Beverage marketers raise awareness and start dialogues with fans on social media
Alcohol brands are naturally social companies, with marketing aimed at encouraging friends to spend time together. In keeping with this sociability, many companies are turning to Facebook to raise brand awareness and build community with fans.
Social media measurement company Simply Measured tracked engagement with alcohol brands’ posts on Facebook and found that the average amount of user interaction with brand content increased in July 2012, as compared to January 2012. Heineken, the brand that had the highest number of Facebook “likes” in July 2012, saw an average of 8,459 pieces of engagement (including “likes,” comments and shares) per brand post that month. This was up from an average of 3,520 pieces of engagement per brand post in January 2012.
Other beer, wine and spirits brands, including Jack Daniel’s Whiskey, Bud Light, Coors Light, Smirnoff US and yellowtail, also saw increased engagement. By comparison, Budweiser, Hennessy and Absolut saw a drop in engagement per brand post in July.
The rise in engagement for many alcohol brands is interesting, especially given that Facebook introduced the new Timeline for brands in February 2012. Overall engagement data focusing on the Timeline transition has been mixed. A March 2012 study from EdgeRank Checker, a tool that allows companies to check their exposure within Facebook, found that switching to Timeline had no real impact on engagement. Specifically, 41% of pages that had converted to Timeline saw increased engagement with their pages, while 38% of non-converted pages also saw increased engagement.
“Social allows us to engage with consumers in a dialogue one-on-one,” said Kevin George, senior vice president and global CMO of spirits company Beam, which owns brands including Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey. “It gives us the ability to listen to what consumers are saying about our brand and make decisions based on that. And it helps us drive sales by encouraging people to find our products or directing them to find our products.”
Indeed, in a December 2011 survey of US wineries by ABLE, a social media marketing agency for the food and wine industry, 89.6% of respondents said that a benefit of using Facebook was that it created awareness for the company. Additionally, 86.5% said Facebook allowed them to promote events, while 66% said it helped the wineries engage with customers in real time.
With very social brands, such as beer, wine and spirits companies, it is important to build relationships with customers through social media, and not just use Facebook and other social sites as a way to broadcast information. For those companies that use social media to connect and chat with their fans, they are seeing increased engagement and success on the sites.
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