Standing out from the clutter on the craft beer digital social sphere can be difficult, with the immense amount of competing brands and businesses clamoring for your customers’ attention. By remaining authentic to your brand and business plan, using the wide array of social media tools available and having fun, you can achieve great (and free!) exposure to grow a loyal audience. Here are our top tips for using social media as a marketing tool.
1. Take Quality Photos
Sharing beautiful, sometimes playful photographs of your product and space is the first step to showing that your brand is professional and noteworthy. Quality photos increase engagement and outreach, and show your product at its best. Good lighting goes a long way, so check before you shoot! Most modern cell phones have powerful cameras and can yield great results, but investing in an affordable SLR camera with video capabilities is often worth it in long run. Sole always shares great shots.
2. Create an Editorial Calendar
There’s simply no reason to take an extended hiatus from social media—so much happens in a brewery every day. Communicating with customers should be an easy process, and there is always something shareworthy at the brewery. Outline all the weekly events happening at your establishment and create a social media calendar to help you get organized. In addition to informing your guests about recent news, consistently updating your page will grow your brand’s reliability. However, don’t be afraid to change your calendar at the last minute to take advantage of trending topics or events.
3. Share Behind-the-Scenes Glimpses
Sharing candid and humorous content in addition to professional content can be the best thing for your brand. Your employees make your company, and sharing their quirky behavior while they go about their everyday activities is reflective of your larger company culture. Not only that, but sharing photos and videos of the actual brewing process engages guests in a way that was previously impossible. Adding hops to an upcoming IPA? Tease with a photo. Transferring a stout to a barrel? Upload a video and gain some followers who hopefully can’t wait for its release. Weyerbacher does an exceptional job of sharing quick glimpses into production.
4. Create Video Content
Video is trending right now on all social platforms and lets you share an insider’s peek into your business. Whether it’s an in-depth walkthrough of a brew day or a short look at what’s going on right now around the brewery, people love to experience your real-life moments. Using Facebook Live or Instagram Story are quick ways to invite people to follow along with daily operations and product releases. Outsourcing video production can prove beneficial for high-quality results. La Cabra does a great job by sharing videos of brewer Dan Popernack explaining newly-tapped beers.
5. Be Responsive
Fans and customers look to social media for answers about your company, so when they ask a question, it’s important to respond in a timely fashion. Having a designated person on duty to respond to or direct questions, concerns and complaints is crucial in delivering top-notch customer service. Create a plan for handling complaints and a protocol for responding within 24 hours when possible. Also, respond to guests who leave positive comments, too. Playing it cool and reposting great photos goes a long way with fan engagement.
6. Remember: It’s Not Rocket Science
However you decide to use social media,have fun with it! Get creative and stay true to your business’ core values and vibe, and followers will come. Social media is an extension of your business that will help you communicate with guests and take their valuable feedback into consideration when refining your processes and products. That feedback, whether via likes or comments or private messages, is valuable and usually representative of real-life wants and needs. Honing in on what works best for your business and knowing what your audience really responds to will help you improve day-to-day operations.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember you are simply talking to other people through social media. Representing your brand honestly, getting organized with a calendar and responding to comments quickly are the best practices for informing your audience. If you’re having trouble communicating your brand on social media, consider outsourcing the responsibility.
The Brewers of Pennsylvania is a nonprofit trade association that brings together leaders of Pennsylvania-based breweries in order to promote and protect the brewing industry in the state. Established in 2011, the Brewers of Pennsylvania serves the consuming public of Pennsylvania by encouraging brand diversity in the market. We believe in the nobility of brewing and hold dear the great traditions and history of Pennsylvania brewing.