Finding Your Brewery’s Voice on Social Media

Your brewery can tell its story in house very well, but how is it being communicated digitally?

Beyond the website layout, brewery’s like Round Town Brewery in Indianapolis and Greenbush in Sawyer, Michigan take to Facebook and Instagram daily to inform, entertain and entice consumers.

In the end, it comes down to another avenue of branding.

“The one common thread we’ve maintained throughout all of it is our love for Indianapolis and our collective effort to serve this city and its surrounding areas as effectively as possible,” said Max Schenk, the owner of Round Town. “The brand itself has been developed and cared for by all of us in one capacity or another, and continues to improve in my opinion, largely due to Brewer Bob’s natural artistic talent and history with the industry.”

Ali Brodhacker, the Marketing Director for Greenbush Brewing said the brewery is such a multifaceted company that there is always something to talk about.

“We don’t see Twitter as a major contender in sharing our information, but more of a platform to engage with the community,” she said. Scott Sullivan, the founder and owner, controls the brewery’s Twitter account.

“He enjoys engaging with our followers through that avenue, sometimes ruffling a few feathers in the process,” Brodhacker said. “Scott is the vision of the company and therefore the overall message is his.

“[My]  job is to relay that message to the public, to speak in Scott’s voice if you will.”

Schenk said she handles Facebook, Instagram, and Untappd while Brewer Bob also contributes to Untappd and Instagram, and fully handles the Twitter page.

“I would say I have the heaviest hand in the overall message, but we keep an ongoing dialogue between all of our employees about what we are communicating and how we are communicating it,” she said. “This process has continuously evolved from conception to today.”

Social media is Round Town’s most utilized form of marketing by far, Schenk said.

They tend to use Facebook to communicate events, hours, and closings, or to celebrate any new additions to the taproom or beer lineup.

Instagram is used to promote those items as well, especially when they are doing something off-site.

“We also try to use this forum to promote our city, even if it doesn’t necessarily pertain to Round Town,” she said. “For example, we will occasionally post a photo of a local attraction or event.”

The Twitter page is used more for commenting and communicating about industry-related items, and is not as heavily utilized for Round Town’s own self-promotion.

“We do strive for the three above forums to not be a carbon copy of one another, even if each may be used to communicate a common message,” Schenk said. “We also try to follow anyone who is following us.”

Another important social media tool is beer rating sites, like Untappd while working with a statewide app called Indiana on Tap.

Paul Arney, of The Ale Apothecary in Bend Oregon said that his small-batch brewery doesn’t use Facebook and he does use Instagram, but admits he isn’t maximizing the use of it.

“I really hope that our brewery can benefit from these things but not rely on them,” he said. “I tried having someone else tell our story online, but [I] had to take it back as I haven’t figured out a way to hand over the reins of that particular monster yet.

“I cannot ever see me outsourcing this stuff.”

Outsourcing social media content is not a strategy Round Town has ever implemented and they have no immediate plans to do so.

“I just know it works best for me to have the most direct involvement that I can in order to keep my thumb on everything so to speak,” Schenk said.

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