Social Marketing in Craft Beer. Tell a Story, Build the Brand.
Craft beer drinkers are passionate about their beer and they are sharing it on social media. That makes social marketing a powerful tool to grow your brand, engage with enthusiasts and increase sales. In fact, according to a recent article in Forbes, Social Media + Craft Beer Causes Euphoria And Evangelism for many Brewers it is their only marketing tool.
Online conversations about taste, quality, and the newest offerings can influence and shape opinions before your beer is even sampled. Research shows that the leading themes of conversation surrounding craft beer online are:
• Expectation – 42%
“Can’t wait to taste test #cubadupa
• Taste – 34%
“@BryanTastesBeer Liefmans Cuvee-Brut is a delightful blend of oud bruin (Flemish brown ale) and fresh cherries
• Acquisition – 46%
• Quality – 21%
The general online discussions about craft beer are positive. The sharing of new finds, opinions, and experiences in a positive light reflects a level of quality found in the industry as a whole.
Paying attention to your social marketing is what will ensure that you are a part of that important conversation. It is especially vital to connect with the coveted millennial audience and their $200 billion in annual buying power.
The good news for craft is according to Money magazine in 10 Things Millennials Buy Far More Often Than Everyone Else, millennials have demonstrated a distaste for mass-market beers—and a preference and willingness to spend more for your products. In fact, they view the type of beer they drink as a sense of self-expression. In a recent survey 29% of them believe the beer you drink says a lot about you.
Social media can help you tap into these conversations and make sure your brand is one they want to identify with. But it is going to take more than just tweeting about your newest release to get their attention.
This audience in particular looks for authenticity in their brands and associations. The way to achieve this is by telling your story.
For example, instead of just describing your latest flavor profile, talk about how your brewmaster found the inspiration. Cape May Brewing took this angle to a new level with their Pope inspired brew #YOPO.
Don’t just list suggested food pairings. Instead wax poetic about the flavor explosion you enjoyed when pairing your latest brew with the perfect offering from the area’s most popular food truck. Tell the story, paint a picture, make your audience “taste” the experience – “waiting in line, picking exactly the right thing from the menu, sitting at the picnic table with the sun on your back…POW!”
A story like this on your blog (of course you have a blog) can be material for dozens of different social media posts about the experience, including shout-outs to the popular food truck and their fans.
Make it about the experience – your beer with food, friends, the environment, and music. Not coincidently, these are the top topics (in this order) mentioned by millennials with craft beer.
You have passion for your beer and your brand. Share that through storytelling and bring the spirit of craft brewing to life with consumers to capture their attention.
Once you have that, you can let your beer speak for itself, and the consumer will speak on behalf of your beer – on social media.