How BrewDog is building a brand via social media

2020, with all its social distancing and closed pubs, might not be the obvious year for a beer company to build a brand via social media. But, there’s thinking outside the box, then there’s thinking outside the box BrewDog style. The craft beer business managed to keep its online and FMCG business thriving throughout lockdown despite the pub doors being bolted shut. The business diversified, turning its distillery into a manufacturing space for its own hand sanitiser.

The independent brewer enlisted staff from its bars to help, supporting both the public in fulfilling an urgent need and its team by continuing to provide employment. This innovative and agile approach won the attention of people who may never have even heard of the business before. Hats off!

Hang out at a BrewDog bar and you’ll instantly catch laid back vibes mixed with expertise, passion and a discernible palate. The brand champions itself as an all round good guy and this experience is mirrored online as well as offline. Here we show you how to be more BrewDog and build a brand via social media.

Know what works

Tracking your engagement shows you what content is working for your audience and inspiring them to communicate with you.

BrewDog has posted over 280 times since mid June but generated 300,000 engagements. That’s an average of 1071 engagements per post.

Any business can increase its engagement by staying connected. BrewDog doesn’t post excessively, they stick to two or three posts per day, but it’s enough to resonate with customers.

Since August posting activity has remained the same, but engagement has rocketed through August and September. This increase was not only beer related...

How to replicate this technique

Through September BrewDog announced puppy leave for any staff member to get a new pup or adopt a dog. The business announced it was offering recovery packs to struggling boozers containing free cases of their product, and then came an accidental partnership with Aldi following a social media spoof post.

The brand communicates not only its product expertise, but also its values very clearly via social media. They care about their people, they care about their industry, they care about the environment and they’re willing to have a laugh. As we said all round good guy. Shoulder shrug emoji.

Make sure when you create content, or you develop your tone of voice, people know what you stand for.  Back those values up with action. Culture and purpose matter to people but you must pay it more than lip service.

Know how much customers talk about you

There are on average 1,500 conversations about BrewDog created online per month. That’s five times the content it creates itself. Every conversation created about BrewDog is an opportunity for them to engage with a customer, be it a consumer or a business partner. In the case of their Aldi partnership, it's an opportunity to identify new business partners.


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How to replicate this technique

BrewDog is a brand people love and want to talk about. But it’s also a B2B business as well as B2C. Make sure you share your customers’ content whether they are a consumer or a stockist.

Build relationships with your existing business partners and potential ones, and pay attention to who else your customers buy from.

Don't forget you can compare your social media performance with any brand using Maybe*.

What are your customers saying?

The conversation about BrewDog sees the word ‘home’ feature more prominently than the words ‘pub’ or ‘bar’. The majority of mentions of ‘home’ come from social sharing from - an online community of beer lovers and their product reviews.

This demonstrates the importance of tapping into a community of fans for specialist products.

How to replicate this technique

Knowing where your customers hang out online, be it a social network or a tailored community site, helps you identify where to place products and where to target your marketing efforts.

Listening to the conversation about you will help you identify these online spaces so you can incorporate them into your engagement strategy.

How do your customers feel?

Tracking the sentiment of the social media conversation about you shows you how positively you are seen. You can engage with both positive and negative feedback, and learn from it. If you want to build a brand via social media, engaging with all feedback has to be part of that process.


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How to replicate this technique

BrewDog has seen the amount of conversation about it increase dramatically through September and not all of it has been positive. But that’s because BrewDog actively welcomes feedback on its recipes, and the beer-loving community is always ready to review a new brew or two.

You too should welcome feedback especially if your product is specialist or niche or is the sort of service with a die-hard fan base. Use the passion of your customers to improve your product. They’ll feel more invested in you and your brand.

Key takeaway

BrewDog is social media top dog because the business uses the platform to build a brand. It is a business customer can buy into either as super fans of ales and the category, via the BrewDog bars or website, or via their local bar or via the supermarket. The touch points are multiple but the brand experience stays the same and is supported across the board by a personable social media voice that cares about people and the communities it operates in.

Don't forget you can compare your social media performance with any brand using Maybe*.