Is Your Social Media as Strong as Your Branding?

Creating a proper digital presence is something that your brewery’s brand needs to learn and adapt to over some time. Being everywhere can lead to being seen nowhere in some cases and wine expert Eric Guerra shared to brewery owners late in 2020 some tips to be cohesive from the taproom to the digital world.

“I would tell you that I’m a guy ​that does not have immense details​,” he said with a laugh to the group listening during the 2020 Sell More Beer Conference. ​”​​Have a simple plan​. Because the more complex it gets, the more difficult it gets for anybody to instigate.​”

Which Platform Works?

Like a good lawyer, the answer “it depends” is really the best answer for a specific brewery. Look at your demographics, and actually take the time to see where your base is.

“If you have a lot of play on Instagram, then use Instagram more than Facebook,” Guerra said. “I don’t think Twitter really works for any world. Candidly, that’s kind of more “in-the-moment” kind of stuff. So to me, it’s really Instagram, Facebook, and who knows where TikTok is gonna go. It could be the next one.

“But listen to where your customers are. Ask them what they’re doing. Watch them when they’re with you. But don’t spread yourself out. You don’t have to go on all the platforms, don’t think you have to do all these things. Don’t think you’re missing something.”

Guerra said that when he worked for Microsoft, Bill Gates would explain that being first in something isn’t important, but being best is.

“Mindy [Guerra’s wife] and I used to do a bunch of stuff on Periscope until we found out nobody was watching Periscope,” he said of his wine company. “So use the power of where your audience is, and use what the platform gives you.”

Go Live

Find ways to make live content versus other posts as they can generate more views.

​Both Instagram and Facebook seem to like live videos (Reels or Facebook Live) so embrace it.

“They want people watching their platform,” Guerra said. “They’re going to stream it out a lot more. … If you do something live, it goes out to I mean tens to hundreds of times more than just a regular post. And that’s the reason why Mindy and I will do wine tastings and we’ll do music shows.

“If you’re a [brewery] then why not do a beer tasting, why not have [consumers] in the taproom and show them when you guys are creating a new beer. Or do a little education series and have your brewmaster talking about it.”

READ MORE: The 4 Things You Need to do Internally to Focus Your Brand

Creating content stays on your site as well. Whenever Guerra does a Facebook Live, they may have 20,000 people see it live, but that number can double later in the week with later views.

“It stays in there and it becomes part of your brand content,” he said.

Email Still Works

Guerra admitted that he thought a lot of people were going to start moving away from emails.

“It’s probably the No. 1 way we get people to buy wine still,” he said. With some states allowing DTC for beer, this could be a unique way to expand your brewery’s brand as well.

It’s knowing how much to email is the key.

“Now, you can’t do it all the time,” Guerra said. “We did very infrequent emails. My company does this twice a month. We found that our consumer likes to hear from us, and they’ll forget about us if they don’t hear from us. But anything more than twice a month, they don’t want to hear from us that much. So that’s what works for our brand.

“And we don’t always sell something on email marketing, we give them something fun that’s going on. We say it’s never always selling. There’s a lot of companies out there that just sell, sell, sell. I think that’s okay if that’s your brand. But to me, that kind of gets a little tiring after a while. I think there’s a balance and email marketing, for me, has been very powerful.”

And with email database companies, it’s even easier to create and manage that information.

A Strong, Static Base Website​

Your website should be your static area, Guerra said. Put some dynamic information up there, but social media is for the in-the-moment information.

“So for my wine company, when we launch a new wine, we put it up on the website, but everything else on the website is pretty much [static],” he said. “You can drive yourself crazy changing your website all the time as well. It’s not as easy to change a website as it is for social media.”

Look at your website right now, Guerra challenged breweries. If it doesn’t match the experience of your taproom or your brand’s drinking experience, make the change now.

“If a customer comes to it within the next hour and it isn’t up to how you want it, then you lost, you failed,” he said. “You really didn’t come across the way you wanted to.”

He likened it to having a stellar taproom, but a miserable bathroom. The negative will be remembered more than the positives.

“If you spend that much energy putting things together, this demands your excellence as well,” he said. “And the website to me is the first place to start.”

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