Drinking alcohol is one of the most social activities people partake in. Therefore, it’s ideal for alcohol brands to have a significant presence on Facebook and other social networks. This way, these brands can partake, monitor, and start conversations about the various drinks they offer.
With the multitude of regulations surrounding the sales and promotion of alcohol in the United States, alongside the constant changes to the Facebook platform, there’s a lot to take into account when it comes to best practices for marketing alcohol on Facebook. Here’s 10 tips on how to it right.
1. Set Age Restrictions
Alongside cigarettes, the promotion of alcohol is one of the most regulated forms of marketing. One of the most well-known regulations on alcohol are age restrictions, in this case applied to advertising. Most alcohol brands require the entry of a visitor’s birthday, verifying that the visitor is at least 21, to gain access to the brand’s website. Although it’s easy for someone to enter a fake birthday to access the site, it’s a necessary step that alcohol brands must take to limit access to minors online.
Similar age restrictions can be applied to your Facebook page. Just go to edit page, and then to manage permissions, to alter your age restrictions. You can limit the visibility of your page to anyone (13+), people 17 and over, people 18 and over, people 19 and over, people 21 and over, or change the visibility to alcohol-related. Selecting an age restriction means that anyone under the specified age will not be able to find your page in search or on friends’ profiles or view the content in other ways. This also means that logged-out users will not be able to see your Page.
The alcohol-related age restriction sets the minimum age based on the location of the user. Only users in Canada, South Korea, or Nicaragua who are 19+; in Japan, Iceland. or Paraguay who are 20+; in Cameroon, Micronesia, Palau, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, or the United States who are 21+; in India and Sweden who are 25+; and elsewhere who are 18+ will be able to view your page. This is helpful because your page can stay compliant in terms of age restrictions globally.
NOTE: If you change your age restrictions, all people who like the page and are underage will be removed. Make sure you choose the right age restrictions for your page. When it comes to alcohol brands, choose the alcohol-related restriction.
2. Incorporate Holidays and Current Events
To keep the feel of your messaging and the branding on your page as fresh as possible, be sure to include images, videos, text, and other content that’s relevant to what’s going on in the world. For instance, Jim Beam‘s Facebook page updated its profile picture to reflect the holiday season, along with its messaging. In this example, they stay inline with their product messaging, while making it relevant to the drinks often consumed during the holidays at this time of year.
3. Add Destinations to Your Page
Fans of your alcohol offerings need motivation to return to your page again and again. One incentive is by creating a sleuth of engaging custom tabs. Looking to Budweiser‘s Facebook page as an example, having multiple applications that allow your fans to interact with your page on a deeper level allows your fans to have a unique experience on your page that’s shareable with all of their friends.
One of Budweiser’s custom tabs, You in Times Square, give users the option of staring on Budweiser’s billboard in Times Square on New Years Eve by simply uploading their photo into the app. This drives users to upload their photo to Budweiser’s page with the incentive of being featured in Times Square, while helping giving Budweiser further exposure on Facebook through increased traffic and impressions.
4. Segment Your Audience
Most alcohol brands offer their products to consumers all over the world. It’s important to engage each audience with relevant content, their native language, events, and anything else that would change depending on the geographic location of this audience. You wouldn’t update the Facebook page for your American audience with the same information you would for your Japanese audience. Therefore, your messaging must be catered to fit each demographic.
There are many ways to do this. One is to create Facebook pages for regions or countries in order to provide the most relevant content possible to each audience. Maker’s Mark and a few other alcohol brands have already done this, improving the quality of their messaging to each audience overall. If this is too involved, Buddy Media offers a suite of paid tools to handle a brand’s international presence on Facebook. Also, Facebook offers a post-targeting feature right on a page’s wall that allows you to limit the reach of your posts on a page by language or location.
5. A Warm Welcome
When a Facebook user lands on your page, it’s your first (or maybe your last) chance to gain their attention and convert them into a fan. It’s similar to when someone walks up to the bar and sips one of your drinks for the very first time. When it comes to making a lasting impression on Facebook, you’ve got to design a custom welcome tab for your page that has the following components:
- Using limited text and eye-catching, unique imagery to explain what this alcohol is all about, or even what it tastes like.
- A call to action, telling users to like this alcohol brand.
- Give reasons for non-fans to like your page, such as coupons for beer, photos, or videos of your alcohol offerings.
- Reward users once they like your page, living up to your promise for beer coupons, exclusive video, or whatever else you’ve promised in return for their participation.
Now it’s time to set the landing tab on your Facebook page for non-fans as the welcome page you designed. To do this, click edit page from your wall, then go to manage permissions and choose your custom welcome page from the list labeled default landing tab. Save your changes to make this tab the first place non-fans will land on your page before they’ve liked it.
6. Facebook for Social Good
Your Facebook page should have a plethora of uses, more than just promoting your variety of alcohol offerings. Help promote your cause or the cause of another organization to help utilize your audience in a beneficial and rewarding way. Like we mentioned above, utilize your page tabs with creative and engaging content that not only helps your audience become involved with your page. but for the greater good. as well. Popular whiskey brand Johnnie Walker is currently featuring the Keep Walking Project on its Facebook page to help encourage people to join in and affect the outcome of the project for community benefit in seven different countries. This will help Johnnie Walker continue to engage its fans on Facebook by encouraging their feedback, while they contribute to a positive change that supersedes their alcohol sales.
7. Cross-Promote on Other Social Channels
As an alcohol brand, your presence on Facebook is important, but you need to integrate this part of your advertising with your other social channels. For instance, if you’re running a promotion to help name a new line of beer on Facebook, be sure to add a component to the campaign that involves your Twitter audience, as well. This will gain even more exposure for this particular campaign, whatever it may be, and help cross-pollinate your engagement with your audiences from both Twitter and Facebook. Integrate your marketing campaigns across your different social platforms to see more far-reaching results.
For example, Absolut has been promoting commercials about its brand on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, trying to draw greater exposure to its messaging than it would from promoting these videos on just one platform. This campaign launched right before the holiday season to help heighten word of mouth about Absolut during a time of year when many parties and events occur.
8. Educate Your Fans
Your Facebook fans already know and love the drinks your brand offers, but what’s the next step? It’s important to continue to educate your fans about the alcohol you offer to keep their interest and continue the conversations they are having about your drinks. Give facts, insider tips, suggestions for mixed drinks, recipes for drinks for a variety of occasions, information about new drink offerings, and more. By supplying your fans with helpful, informative content, you’re giving them more reasons to like your beverage more than they did previously.
For example, Evan Williams Bourbon‘s page shared an original recipe and a photo of one of its suggested mixed drinks. This content not only educates its fans about more ways they can drink their favorite bourbon, but gives them content that is relevant for the time of year.
9. Host a Promotion
One of the many reasons why people follow brands on social media to begin with is to win giveaways, sweepstakes, and contests. Alcohol brands are no exception to the rule and should regularly re-engage their fans on Facebook with promotions that highlight their latest drink offerings with a prize that’s both relevant to their brand and enticing to their audience. Hosting a promotion on you Facebook page can be done easily through a variety of third-party applications. I suggest the Wildfire app for its ease of use, the plethora of interface/design options it offers, and because it’s affordable for all levels of businesses.
10. Integrate Facebook Functionality on Your Website
You want to make it as easy as possible for a visitor to share their actions on Facebook while they’re browsing your website. There are a plethora of ways to do this, all of which are free social plug-ins provided by Facebook. There are 10 different Facebook integrations to choose from. For alcohol brands, my recommendations would be to add the like button to content throughout your website, the like box to your homepage, and the login button to your age-verification page.
By adding like buttons to your various product pages, it will help make sharing your content throughout Facebook much easier because your Web visitors won’t have to leave your website to like it. By incorporating the like box on your homepage, you’ll give your Web visitors the ability to like your Facebook page directly from your website and grow your fan base through cross-pollination of your Facebook and website audiences. Lastly, add the Facebook login button to the age-verification page of your website. Facebook’s login button can verify the age of a Web visitor by checking your Facebook data with one click, if the user is logged into Facebook, of course. This allows the visitor to skip typing in their birthdate, so they can proceed onto your website. Sailor Jerry did just this, attempting to block minors from visiting its website, while trying to speed up the process for visitors 21 and up.