9 Lessons Big Beer Brands Can Teach Craft Breweries About Social Media


Breweries are hugely popular right now.

I’m willing to bet you’ve been buzzed at more than a few breweries in the past year. All of a sudden, you went from drinking 4.2% to 8% beers, listening to acoustic singers and playing corn hole, and eating lots of food truck meals. Why? A new brewery set up shop a few miles away, it’s a fun place to meet up with friends, and you like supporting small business. Well, that’s why I go anyways.

According to the Breweries Association, 6,000 breweries were in operation during 2017—with 98% of them small and independent craft brewers. (Source)

Cool fact: 83% of the population lives within 10 miles of a local brewery. This must mean that our local watering holes are getting lots of business, right? (Source)

Well, yes but their sales still pale in comparison to Big Beer sales. According to the Brewer’s Association, retail dollar sales of craft increased 10% accounted for nearly 22% of the $107.6 billion U.S. beer market in 2016.

Big Beer dominates sales (no question there) but they also dominate social media.

L2 Inc. named these beer brands the top ten in digital. If you want to know why, read their blog post about it.



Small breweries may not be able to beat AB Inbev in sales, but they can step up their (unpaid) social media marketing game.

Here are 9 social media marketing lessons small craft breweries can learn from the Big Beer guys (without spending any money on advertising):

Goose Island teaches us to use Instagram Stories get customers in the door

Bud Light shows us that it pays to:

  • Challenge and reward our customers on social media


  • Tweet outside the lines

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  • Pay attention to what customers are saying on social media and re-share the good stuff!

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Stella Artois teaches us to do good for others and encourage customers to join in on social media

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Guinness teaches us to be consistent with our brand aesthetic on Instagram. Notice how all of their Instagram photos match in color and tone:

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Sierra Nevada teaches us to have fun and be creative! They created a short video on Valentine’s Day about their Raspberry Bigfoot ale, starring Bigfoot himself.

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Miller Lite shows us that we can cleverly chime in on current events. They posted a picture of their beer with a gold medal to get in on the conversation about The Olympics.

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Samuel Adams shows off an employee on Instagram. Featuring your employees is always a good idea!

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Will you try any of these social media tactics?


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