Instagram Features to Grow Your Brewery Business

December 13th, 2019 • by Devon Hoffman
Devon Hoffman

Devon Hoffman

Devon Hoffman is a Digital Marketing Specialist for Site-Seeker. When he's not using his computer to find and visit every brewery in New York State, he is using it to help business partners achieve their digital marketing goals. These goals may include location marketing and optimization, digital advertising, search engine optimization or anything in between. Then he's looking for the breweries again.

This is part 1 in a 2-part series by Site-Seeker, your partner for online success.

There are myriad of Instagram features that are free to use and that can boost your brewery’s online presence.

These add context and promote interaction with your content.

● Use the “@mention” sticker to tag others in your stories. This is useful if you want to tag an influencer you’re working with or just to call attention to anyone.
● Use the location sticker to, you guessed, tag your brewery or wherever you are (maybe you’re participating in a local event). Others viewing stories in this location can now see your story.
● The poll and question stickers are great for getting feedback from your followers.
● A newer feature is called “chat” where you can invite viewers to join in a private (i.e. direct) message with you. This is useful to continue a conversation with an engaged audience and really connect with the group.
● There are also fun emoji stickers and GIFs you can add to your stories that help dress them up and make them more fun.

Going live on your Instagram stories might seem a little intimidating. What do you say? What if you mess up? Try not to let this deter you – we all feel like that the first few times. Lives are a powerful way to engage with your audience. For one, loyal followers will get a notification that you’ve gone live. Secondly, viewers can participate in the conversation as you’re live, asking questions, responding to questions, or just commenting. And you can respond in the moment. Lives help create a deeper connection with your audience.

Joint Lives
This goes with the information above, but it’s worth its own mention since it involves a little more planning and coordination. In our experience, these are best used when strategically planned. Anyone watching your video can request to join your live, and there might be a place for that, but they’re really impactful when used with someone you’re partnering with. Maybe it’s a brand influencer for your brewery. Maybe it’s a representative from another brewery entirely that you’re working with. Who knows. You know, but try to plan ahead so that you’re both hopping on at the same time and the invitation/acceptance process goes smoothly. Once you are up and running, make sure you don’t get lost in talking with each other, keep checking the comments and questions coming through the live chat portion and engaging with your audience.

This is the last thing we’ll mention here and goes hand in hand with all the above, but it is especially helpful in driving new followers. Takeovers involve giving someone else access to your Instagram, which yes, involves giving them your logins, so make sure you choose someone you know you can trust to be professional. It’s also a good idea to iron out the guidelines beforehand. What’s appropriate for your channel, what’s not, anything specific they should discuss. Remember, you’re likely choosing them because they have a relevant following to yours so you still want them to be authentically themselves, but coming to an agreement beforehand will save a headache later.

So there is an exception to the 24-hours rule we mentioned above, and that’s highlights. Simply, these allow you to save a really cool story reel you’ve posted to your profile forever. A good time to use this feature is if you’ve got content that’s relevant for more than a day. An example could
be: you posted an awesome story about a free beer giveaway you’re doing. The contest runs for an entire week and you don’t want to annoy your followers by talking about it every day. Another instance might be that you have evergreen content. Maybe you just created a Story about the creation of one of your beers, and you think people might be interested in watching again at a later day. Once you’re done compiling your story, save it as a highlight to your profile. This can be done by going to your archived stories (i.e. anything older than 24 hours) and selecting “Create Highlight.” It will prompt you to select which story clips you want to add to your highlight.

Branded Content
Any time there’s an exchange of value (ex: you pay an influencer/ambassador/creator to create content for your brand), your business needs to be tagged in their posts as branded content.
For example, if you send a brewery t-shirt, that counts as an exchange of value. Once you approve a creator to create branded content, the creator can then give you permission to use the post as an ad for your business. Instagram outlines in detail how to set this up for both the creator and the business. Doing this expands your reach by getting in front of that creator’s following and also positions you as a serious brand. What’s cooler than having one of your fans sitting down, throwing back one of your beers and telling others how great it is? And then you get to turn around and promote that content, furthering expanding your reach.

Creating a Business Account
You have to have an Instagram Business Profile for your brewery. This not only establishes your account as a brand, but it unlocks a couple of other sweet features as well.

Directions: If you’re currently running your brewery business on Instagram as a personal profile, go to Settings, scroll down, and click on “Switch to Business Profile.” Because Facebook owns Instagram, it will then prompt you to connect to your company’s Facebook page. You’ll have to be an admin on that page to do this. Then, you just fill in your business’ information (email address, phone number, physical address, and hours).

So what are the benefits of doing this?
Having a business account on Instagram gives you access to some important features that will be helpful in growing your brewery on the platform and driving sales. You’ll get access to:
● Insights – This will allow you to track things like your follower growth, the demographics of your followers, and your most engaged post times/days. You’ll also be able to analyze things like engagement, clicks, and profile views.
● Story Linking – This one you’ll only be able to do if you have at least 10,000 followers, but once you do, this is a pretty powerful tool. Linking in your Instagram story allows you to send your viewers/followers directly to your website or wherever you want them to take an action. If you’re already familiar with the platform, you know the opportunity to add links is minimal (just in your profile/bio section). So having the ability to add URLs directly in your story will give you another opportunity to direct traffic to your brewery’s website.

As a brewery, Instagram is one of the most powerful platforms you can be on, especially if you’re on a budget! There are numerous ways to organically grow your following, connect with your audience, and generate
sales. The best part? Instagram Stories are the perfect opportunity to set aside some of your brand guidelines, share some real behind the scenes footage, and show the more human side of your business.