Keeping Beer Lovers Engaged While Your Taproom is Closed

April 14th, 2020 • by Colleen Onuffer
Colleen Onuffer

Colleen Onuffer

Colleen uses her passion for writing and story-telling in her role as a Consultant at Break the Ice Media. Since her start in 2016, Colleen has helped her clients find their essential stories and develop targeted messages. Colleen devotes her time to collaborative campaigns, utilizing public relations to drive awareness of New York State’s breweries and drafting engaging content to encourage visitation along a year-long haunted tourism trail.

It’s no secret that times are tough right now, but while your doors are closed, you can continue to engage with your customers. We’ve compiled a few ways you can stay connected with your customers, gain new ones, and be ready to welcome them back in once the pandemic is over.

Regularly post on social media

Social media is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your customer base engaged. Plus, many people are spending far more time on social media than they usually do. Use this to your advantage, and:

  • Inform your followers of easy ways they can support you. Make sure your customers know you are still here for them. Provide links to order your beer online and encourage your fans to order gift cards and merchandise.
  • To make your brewery seem even more personable, highlight some of the employees who are working hard to make sure people are still getting their beer.
  • Eye-catching content is key. Share photos of the beers you have available for delivery and pickup, or uplifting content such as photos of your brew-dogs and funny videos of your team members out delivering.
  • Your social media followers can be your biggest asset, so be sure you are encouraging them to tag you in their posts. Create custom hashtags and hold a social media contest to increase engagement. SingleCut Beersmiths in Astoria, NY asked followers to tag them in photos with #SingleCutDistancing for the chance to win a prize pack. Brainstorm creative social media contests custom to your brewery.
  • Create social media challenges or templates for your followers to share and tag their friends in. These have become one of the biggest trends on pandemic-era Instagram. “This or That” templates (Stout or IPA, canned or draft, etc.), “See a beer, Send a beer,” and Brewery Bingo (team up with other local breweries to create a brewery bingo board) are just a few of the ways you can start a new trend while getting your brewery’s name out there.

Regularly Send E-newsletters

  • One of the biggest things you can do right now is keep your customers informed. One of the best ways to do this without the limits of a social media post is by sending out a weekly e-newsletter. Use it to tell your subscribers how and when they can purchase from you, promote your pick-up or delivery service and push merchandise and gift cards.
  • Profile a different beer each week and encourage customers to try that beer for themselves by offering a sale.
  • Include recipes and tips for at-home beer tastings and food pairings.
  • Get personal by including a letter from your brewer or owner on what’s going on behind the scenes. Keep your customers updated on all the steps and precautions you are taking as a brewery.

Participate in Virtual Happy Hours

Virtual happy hours are a great way for people to stay connected with friends and family. Start by signing up to host a #ThinkNYDrinkNY Virtual Happy Hour with NYSBA. These take place every night at 6:30 pm on Facebook Live. Or host your own virtual happy hour for your customers through Zoom or Google Meet.

Support Your Community

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During this crazy time, people at home feel helpless and are looking for ways that they can make a difference. Showing your customers that you are supporting your local community will make them feel even better about buying from you. Offer a free can to healthcare workers or educators or allow your customers to buy a pint for someone on the frontline. Water Street Brewing Company in Binghamton, NY started a GoFundMe page to raise money so they can purchase food from local restaurants to feed healthcare workers. Then, they’re sharing photos of their deliveries. Other breweries are giving their spent grain to local farms as animal feed. Everyone is looking to do their part right now so no matter what you’re doing, share the good.

Times are tough right now, but it is important to stay connected, spread positive vibes, support your community and keep providing good quality beer to your customers!