3 Social Media Trends to Enhance Your Brewery’s Content Devon Hoffman Digital Marketing Specialist First things first, let’s put this into perspective. It’s a sunny Saturday, 75 degrees, and you’re looking to go to a brewery with friends. What’s the first thing you do? You reach for your phone and google “breweries near me.” Instinctively, you’re going to click on each brewery that pops up, scroll through each one, check their social media profiles, and choose the most appealing spot. So, what does this mean for your brewery? Social media is a key ingredient to getting customers in your door. It’s an opportunity for your business to get customers interested in your brewery without breaking the bank.__________________So let’s dive into how you can utilize Social Media Trends in 2022 to help boost your social platforms and get more folks to patronize your brewery! Social Media Trends for Breweries in 2022 1. Utilize Social Media Content and Free Tools Social Media ContentContent is essential to your social media existence. One of the best ways to utilize social media is to post content regularly. Not just posting anything, but content that will capture viewers’ attention and make them want to pay you a visit. Content is your best friend. How do I capture content? Capturing content can be done in a few different ways. If you have the budget, it is highly recommended that you invest in a DSLR camera and tripod. That way, you can capture high-quality photos or video and focus on the details of the shot, whenever the opportunity arises. If you don’t have the budget for a DSLR, an iPhone or Android camera still works. The quality of the picture may not be the same as a professional-style camera; however, it’s budget-friendly, and a smartphone can automatically process the image.What kind of content should I post?Now that you know how to capture the content, let’s dive into what content should be posted. One thing to note, is to make sure you post content regularly. If a customer goes on your Facebook or Instagram and sees your last post is from 8 months ago, they are likely to think that you aren’t open or that no one visits your brewery. At a minimum, post three times a week to make your brewery appealing and show how you stand out from the competition. Content suggestions include:Past or Upcoming EventsCreate an event calendar and post your events across all social media platforms! Events are one of the best ways to get people interested in your brewery. Whether it’s tastings, live music, special events for holidays, etc., posting events across platforms is a great way to get people excited about your business. Once they enjoy themselves at an event, they’ll be back for more! Product HighlightsShow what you offer. A new beer you just brewed, specialty cocktails, or a menu item that pairs well with one of your craft brews. There’s no better way for a customer to see what beverages you bring to the table than simply posting your products on social media. Inside LookGive customers a chance to see what your brewery looks like! Show a sneak peek of an outdoor patio prior to opening, or of your tasting room to entice customers to want to come in. Inside looks are exciting and will always leave prospects guessing, ultimately leaving them to want to come in and see it for themselves.Consider reels, too, since they are so hot right now. With different audio to choose from, effects and overlays, you can create and edit short videos on one platform that will keep the audience interested. Whether it be on TikTok or Instagram, having a platform that you can utilize reels helps tap into the potential billion TikTok and Instagram users. Free ToolsLet’s revisit that “breweries near me” Google search again. You want to improve the likelihood that your place is showing up among those first results. One way to do that is by optimizing your Google My Business profile. Google My Business is a free platform for those who want to promote their local business. With it, you can essentially manage your listing, the information within, and how patrons can get in touch with you. Google My Business reflects how your business looks online across Google and how you will stand out from the competition. It’s location-specific, meaning the proximity between the searcher and the business address is a factor in deciding what appears. Business rating and profile optimization are two other factors. Google My Business offers a number of benefits, including:Relevant Business Information, such as:HoursLocationPhone NumberBusiness DescriptionPhotosVideos Search Engine Optimization (SEO) If you have and utilize Google My Business, Google is more likely to rank your website for local search terms within its organic listings, leading to more impressions and more website traffic over time. Showcasing Reviews Using Google My Business makes it easy for your customers to leave positive reviews, and for you to respond to your customers. Reviews improve local SEO. 93% of customers might be influenced by online reviews. Reviews are essentially free sales. People trust online reviews from their peers, so influencers and word-of-mouth marketing can be powerful in driving more business for your brewery.It’s FREE.It’s a free tool that is good for SEO, reviews, and posting basic information, but it also allows you to see insights and analytics all in one place.2. Be an Active Part of Your CommunityBuilding your following is more than just having a great beer! Staying local, hosting events, and posting about your events is a great way to get involved. It gives people an opportunity to try different kinds of beer, or simply just get out and be involved locally! Furthermore, when someone out of town sees how connected a brewery is to the community, it is reflective of the brewery’s principles of valued customer service, which is great for the brand. Not only does a local presence help you at a community level, but at a national level, as well. Local buzz will help grow sales beyond your community, which can be even more generated via social media! Part of having an outstanding local presence is partnering with other local businesses, which allows you to have twice the promotion on social media and potentially twice as many people at your event.Some ideas for local partnerships:BandsFood trucks Another Brewery CollaborationNon-profit Organizations Events are a great way to boost your business or generate more awareness. Start small, start local, and keep building from there!Be sure to post your events on your social channels. Facebook is a great platform to utilize when advertising your events. They have an option, already embedded in the platform, that allows you to create and share your event and allows attendees to RSVP. It’s the best of both worlds!3. Connect With Your CustomersReviewsFor most brewery owners, getting and maintaining a steady flow of guests continues to be a top priority – and a challenge at that. Remember, on that sunny Saturday, guests will be checking out Google to decide where they want to visit. They’ll look at each choice. They’ll check out the photos to see the atmosphere, the brews, the food, and most importantly, they’ll read the reviews. Reviews are what will get folks in the door. Ask yourself: are you going to go to a spot with 2.3 stars out of 5 or a place that has 4.2 out of 5? You’re highly likely to choose the one with a higher rating, right? The quantity of reviews is equally as important as the stars; 120 reviews averaging 4.5-stars, carry more weight than just two 5-star reviews. A Harvard Business School study stated that a half-star improvement on your Yelp review page had shown a 5-9% increase in business. Meanwhile, the University of California, Berkeley, conducted a study that showed a negative review could decrease business by 19%. You may ask yourself, well, how do I get more reviews? It all starts the minute they walk in the door.Paint your audience a picture, and capture them with the space’s ambiance, the music playing, the friendliness of the staff, the quality of service, and make sure they enjoy their experience. Create a space to keep customers thinking/talking positively about your brewery.Beyond making a good impression, the second step is simple: ask. What’s the worse that could happen? They don’t do it? The more you continue to invite customers to post about you, the more likely you are to get a review! Finally, make sure you always respond to reviews – both positive and negative. Letting customers see you care and are engaged goes a long way!User-Generated ContentPosting user-generated content (UGC) on your social channels allows newcomers to really see what your brewery is like. It shows the authenticity of your brand – 75% of marketers agree that adding UGC makes brands more authentic. People trust the authenticity of a brand based on what people post; user-generated content is like the modern-day word of mouth. There are different types of UGC:ImagesVideosTestimonialsProduct reviewsPodcasts This is a great way to humanize your content. UGC shows your customers how real people like them use your product, or in this case, drink your delicious beer and interact with your brewery, and how they share a passion for your brand. Micro-influencersLeaning on micro-influencers or brand ambassadors is another great way to get the word out about your brand and brews. Micro-influencers are typically online personalities who have a decent, well-engaged following. They usually have higher engagement rates than larger influencers with millions of followers because they are more relatable and share similar interests with their audiences. If a micro-influencer posts about his/her experience at a brewery in the local area, it might encourage his/her followers to also visit. How do you get someone like a micro-influencer to post about your brewery? Like this… Do your research. Look for people in your area who you think would be attainable and a good fit to represent or post about your brandMessage them! Just like asking folks for a review, ask them if they’d be interested in helping share content on their channels.Once you’ve found your influencers, create an influencer agreement contract. Make sure you indicate the type of content they will produce on behalf of your brewery, how often, when, and what they will get in exchange. As you can imagine, free product always works great!__________________Social media trends are constantly evolving, and your business must evolve with the trends, too. Consider investing time and resources into regular content creation, reviews, micro-influencers, Google My Business, and partner events. In doing so, you’ll help fuel your social media and online efforts to create more buzz about your brewery brand. With commitment and consistency, the results will be felt over time – in both traffic in your taproom and sales at the register.