7 Top Tips to Drive Traffic to Your Craft Beer Instagram Page
Undeniably, Instagram has become the social media platform of choice for the craft beer industry over the last ten years.
Creating a consistent marketing strategy that includes posting gorgeous beer shots, shouting out new releases, marketing merch, and more has become essential to a brewery or bar’s business.
To put it simply: It’s hard to exist in craft beer culture without a presence on Instagram.
If you’re still perplexed by Instagram and looking for a good place to start, we recently wrote a piece called “A Beginner’s Guide to Running a Successful Brewery Instagram.”
But if you’re a little more seasoned and looking for fresh ideas, consider these seven top tips to drive more traffic to your Instagram page.
Whether you’re a newbie to Instagram or a long-time veteran looking to polish your skills, here are the top seven tips for driving traffic to your Instagram page.
What We’ll Cover in This Piece:
- Why Do Beverage Businesses Need an Instagram Account?
- 7 Top Tips to Drive Traffic to Your Instagram Page
- Host Giveaways or Contests
- Stand Out with Instagram Stories
- Create User-Generated Content
- Roll Those IG Reels / Post Videos
- Deploy Instagram Ads
- Put Your Best Face Forward… Faces First, Faces at the Forefront
- Cultivate Your Community
Why Do Beverage Businesses Need an Instagram Account?
Instagram is the social media platform for craft beer fans. The visual channel allows consumers to learn what their favorite breweries are releasing next, what events are coming up, what merch they’re launching, who runs the brewery behind the scenes, or even different social issues they stand for.
Because Instagram is so visually focused, it’s an easy, bite-sized way to consume information.
In fact, according to Statista, as of January 2022, Instagram had roughly one billion monthly active users, thirty-percent of whom were aged between twenty-five to thirty-four years.
Just look at the Instagram followings of some of the most well-known craft breweries and apps: Allagash (@allagashbrewing - 166k followers), Other Half (@otherhalfnyc - 215k followers), New Belgium (@newbelgium - 309k followers), Firestone Walker (@firestonewalker - 245k followers), and Untappd (@untappd - 129k followers).
To compete in today’s craft beer industry, your business must have a presence on Instagram.
And finding the right bit of magic to increase likes on your posts or the number of followers to your brand can take a bit of practice.
Which is why we put together a list of these seven fresh ideas that you should consider leveraging when looking to drive more traffic to your Instagram page.
7 Top Tips to Drive Traffic to Your Instagram Page
Mastering social media networks like Instagram takes not only time but persistence. If you're just starting to promote your bar, brewery, or restaurant on social media it may take some practice before your find the "voice" that reaches your target audience.
Don't worry if the likes and follows don't come instantly. Building your brand in social media can be a long task, but one that pays itself off in the end.
Use our 7 tips below to help drive traffic and engagement to your Instagram page.
Host Giveaways or Contests
Hosting a giveaway or contest is one of the easiest ways to attract new followers and rack up those likes on a post. Quite simply, people love a little competition and the chance to win items from you. You could focus on something small like a piece of merch or larger like a gift card to purchase your beer online.
At Untappd and Hop Culture, we tend to focus on these specific guidelines:
- Like the post
- Follow yourself and any other partners
- Tag three friends in the comments
If you’ve already run a few of these on your Instagram page, then consider the next step: partnering with brands outside of your own “category” such as lifestyle or food influencers. Or even doing a collab giveaway with another brewery in a separate state or community. This strategy will help you attract new followers into your own circle.
Stand Out with Instagram Stories
According to Buffer’s State of Social 2019, Stories have had a huge impact on a business’ social media. Over one billion accounts reported using Stories in 2019 with fifty-seven percent believing that Stories being a “Somewhat effective” or “Very effective” part of a brand’s social media strategy.
If you’re unfamiliar with Instagram Stories, these are posts at the top of your Instagram newsfeed that only last twenty-four hours.
A good rule of thumb: “Every time you post, put something in the Story,” says Manning. “Share your post to the Story, or if you’re at the brewery and grab a beer after work, put that beer in an IG Story so people know the taproom is open and you have whatever beer you’re drinking at that point on hand.”
Manning continues, “This way your Instagram is constantly active and people can watch your Stories, and while watching, the Stories page will become more relevant to them.”
Create User-Generated Content
Enlist your own community to help you do the work. Social media site Buffer grew its Instagram account by 400 percent in one year by leveraging user-generated content. Now the Instagram algorithm is more about friendship and developing relationships between the consumer and the brand when ranking content on your feed. Content generated by users often comes off as more authentic and trusted. In fact, a Marketer’s Guide to User-Generated Content from Crowdtap found that user-generated content is thirty-five percent more memorable and fifty percent more trusted than non-user-generated content.
With that in mind, cultivating your own community could go a long way in driving traffic to your page.
This could be as simple as posting a photo of one of your beers taken by someone else and tagging them. Or you could even create an entire weekly series with its own hashtag. Pick one day of the week to feature photos of your beer or brewery from your fans. Come up with a witty hashtag and use it alongside the photo each week. This can help encourage folks to participate.
For example, here at Untappd our #CheckInLife series features photos posted in our Untappd community. With #FeatureFriday, we ask fans on Instagram to post their own photos while tagging us. We then choose our favorites and include three to four shots in our Feature Friday post.
Roll Those IG Reels / Post Videos
For those who don’t know, Instagram Reels is the social platform’s answer to the uber-popular TikTok. On Reels, you create fifteen- to thirty-second videos that can be about literally anything. It could be a serious tour of the brewery or something goofy like putting your face on a beer and making it talk to you in your refrigerator.
“Our most successful content is IG Reels that are generally about beer culture, but also about our brewery, highlighting our campus and our team,” says Kat Manning, Social Media and Content Creator at Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford, CT.
According to UK’s leading business magazine BusinessMatters, the watch-time of Instagram videos increased by an astounding 250 percent in 2020. “Posting reels regularly can make your content pop on the Instagram Explore tab and amplify it to maximize visibility,” writes the magazine in this article.
If you haven’t started making videos yet, now is the time to start. IG Reels will diversify your content, keeping it fresh, and engage your audience in a new, interactive way.
Deploy Instagram Ads
This comes in really handy if you have an Instagram Business Profile, where you can boost your own posts from right within the Instagram app.
Typically, you’ll want to boost posts that are performing above average to give your best content the opportunity to reach more eyes.
It may seem off-kilter to use Instagram ads, but this tool helps get your content in front of fresh eyes. Promoting to a targeted audience will increase your engagement, which in turn will increase the chance of your posts showing up in your fans’ feeds more often.
Put Your Best Face Forward… Faces First, Faces at the Forefront
Sprout Social reports that posts with human faces get thirty-eight percent more likes than generic posts without people. Posts with faces humanize your content and help your followers relate to your brand.
According to Manning, this is the ideal scenario: Three people sitting in a triangle talking and having a beer. She’ll stroll the parameter, getting pictures of people in the foreground and background.“You can have some people pour beer while others drink it out of the can so you get the color of the beer and the can in the shot. It’s a scene where they’re not just sitting alone, but in a community,” says Manning.
And showing the faces of your fans is so important. If you can, focus on including a diverse array of people in your shots. This will make your brand more relatable and therefore more people will be likely to follow you, share your photos to others, and create user-generated content.
Cultivate Your Community
This is perhaps the hardest tip to follow, but one that could have the biggest impact. Instagram isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of platform. You can’t just expect to take care of your own profile without answering people’s questions, engaging with other folks, or liking other brands’ posts.
You need to cultivate your community to draw in new fans.
What does this mean?
Well, this means you should respond to comments and questions on your posts, like posts of other breweries or influencers you like, and just generally keep an active presence in the community.
All the time.
“I would be on your phone twenty minutes after the post goes out to like peoples’ comments and respond to them,” says Manning. “The faster you answer those and start a conversation in the comments, the more people will see your post and your post will become more important.”
Plus, Instagram recently changed its algorithm to place more of an emphasis on how your posts relate to the consumer. As opposed to ranking posts based on how many likes it reaches, now Instagram is more about friendship and developing relationships between the consumer and the brand.
The more active you are in the community, the more people will see your posts in their feed.
- Answering questions on all of your posts
- Answering all of your DMs
- At the very least giving a thumbs up or a quick thanks to those folks who comment on your post
- Like, comment, follow, and engage with other brands’ profiles in your space. In this case, find breweries close to home and far away and engage with their content. Most likely they’ll follow you back (if they don’t already) and show you the same love you’re showing them.
How can you expect someone to like and follow your brand if you don’t reciprocate the love? Consider this a love fern of sorts—you need to water it in order for it to live and grow!