes it a great place to put B2B focused content.

Now, LinkedIn, like any other social media site takes time, strategy, and effort to make it an effective tool. But your company’s strategy can largely be the same as any other site. The biggest focus you should have when posting to LinkedIn is providing value to your potential customers. What does providing value mean? Well, it means something different for every company. For example, Process Marketing shares information on what companies should look for when redesigning a website, or how to create a YouTube series that can drive traffic for your business.

Another example might be a restaurant, bar, hotel or brewery showcasing their ability to become and event space. B2B and networking events can be an additional revenue source for the hospitality industry during slow days / seasons. Anything your company can create that can make your company the authority on your services is going to be incredibly effective.

Active LinkedIn users love to share informative content to their connections. We tend to tell our customers that any informative blog post or great infographic is a quick and effective piece of content to start out sharing.

This is probably a no-brainer, but you should also encourage your employees to share company updates on LinkedIn. Their connections might find the content useful and become potential clients.

LinkedIn should be a part of of almost every company’s digital strategy in one way or another. If you’re not sure where to start or want some direction get in touch with us, we would absolutely love to help you get started.

As always if you enjoyed this article or found it helpful in any way, feel free to like, leave a comment, or share it across the internet. Thanks for reading.