When was the last time you were at a party or sitting in a bar with friends? There’s a strong chance you remember someone scrolling their phone, and someone else probably snapped a photo (or video) and posted it.
Think about it, social media and alcohol are very, very often consumed at the same time.
So if you’re a maker of drinks, you don’t want to overlook the power of alcohol social media campaigns. But what’s the best network to post on? What kind of content should you post? And, are there rules around alcohol content?
Pour a glass, and let’s dive in.
Can You Advertise Alcohol on Social Media?
First things first, can you advertise alcohol on social media? The short answer is yes, but continue reading because there’s much more to it.
Alcohol and Social Media Marketing Drinking Age
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to stick to the laws of the United States where the drinking age is 21 (but if you’re interested in how these rules differ in other countries, please get in touch and we’re happy to help you figure that out).
Just as you would check IDs at the door, prepare to virtually do this on your alcohol social media campaigns. There are two ways to handle this:
- Set the target demographic to only those over 21. Many social media companies require this for alcohol products, and you face a much higher chance of bans if you don’t follow it.
- Generate content that is clearly for the over-21 group. This one is more of a gray area, but you’ll want to make sure anything you post doesn’t look like it’s for minors. Careful vocabulary words and images of people who are clearly of drinking age go a long way – as well as not putting them in situations usually done by kids. For example, make it look like a bar, not a house party where the parents are out of town.
These rules go well beyond alcohol social media campaigns, however, and violating them can get you in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission.
Drinking Social Media Campaigns
There’s a common (and not entirely true) belief that it’s illegal to show people drinking alcohol on tv shows and in commercials. This isn’t a hard and fast law, but most producers and advertisers avoid it since it can give them a bad image among some viewers.
So even though they may be drinking social media campaigns, it’s best to leave the actual drinking out of it.
Alcohol Policies by Platform
It’s also best to know the rules on each specific social media platform. Here are a few of the big ones:
It’s good to check up with these from time to time, as they are likely to change. Or, work with an alcohol branding and marketing agency that always knows the latest rules!
Social Media Strategy for Alcohol Brands
Now to the fun part, how do you come up with a good social media strategy for alcohol brands? As with any sort of social media strategy, you should have clear goals and ways to measure success. You’ll want to have a brand profile to establish your presence on every relevant platform, and you’ll want to run campaigns that target a specific goal.
Consider Where to Send Potential Customers
This seems obvious, but it often gets overlooked, especially with alcohol brands. If you’re going to put the time and money into a cool campaign, make sure you’re likely to get some sales out of it.
The rules relating to selling alcohol online have been changing significantly, so you should really be selling your product on your website. And if you’re doing that, you want to either send users directly there, or to another page that will ultimately get them there.
Focus On Something Other Than Drinking
This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s how a lot of marketing works. Whether you make beer, wine, or spirits, your brand needs to be built around something other than just the product. Does it transport people to another time or place? Is it a status symbol? Is it just really fun? These are all good reasons, for the right brand.
So when making your campaign, make sure to translate it in there. If you’re a status symbol, make sure to have feelings of elegance and exclusivity. And avoid showing average people in a dive bar, while pushing a sale price or promotion that you’re currently running.
On the other hand, alcohol social media campaigns give you the perfect opportunity to see who your customers are, and where they’re coming from. This is your chance to offer them exclusive discounts or let them in on products that not just anyone can get their hands on.
Remember that a lot of these people are sitting in a bar with their friends when your ad pops up? They’re going to brag that they have access to something that no one else there does. That builds your brand.
Give Them a Reason to Follow
In the competitive world of social media, users are becoming pickier about who they want to show up in their feed. For this reason, make sure your high-profile campaigns give a clear value of why your social connection is worth their valuable scrolling time.
The Right Platform for Alcohol and Social Media Marketing
So which is the best social network for your alcohol and social media marketing? That’s tough to say because the user demographics of each are constantly changing.
In order to determine this, you need to first have a strong idea of your target customer, and then you need to match it with the platform that has those people. And no matter how much buzz you hear about the others, you should take a pass on them.
Start Serving Up Those Campaigns!
One great thing about social media marketing is how quickly you can test, evaluate, and modify your campaigns. So, there’s no reason you shouldn’t run out and get started today!