Dear Brewery on Social Media

Blue Rider will talk loud
By Fabio Penna, from Flickr under Creative Commons.

So you’ve joined Twitter to promote your beer? Very sensible. After all, it’s free, and the potential is enormous. But we’re not going to follow you, and here’s why.

1. Your company has a long and interesting history and is full of fascinating characters. Your brewery, to people who don’t work in one, is an intriguing and mysterious place. But what do you Tweet about? Nick sums it up pretty well here:

2. Every time someone mentions you, or shares a photo of one of your beers, however banal their commentary or the image, you Retweet it.

3. You nag: Like this on Facebook! Go here! Use this hashtag! As the playground saying went: ‘Askers don’t get.’

What you ought to be doing

Share information which, if we weren’t following you, we wouldn’t get to see. Dig in the archives, explore strange corners of the brewery, introduce us to the characters in your business, take us away from our ‘humdrum lives’ (© Jorvik Viking Centre, via Richard Herring) with intriguing images. Give us the inside scoop.

Interact with people at a level beyond naked self-promotion: don’t react only when you see your brand name mentioned, butting in with a boneheaded shout-out for your latest product.

And that’s it.

14 thoughts on “Dear Brewery on Social Media”

  1. It isn’t limited to breweries. I think you’ve summed up why I don’t use Twitter. Trying to find an original thought among all the retweets is like searching for a decent drink in a chain pub.

  2. Some people in the industry such as Allgates Brewery and Mike Cowbourne of Okells do tweet interesting, original stuff. But I agree most “official” tweeting is vacuous self-promotion.

    Also plenty of pubs create Twitter accounts and then never use them. It seems a no-brainer that, if you have guest beers, at least post on a Thursday evening “this weekend we will have Old Buttockclencher on the bar”.

  3. What I’m really starting to hate is the “follow us and retweet” spam. FFS, just be interesting & interactive if you want to gain followers worth having.

    What sucks is that even if I block&report the folk who tweet “follow us & retweet” (which I do religiously now – even to some breweries I kind of like) you *still* see the damn retweets. So then I have to block all retweets by the chumps who retweet the crap (usually no great loss) but that of course doesn’t block the MTs/etc that aren’t “proper” retweets. *sigh* #OnAMission

    It is almost as bad as those who just tweet links to Facebook, using Twitter as a broadcast-only medium, oh and then half the time their Facebook pages are inaccessible without a Facebook account. CAMBRIDGE CAMRA for example – for fuck’s sake!

    And “Like us on Facebook”, “we need more Likes on Facebook” types … UTTER CONTEMPT.

    Block & Report Spam is the answer.

  4. I’d certainly like to know when ‘Old Buttockclencher’ appears on the bar. I’m sure it would have a great pumpclip:)

  5. My observations on Brewery tweets :

    Darkstar followed me before I’d even finished my pint of Espresso (busy day down in Sussex, I think). Titanic are a bit better, as they sometimes tweet what’s going on at the brewery.

    Thwaites are the worst. They’ll retweet everyone who says they’re drinking Wainwright in minutes.

  6. Bloody ell! Thwaites must have a whole team of RT’ers. Not because they’re ace or anything, just prolific…

    I follow about 7million breweries because i think I’ll find interesting stuff out, but that’s clearly not true. I kind of hoped they may also read my blog via the link, but then if I read every website or blog of even those who follow me I’d have to retire. (that’s not supposed to imply lots of followers, more that many breweries must have thousands).

    The only RT’s I think have a value is when its a pub or venue you’ve never heard of and it turns out to be quite brilliant. Other than that, I think your advice to Brewtwits is spot on, but before they take heed I’m kind of stuck for ideas about how to filter out bobbins (like untapped – who cares?). Usually I end up thinking of pubs I might visit or breweries I fancy drinking beer from and going to their profile.

    Which works OK unless like Mudgie says they set an account up and don’t use it. Like the Fat Cat in Sheffield.

    Gah! When I find out who suggested I join Twitter……

    1. WB — it’s worth noting that before you go nuclear and unfollow a brewery/pub/other, it is possible to ‘turn off retweets’, thus removing some of the noise they put into your timeline through Retweeting praise.

      Generally, though, if you find yourself being annoyed by someone’s Tweets, unfollow — it’s not (in our view) a big deal to unfollow or be unfollowed, and not worth agonising over.

  7. Unfollows in general are no big deal, but if you are unfollowed by someone you follow yourself and had thought of as something of a kindred spirit it does make you wonder.

    1. I’ll admit that there are a few people I would hope would ‘have a word’ if we were annoying them, rather than immediately unfollowing us — people we’ve ‘known’ through blogging for years or whatever.

      1. I recently started using Twitter ‘lists’, which let you group together tweets from different groups of people. The thing about lists is that once you’ve added somebody to a list, when you load that list you see their tweets (although not RTs) whether you’re following them individually or not. I found it such a useful way to organise my personal twittersphere that I ended up unfollowing everyone. So if I’ve unfollowed you recently, it’s nothing personal – I’m almost certainly still reading your tweets.

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