Breweries using social media as the primary source for info. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by riemster, Nov 14, 2013.


Do you agree with breweries using social websites as the primary source of information?

  1. Yes

  2. No

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  1. riemster

    riemster Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2011 Ohio

    Answer the poll question and please post WHY!

    Do you agree with breweries using social websites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) as the PRIMARY SOURCE of information (general news, releases, customer service, etc.)?

    I'll start. Yes, I think social websites, especially Facebook, are effective as the primary source of information. Social websites are the perfect tool for today's world because they are quick to inform, personalized, hosted by a third party, free, fast and can be fun.

    We are, and have been for awhile, in the digital age. Information is precious and social websites allow breweries to inform customers quickly about tap lists and releases. I think some people take this for granted. Email is the new snail mail. I never miss a beat when it comes to new releases or today's tap list. It makes life as a beergeek so much easier.

    Breweries are now my "friend." They are no longer shrouded in mystery. Cluttered websites with annoying age restrictions popping up every time are forgotten. Interactions with breweries are more frequent and customer feedback is much more powerful. Dare I say it again? They are fun! They let you inside their brewery without actually being there. Who doesn't like to see a picture of their bottling line, new labels or pictures of the people behind such delicious elixirs?

    Worried about Facebook crashing? No need! It's not hosted by a tiny server in the basement of a brewery. It's also reliable, fast and free!!!

    I'll end by mentioning the article, Beer Smack - Facebook Foul on BeerAdvocate's Magazine #82. Thank you for publishing this. I highly disagree with your thoughts, but it brings up a great debate which has probably been brought up a few times (at least) on here. Excuse me if it has been a recent discussion. Most importantly, cheers!!!

    *edit* The same debate exists for stores obviously or any business for that matter, but I wanted to focus it down to only breweries. Feel free to discuss anything though.
    #1 riemster, Nov 14, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  2. brewsader

    brewsader Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2012 New York

    these are all good points, but i'd rather be actual friends with a brewery, by... you know... going there and hanging out with them while i drink their beer from time to time. anything you'd learn in a newsletter or via facebook you'd learn weeks if not months in advance if you have a good relationship with brewers.
  3. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,145) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    I voted (hell) no. Read our Beer Smack in BA mag #82 for the why.

    (I also edited your thread title as it was too vague.)
    NWer, Providence, azorie and 8 others like this.
  4. fredmugs

    fredmugs Meyvn (1,484) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana

    I voted YES because it's fast and efficient. I don't want to have to go to multiple brewery websites to see what they have on tap or any special releases. Having information pushed to me is greater than having to pull it.
  5. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (6,362) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    i voted a huge Hell yes for this
  6. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,145) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    It should also be noted that this poll will be biased towards the OP, as both sides of the argument aren't represented in the initial post.
    azorie, MenryAZ, yemenmocha and 4 others like this.
  7. KS1297

    KS1297 Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    this site is my source for news. i don't care where you guys get your news as long as it makes it's way to BA
    russpowell and IPAIsaac like this.
  8. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,919) Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    I'm not on Facebook and I don't want to be. I have a twitter feed just for brewery and bottle shop info. I don't have a problem with breweries and bottle shops using social media to distribute information efficiently, but I think any info they post there should also be available on the brewery's/bottle shop's own website.
  9. JayORear

    JayORear Meyvn (1,207) Feb 22, 2012 New York
    Society Trader

    It's especially bad when breweries choose (I think it's their choice) to make their FB pages only visible to registered Facebook users, which I'm not. Have to call out Societe on this one: not only is their FB page only visible to FB users, but their Web site sucks.
  10. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Devotee (400) Mar 23, 2008 California

    A quarterly newsletter mailed to my home is what I prefer.
  11. the_trystero

    the_trystero Disciple (355) Mar 19, 2013 California

    Personally hate it. I love mailing lists. Not on Facebook and hopefully will never get back on. Twitter is fine but obviously they can't put out enough info on Twitter.
  12. riemster

    riemster Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2011 Ohio

    I was going to include the content of your article, but I didn't want to step on any toes. I guess the best option I thought to do was at least mention it at the end of my post. Your article was the reason for my post after all. You do mention good points. Again, thanks for the article. It's definitely a polarizing topic.
  13. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,145) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    No worries, and thanks for reading.
  14. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Poo-Bah (1,782) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I voted yes. Those clowns can't sell' em on Ebay for easy profit these days. It is what it is.
  15. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Poo-Bah (1,782) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I'm not on face book(life invader) never have or will be but I use my brothers face book to see what the local beer distributers have in stock(have been for years)
  16. c64person

    c64person Devotee (426) Mar 20, 2010 North Carolina

    It seems lately that every new brewery I go into has the following to say, "Hey have you friend-ed us on Facebook, that way you can see all that we are releasing, its great!" No, I don't think it is, Facebook does not respect my privacy, and it seems more and more place are just putting info on Facebook only. Sure I can make a 'fake' account just for getting information about new beers, but it seems there are better platforms like Twitter linking to their own website for this information so everyone can see it, not just those you can track, categorize and mine for information.
    StuartCarter and drtth like this.
  17. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,847) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Hell NO.

    Too much irrelevant garbage, especially the self-promotion from annoying things like user submitted photos of people drinking a can of their beer in some distant place. Who the F cares? (this is just one example of many irrelevant items that can appear regularly on some of these FB pages).
  18. Ranbot

    Ranbot Defender (642) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I don't mind if social media is the primary means of communication, but it shouldn't be the only means.

    I think social media is great to discuss releases, current news items, and generally engage their fans/customers regularly. Most people aren't going to to out of their way to try to access the websites of multiple breweries to keep up on current happenings of every brewery they might buy ever beer from. Social media brings the brewer's news right to the Yeah, you could join an email distribution list, but I get enough spam mail as it is and it's not the 90's anymore.

    That said, social media still isn't a substitute for a decent website to hold relatively constant information, like distribution, release schedule, beer listing and info, brewery/pub location, contact information, etc. When I've seen companies (brewers or otherwise) try to completely replace a website with awkward Facebook/Twitter profiles it's always a huge fail.
  19. Ri0

    Ri0 Poo-Bah (3,034) Jul 1, 2012 Wisconsin

    Yes. How many start up breweries have extra cash to pay for a domain and someone to make a decent website? FB and Twitter are free and are an economical and good way to reach a new customer base. Once the brewery has a good following an cash flow, I can see putting up a nice website that is properly maintained.
    gengle, TheGator321, DaveONan and 2 others like this.
  20. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Voted "no." I've no desire to become a marketing research statistic nor to have my privacy regularly violated by folks with better software technology than I'm willing to afford. But I'd also suggest it’s not a good business model to put your primary emphasis on catering mostly to the 20 somethings when there are lots of other folks with cash in their pockets who are looking for a good beer and a congenial place to drink it and who are not part of the facebook/social media demographic.
    doowhat, TheGator321, DIM and 3 others like this.
  21. the_trystero

    the_trystero Disciple (355) Mar 19, 2013 California

    $20 a month hosting? Hardly an issue. It doesn't need to be crazy, it just needs to be kept updated with fresh info.
    KegKicker likes this.
  22. lucasj82

    lucasj82 Zealot (582) Aug 13, 2009 Indiana

    Voted no. I don't mind if they do both simultaneously, but I would rather see a cool site, where I can look for an update from a specific brewery instead of scrolling through a list of breweries, family, and friends.
    russpowell likes this.
  23. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,847) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Great point that I was hesitant to make because of the demographics here in recent years. Given that FB is so interactive, that means that it is often involving the shenanigans of the younger crowd... and many of us really don't care to endure that crap when on a brewer's FB page.
  24. Ri0

    Ri0 Poo-Bah (3,034) Jul 1, 2012 Wisconsin

    Some just don't know how to design a page though and would be better off to hire someone to do it.


    Just awesome

    THANAT0PSIS and Woodrow like this.
  25. the_trystero

    the_trystero Disciple (355) Mar 19, 2013 California

    Hahaha, my site isn't much better than those. But, yeah, I get your point.
  26. Dracarys

    Dracarys Initiate (0) May 28, 2013 Alabama

    I don't have anything personal on any social media site. I made a fake FB page to get brewery/restaurant/whatever updates. Not difficult to do and I'd rather spend 30 seconds checking a Facebook feed than going through a bunch of e-mails from breweries.
    How is catering to the present and future of your market (especially when those people have a large influence on potential customers partially because of social media) a bad business model?
    ncaudle likes this.
  27. the_trystero

    the_trystero Disciple (355) Mar 19, 2013 California

    Oh yeah, that's what a friend suggested I do to keep up with bands. Maybe I'll do that for beer, bands, and miscellaneous events.
  28. colforbin73

    colforbin73 Initiate (0) Mar 30, 2010 California

    i don't want to friend you, i don't want to follow you on twitter.


    put up a website that tells me:

    1. who you are, where you are, what are the taproom hours if you have one.

    2. what kind of beer do you make and where can i buy it.

    3. get in the phonebook. i went to a new beer pub in a west coast city a couple years ago, and i asked why they "have an add in the paper that does not include the phone number or address." the barkeep told me it was on purpose and that people would just find them on line. i am like, "but you paid for an add in a newspaper.... it's not an online add.... it's in a flippin newspaper. i am not online, i saw your add in the NEWSPAPER!"

    people/businesses that are ONLY gonna use facebook --- why would you limit yourself -- get real.

    make a facebook page, make a twitter account, put up a sign, get a phone number, let people know the address.

    basic life skills people. (do as i say.... )
  29. StuartCarter

    StuartCarter Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2006 Alabama

    I despise, loathe, detest, hate facebook. If your brewery only posts info, or only posts *up to date* info on facebook, I won't see it.
  30. IPAIsaac

    IPAIsaac Disciple (341) Jun 22, 2013 Delaware

    Updated with fresh info sometimes may require web designers. Its not just a hosting fee..
    Facebook, Social media is simple to use. Everyone is using a GUI or Graphic User Interface..
    When you get into coding you have to pay people to do what you want..
    Some breweries may be able to pay, but maybe not bars... it all depends.. what ever the situation is ..

    I don't believe its just applying to a younger generation, its simply connivence, which can be spread to all..

    just my two cents..
  31. the_trystero

    the_trystero Disciple (355) Mar 19, 2013 California

    There have been plenty of trivial WYSIWYG web tools that work incredibly well that require almost zero training. Probably less training than teaching a newbie how to use Facebook effectively.

    Also, I pretty much dismiss any business which can't at least host an About Us page on one of the ubiquitous and inexpensive hosting sites these days. And it's not that much harder to have a page with current offerings.
    StuartCarter likes this.
  32. mrcraft

    mrcraft Poo-Bah (2,050) Dec 15, 2012 California

    I don't mind if the breweries put more effort in maintaining their social media pages, but they should also have their own websites with their history, beers, contact information, events, calendar and whatnot. Also, many people don't use Facebook, Twitter, etc. I use Facebook, but I keep my brewery/brewpub friends and likes to a bare minimum.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  33. IPAIsaac

    IPAIsaac Disciple (341) Jun 22, 2013 Delaware

    I agree that using tools like that can be used to display information, and your right with not much training.
    I was just simply saying, keeping it 'nice and neat' with more than just plain text.

    Its interesting that you start seeing more instant, constant updates on social media as opposed to online.
    Maybe how SM has been incorporated into many lives, whether you use it or not, has become a place to post information. I know I don't constantly use mine to post every little second of my life, like some people might, but I use to collaborate with other members of a team that I am working on a project with. It just so happens, bars + breweries also have profiles which I can follow...
  34. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    But your current market isn't your future market. Some are just fickle and will move on, but many will transition into a phase of life that involves less experimentation and increased levels of responsibilities and obligations, as well as much less time with social media (already the 20 somethings are being ignored by Tweens who are leaving Facebook behind and are likely to reject their other interests as well) and will have much less money to devote to personal gratification. To suppliment or to replace them you want to develop stable new markets or underdeveloped markets, which will become stable, regular, and include folks with the money and the time to invest in better quality things of life. Many of those target demographics are not addicted to/reliant on social media for instant gratification or helping them decide what they want.
    doowhat likes this.
  35. 395er

    395er Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2011 California

    I saw an Instagram post too late that a bottle shop right down the street had Citra. It just made me angry.
    russpowell and yemenmocha like this.
  36. MetalMountainMastiff

    MetalMountainMastiff Initiate (0) Oct 1, 2012 California

    I voted yes, I sure as shit am not going to check every brewery I likes website for updates constantly or even once a week. Retyping my age every time etc. Beer sites for this purpose even relate beer news weeks late. On any social media site with one follow, you'll see any update they have, without having to even go to their site. Couldn't be easier.
    #36 MetalMountainMastiff, Nov 15, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
    Dracarys likes this.
  37. EdH

    EdH Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2005 Utah

    I'm not saying that using social networking as the primary (or only) method of communication is ideal; but some brewers seem to be too lazy and/or apathetic to do anything more. (In fact: Some seem to struggle just to spend thirty freakin' seconds on a status update. I know brewing good beer is a lot of work--but come on). I'd rather stay updated through Facebook than not at all. Again, not my preference--but I can live with it.
  38. cmmcdonn

    cmmcdonn Initiate (188) Jun 21, 2009 Virginia

    Primary, yes. Only? Nope.

    A brewery/brewpub/restaurant should basically have the same info on a website as they do social media with the exception of the beer menu. I don't expect you to update your website the second a keg kicks, but posting it on twitter/fb along with what's on next is very simple and quick. The lack of a website (even a basic one) shows a lack of professionalism IMO.

    I also choked on some cider when I saw a reference to a "phone book". Those things are still around?
    keithmurray likes this.
  39. Dracarys

    Dracarys Initiate (0) May 28, 2013 Alabama

    You mean they'll become...these people:
    Those meddling kids fucking up your lawn today are going to be 30-year olds with careers tomorrow. I doubt all of these breweries expanding across the country think limiting their marketing to older people with money would be a good long term business decision. They pay attention to young drinkers for the same reason corporations that hawk sugar pay billions of dollars worth of attention to 6-year olds.
  40. pjkelley82

    pjkelley82 Initiate (0) May 23, 2013 New York

    Should not be a "primary" source but rather an additional way to get information to their customers.
    MrRockstar and keithmurray like this.
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