CBC Week — Getting Over the Social Media Hump

During the week of April 20 — in place of what would have been the in-person Craft Brewers Conference — Brewer has had a chance to talk with some presenters from this year’s event and they shared a bit of what they had planned to present. The CBC is doing an online event with free seminars through May 31.

Lost Abbey’s Adam Martinez said that for many, social media posting of the past has lulled breweries into a false sense of security today.

“It did a great job of getting us into this warm, happy, place, where all we have to do is post something and everyone will hear about it. And that is not the case anymore,” said the San Diego brewery‘s Director of Media and Marketing.

Martinez, along with Foothills Brewing Marketing Director Ray Goodrich, was to speak this week at San Antonio’s Craft Brewers Conference on marketing budgets. ​Of course, it’s not an easy answer as each brewery is different in size, scope, market reach, and needs, but the duo — along with North Carolina Brewers Guild’s Associate Director Lisa Parker — was going to discuss many aspects​ that need to be factored in.

“People have to know what is around them and figure out their particular market needs for their demographic and the geographic location,” Goodrich said on what he had planned to speak on. “Once they have all that figured out — how to allocate everything — allocate the staff; the money to set aside; how to implement it and all that kind of kind of stuff.”

Added Martinez: “I think we were preaching to not only the marketing directors but any owners that are in the audience that would be like, ‘Oh, hey, maybe I should do paid advertising on social media channels.’

“I think the goal was really to get people ideas as to where they should be spending the money. And what works in San Diego may not work in North Carolina, and that’s OK.”

Social media now needs to have a cost factor to it. Martinez said impressions from an unpaid post versus a paid post is significant.​

​”I think social media-wise you have to put money down. It’s no longer an ‘if,’ it’s a how much​,” he said.

Traditional media​ — like radio, TV or newspaper, even billboards — can depend on the brand. ​

“I think it makes more sense if you have more of a brewpub model versus just a brewery​,” he said​. ​”Traditional​ media is really tough for craft beers because the ad buys are so expensive, and you get even less of an idea of what your impressions are compared to a social media post.”

So when should a brewery start focusing on marketing? Martinez says ‘Day 1.’

“If you don’t have someone watching your brand and protecting it, they’re in trouble,” he said. “I think you need someone on a marketing level … at least wearing that hat along with some others.”

Martinez explained how Lost Abbey, which has a more national scope than Foothills — where it sticks to six local states near its home base of Winston-Salem, North Carolina — runs more of a hybrid marketing department where he does most of it, but he does work with an outside graphic designer, for example.

“If there’s something that I can’t get done in a timely fashion if I don’t have the time I’ll pay someone to just do it for me,” he said. “A couple hundred bucks to save me two hours of staring at my screen. I’ll do that all day.”

Investing in people was a key, he added.

“The more people I have, the more value you add to your entire department,” he noted.

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