Marketing plays a major role in a brewery’s success, but many smaller breweries tend to have less time, energy, and money to devote to social media marketing strategies. That is why we wanted to throw together a quick list of our 5 favorite (mostly) free ways to improve your digital footprint and increase the amount of customers visiting your brewery. I say mostly free because while the techniques do not cost money, some require a website and a decent camera (like most new phones have). While some of these may sound obvious, you would be surprised at how many breweries leave out most items on this list.
1. Where You Are Located and What Is Your Style?
Surprisingly, many breweries do not mention their location on their website and social media pages. Your location, or locations, should be located in the bios of your Facebook and Instagram pages and on the main landing page of your website. There should be no question as to where you are. You should also have your business location registered in ‘Google My Business’ to allow your brewery to pop up on location-based Google searches. Do not underestimate the power that a search as simple as “breweries near me” can have.
In addition to location, you should capture your style on your Facebook, Instagram, and website. You don’t need to mention the fact that you think you make great beer. Everyone expects the beer to be great. If you don’t make great beer, you are probably in the wrong business. Instead, focus on what sets you apart. Do you focus on German-styled lagers? Or Belgian-styled ales? Do you focus on low-alcohol beers? Customers want to be able to easily find this information and know what to expect before they step into your brewery. Include what you can fit in your bio, and regularly touch upon what you can’t in your posts. For example, if you are known for award-winning lagers, put that in your bio! And please, please, please, keep an updated tap list!
2. What Makes You Different?
Building off of your style, make sure to address anything else that makes you different from your competitors. Are you the only award-winning brewery in town? Do you serve food or host food trucks? Do you have a heated/air-conditioned outdoor patio? What kind of entertainment (local bands, comedians, trivia) do you host? Do you have a unique theme? Are you dog-friendly? These are all things that need to be mentioned on your website and promoted on your social media pages. Think about it from a consumer’s standpoint – would you rather visit a brewery that boasts award-winning beers accompanied by delicious food and a talented band? Or would you rather stop by a brewery that only has “great beer and good times” in its bio? Don’t kid yourself, you know the answer.
3. Use High-Quality Images
I can’t even begin to count how many small breweries post terrible pictures on their social media pages. Please don’t be that brewery! You need high-quality pictures with good lighting to make up the majority of your Instagram and Facebook pages. It is entirely possible to take your pictures with both iPhone and Android cameras. All of the pictures on my blog are taken on an iPhone.
Make sure you also consider how the customer will react to the picture. If you post a picture of what you claim is a German Pils-styled beer and instead of posting a brilliantly clear, golden beer, you post a murky, yellow beer, potential customers may instantly form an opinion of the quality of your product. Only post pictures of your product that make you proud.
In addition to pictures, graphics can enhance your pages. To design graphics yourself, sign up for a free Canva account. You can learn all you need to about Canva through Google searches and their free resources, but in short, you can use Canva to create professional posters for events, menus, infographics, and much more.
For an example of the importance of lighting, clean glassware, a good poor, etc, consider the following pictures.
Believe it or not, these are both beers from the same keg, but the difference is unmistakable. I purposely poured Golden Lager A after jostling the keg around to show that haze in a non-hazy style is off-putting. Golden Lager A also relies on dull, artificial light while Golden Lager B utilizes bright, natural light. Finally, Golden Lager A has a very busy background that distracts from the beer itself, while Golden Lager B has a neutral background. This example may seem extreme, but you would be surprised by how many breweries regularly post pictures like Golden Lager A.
4. Post As Often As Possible On Social Media Pages
This is possibly the most tedious aspect of social media marketing, but for the best results, you should be posting on Instagram and Facebook at least once per day. But, don’t be spammy and post a bunch of nonsense in a row! Instead, include beer releases, upcoming events, merchandise, and if you have it, food. Don’t be afraid to reuse beers on tap that you have already taken pictures of, just spread them out and change up the backgrounds and captions. Instagram and Facebook prioritize active accounts. Their algorithms also prefer reels and videos over plain pictures, so make sure you regularly include videos of things such as your brewing process, brewery tour, pouring beer, etc. See what performs well and what doesn’t, and then post more of what your customers like.
5. Stay In Contact With Local Media
One major marketing resource that many breweries don’t take advantage of is local media sources. Get connected with local newspapers, magazines, and radio stations. If you win an award at the state or national level, write a press release and try to get it published in local beer or travel magazines. Reach out to your local radio stations to see if you can talk about your upcoming events on a morning show. Most of the time you can find their contact information on their website. If not, find them on social media and send them a direct message. Many of these sources are looking for content to promote and will allow you to talk about your brewery for free. Radio, newspaper, and even television exposure can lead to a major increase in your brewery’s traffic.
With these 5 marketing tips, you can greatly improve the quality of the content on your website and social media channels. High-quality social media channels have a direct impact on how many new customers you can bring in. While these techniques are free, they do require time and effort. You won’t grow your channels overnight, but with consistent, quality content, you will see consistent growth in engagement, leading to new impressions and exposure to new customers.
If you need help with your social media marketing, visit our Advertise With Us page and see what services we can provide. If we can help, fill out our contact form and we will reach out as soon as we can. Best of luck growing your channels! Cheers!