Is Instagram useful for beer brands?


Picture of someone taking a picture of a beer as part of post on relevance of Instagram to beer brands by social media agency Clarity Comms

Instagram has been around on Android and iOS since 2012. 6 years later it is the 2nd most actively used social platform with 1 billion active users monthly. More brands are using Instagram to grow their audience, boost website traffic and market products than ever before. But how do beer brands benefit from this social network?

Utilising Instagram

Instagram is a platform on which lifestyle, food, and drink content thrive. People’s faces, eye-catching images, and making + doing activities all get high engagement. Just search the hashtag #CraftBeer and you’ll get over 18 million results. Hence, Instagram is the perfect platform for craft breweries. But to best make use of it, beer brands need to identify how they are unique from each other.

Beer is as much about the process as it is about the product so peel back the branding to provide brewing insight. Every brewer has a different personality, every brewery a different tone. Why not jump into these standout points and make your feed your own? Beer brands on Instagram vary hugely in the themes they cover. From colour clashes to behind the beer to the people who form their community.

Furthermore, success on the app is helped by the hugely passionate and engaged community of beer drinkers. Review accounts and home brewers are popping up as far as the eye can see. Taking advantage of this blooming group of users can propel beer brands into growth.

Feeds from @otherhalfnyc, @northernmonk, and @brewbynumbers (Left to Right)

Feeds from @otherhalfnyc, @northernmonk, and @brewbynumbers (Left to Right)

Demographic and Reach

Instagram boasts over 1 billion monthly active users – 3rd highest (and 500 million daily active users)! Having it in your social roster massively widens your net to recruit new drinkers because it has huge global reach.

Instagram’s demographic moves away from the over 50 age group, an audience Facebook has monopolised. On Instagram, there is an opportunity to market your beer to younger discerning drinkers – the 25- to 35-year-old bracket. Many breweries have a stronghold of loyal older drinkers. However, the very same want to reach younger drinkers who lack awareness of their brand. Instagram can consequently open the door to this less accessible, more specific age group without compromising existing loyal drinkers.

Stories and Highlights

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‘Stories’ is the pièce de résistance of Instagram features, used by over 400 million users daily. Well-established on Snapchat, Instagram took this feature and made it into a tool for businesses. The temporary 24-hour stories can be ‘immortalised’ through the ‘Highlights’ feature.

Entering a brand’s Facebook page can sometimes present an overwhelming amount of information and no real insight. In contrast, Instagram is clean and uncomplicated. Consequently, it provides the greatest (most time efficient) insight into a brand with minimal consumer confusion.

Beer brands are capable of wringing the best engagement out of Instagram, for example, Stone Brewing, Budweiser, and BrewDog. These brands, importantly, update their stories regularly. As Instagram’s algorithm tends to bury feed content, stories help to remind users of your brand, signposting them to your content.

Additionally, these brands use clearly labelled highlights to cover their most engaging activities. Stone highlighted their Pink Boots Brew Day and their Beer Festival which both had great story content. By doing this they highlight exactly what makes them unique. Therefore, any new users stay engaged longer with their profile, perhaps even recruiting them to follow. Even more extensive is Budweiser’s use of IGTV – read more about that here.

Plenty of brands make minimal to no use of stories. North Brew Co use static pictures where video stories could provide an interesting contrast to static feed content. Similarly, Left Handed Giant Brewing, Northern Monk and Brew by Numbers all lack any story or highlight content.

Engagement

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These graphs show ‘Facebook vs Instagram’ following and likes for Northern Monk, Brew by Numbers and Magic Rock. Instagram produces more engagement per follower for the UK breweries. revealing an Instagram audience thirsty for beer content. Engagement grows even more upon using hashtags (of which 7/10 are branded) and geo-tags. Throw in the fact 80% of influencers prefer Instagram for brand collaborations. Suddenly, the opportunity for growth is immense

Widening Horizons

As more people join Instagram, the community of beer drinkers will grow evermore. We need to stay on top of trends like this to stay relevant to our audience. Beer brands making use of the social network will be able to actively join conversations. By being vocal, these brands will interact with more beer lovers. Increased interaction leads to increased engagement and the potential to recruit drinkers from further afield. This is what such a visible platform like Instagram can do for you. With Instagram acting increasing like a directory to businesses, is there any reason not to jump on?

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