I don’t profess to be an expert at social media by any stretch but as I’ve been accused of being a serial tweeter, and I follow a lot of breweries, here are my thoughts on what makes a brewery effective on social media.
Should you follow everyone that follows you on Twitter?
· I’d suggest either following every individual (real people, not eggs) that follow your brwerery or following none of them. If you follow some people and not others, you risk offending some of your beer fans. You don’t have to use your brewery Twitter account to read anything other than your mentions and you can use another personal account if you want to follow people and businesses to interact with.
What about a website – should you bother?
· YES. Yeah yeah, we know you have a Facebook page, but that isn’t a good substitute for a website. Not everyone is on FB and depending on how you set it up, clicking on the link from Twitter doesn’t always work. You’re excluding some of your customers if you don’t put some basic info on a website. The website doesn’t have to be fancy, but a short write-up about who you are is important to your customers. Address, hours of operation, and if you’re feeling really randy, keep an updated list of your taps and/or growler fills. I bet you’d save a lot of time tweeting people your list if you could direct them to your beers on tap/growler fill web page. Heck, go wild and put the link in your twitter profile. Boom.
|A real example of the horror|
· Interact with your customers. Respond to their tweets/messages whether it’s a positive or negative experience they’ve had. Keep your responses classy, of course.
· If someone is being a jerk, troll, offensive etc., block their ass. You don’t have to put up with that crap just because you’re a business.
· If a customer has a legitimate issue, try to fix it (i.e. replace the beer). A lot of goodwill can come from replacing a bottle of beer, if warranted.
· During business hours, try to respond to tweets within 2 hours. I know this can be tough but if someone is on the go and wanting to know what’s on for growler fills, they’re going to want a speedy response.
· For your Twitter profile: include your street address, website and hours of operation. Saves you from getting multiple tweets asking for this information because frankly, we’re all lazy and don’t want to google it.
· Have a sense of humour. Ok, not everyone can be Brew Dog and pull off funny and sassy all the time, but tweeting like you have a hydrometer wedged up your arse doesn’t really make you one with your beer drinkers.
· If you have the time and resources, search your brewery/key words to see what your followers are saying about your beer. You may get some less than desired feedback, but if you really want to know what your customers think, you might find worthwhile comments. Of course there will be crap amongst the comments that should just be ignored (yuck, this tastes like a pine tree! *anonymous Bud drinker) but it’s worth a quick search.
· I don’t suggest retweeting Untappd check-in unless they actually say something positive in their comments. Seeing that so-and-so drank “x” beer from your brewery is just spamming your followers. If you want to acknowledge the tweeter, Favourite their tweet or reply to them directly. The only ones that will see that are you and the tweeter. Spam be gone.
· Look at your mentions every morning and then promptly RT the whole lot of them. Having a string of RT’s on ones timeline is mildly annoying no matter who it comes from. Maybe be selective in what you RT or RT them throughout the day rather than all at once.
· Send a programmed thank you DM to new followers. Gee, how personal.
· Post a tweet that links to Facebook. Not everyone has FB and often, the link asks you to log in (which I never do). So unless you don’t care if the message is seen, try to post FB and Twitter messages separately.
· Let just anyone have access to your social media accounts. Emotions can get the better of all of us and the last thing you want is a twitter fight. Keep the accounts locked down to those you explicitly trust to use good judgment.
One final though, enjoy your time on Twitter and Facebook interacting with your beer fans. It may be somewhat time consuming, but I suspect you’ll get great satisfaction knowing that people love your beer and want to praise you. Interacting with them will only strengthen the goodwill and believe me, that comes in handy just in case one of your beers bombs.