The State of Drinks Industry Social Media

The State of Drinks Industry Social Media

The adoption rate of social media has dwarfed any other media before it. But the runaway success of social media presents profound challenges, and opportunities, for drinks manufacturers. The ability to create direct connections with drinks consumers is one not to be squandered.

Social media is now at a maturity level where best practice can now be established; the major networks are firmly in place, obsolete networks have faded away, and niche social networks have emerged to fill the gaps. Marketers are now able to be far more confident in their decision to allocate budget and resource to social media as part of their communications mix.

This report eschews the usual format of taking each social network one-by-one and explaining how they work. Instead, it focuses specifically on how alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage companies are using social media today, finding commonalities and sharing examples of beverage campaigns that have used social media channels to reach their target audience successfully.

Extract: “The terrible truth is that if drinks businesses, with their ability to tell compelling stories rooted in their provenance, prove incapable of using social media as an effective channel to speak to consumers, then what chance do other industries have?”

Written by John Newton, director of marketing at just-drinks, with contributions from correspondents in Canada, Japan, Lebanon, China, South Africa, India, Russia, the UK, and Colombia, this report examines how drinks brands are currently utilising social media, identifying four key campaign types in use today:

Events led campaigns
Community led campaigns
Cause led campaigns
Sales promotion led campaigns

This compact report also considers how regional differences might affect international campaigns, and how changes from the social media networks themselves are forcing marketers to think and act differently.

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Executive summary


The three ages of social media

The First Era of Social Media, 2002-08
The Second Era of Social Media, 2008-14
The Third Era of Social Media, 2014 onwards

Social media – a channel in maturity

The key challenges facing drinks marketers today
The four social media campaign types


Events-led: From producer to promoter to publisher

Social media and branded events are perfect partners
The content conundrum
Events marketing – social media in practice: Skol, Red Bull, Heineken, Budweiser, PepsiCo/Tingyi.

Community-led: The rise of the brand community

Drinks executives on authenticity
Communicating brand values visually
Using brand communities in product innovation
Brand communities – social media in practice: Sapporo Breweries Ltd, Patrón, Coca-Cola Japan, Absolut Vodka.

Cause-led: Creating a deeper connection with consumers

Rebels with a cause
Reflecting consumer concerns
Brands have a duty to act responsibly
Cause-led marketing – social media in practice: Bacardi, PepsiCo, SABMiller, Vimto, Starbucks.

Promotion-led: Using social media to drive sales

The drinks industry’s $42bn problem
The social media ROI challenge
Plugging the social sales data gap
Sales promotion in a multi-touch world
Promotion-led campaigns – social media in practice: Kirin, Fanta, Mizone, Amstel, Fuze Iced Tea.


International considerations for social media

Middle East
Latin America

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