How five popular beer brands use Twitter ‘responsibly’

Alcohol advertising in the UK is subject to some of the most stringent rules in the world.

They place a particular emphasis on protecting young people. Alcohol ads must not be directed at people under 18 or contain anything that is likely to appeal to them by reflecting youth culture or by linking alcohol with irresponsible behaviour, social success or sexual attractiveness.

These mandatory rules, as independently regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) apply across all media, whether offline or online.

Which brings us to social media. How does an alcoholic beverage brand successfully run a social media channel, full of appealing content and personal engagement while sticking to the right side of the regulations?

Lets take a look at some of the most popular brands in the UK.

What is content marketing and why do you need it?

Some time between 2010 and 2011: “We should get a Twitter account!” bellows a CEO in a boardroom after reading the term repeatedly in a broadsheet newspaper over the weekend. 

“Everyone’s on Twitter, our customers are on Twitter, we should get a Twitter account, and we should Twit at customers and tell them how great we are. We don’t want to be behind the curve on this one. Not like we were when we didn’t have a website until last year,” continues the imaginary ruddy-faced executive as he pontificates to a room full of lap-dogs and sycophants. 

“Also we should be on Facebook… Also do people still use MySpace?” 

So the company immediately got a Twitter account, and a Facebook page and a [insert name of popular social media channel here] account and it pumped as many press releases, corporate slogans and nakedly brazen ‘buy-me’ marketing bilge down the channel as it possibly could, forgetting a number of key points.

  1. It’s a channel. Traffic can, and indeed should, move both ways.
  2. Nobody gives a damn what your company has to say.
  3. Your company will run out of things to say.