The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Should we keep talking about COVID-19?


For the past four weeks, Kiwis’ minds have been consumed by COVID-19 and its effects on not only our lives, but our businesses and future. But when it comes to promoting your liquor brand, should you address the Coronavirus pandemic?

According to data analysed by Listen First, the answer is yes. During the month of March 2020, eight of the 10 top performing social media posts by alcohol brands all addressed Coronavirus in one way or another.

“The top performing post, generating 82,927 responses, was by Guinness,” wrote Listen First’s Jonathan Cohen. “The Facebook post talked about how St. Patrick’s Day feels different this year, and they’re donating half a million dollars back to communities through their Guinness Gives Back Fund.”

Other brands that built strong engagement by being involved with conversations about COVID-19 include:

Budweiser: Which received 51,863 responses around a Facebook post showing all of the beautiful “Buds” outside your window on the first day of Spring

Tito’s Handmade Vodka: Which generated more than 30,000 responses on a post about producing ethanol-based hand sanitizers in their distillery

Fireball: Which received 24, 450 responses on a Facebook post about contributing up to $400,000 in match money to a tip jar fund for out-of-work bartenders. 

Social engagement about alcohol brands increased by 326.51% in March compared to the previous year, proving social media strategy is more important than ever.

“If it’s through comedy or charity, it appears that the social media audience wants to hear from alcohol brands,” says Cohen.

This is big news for bars, as – while they remain closed for the foreseeable future – it highlights a significant opportunity. Now is the perfect time to build your online following and interest in your venue, so you can make an even bigger splash post-pandemic.

“Consumers are on social media platforms more than ever and it’s a great time to get your business in front of these people in a sensitive manner,” Claire Stevens, Director of social media agency Crunchy Social, told Bars and Clubs. “Being open to conversation is how businesses can build brand loyalty and develop strong relationships with their customers.”

“Use this time to gain engagement with entertaining content, rather than sales pitches,” Stevens says.

“Consider doing a series of instagram stories focused on cocktail making at home. Brands could run a poll or request comments on their followers’ favourite way to drink a particular alcohol.

“They could also run a fun competition by requesting for users to tag the brand in their #StayHome cocktail creations and offer the best or more creative concoction a prize. The trick is to get users to show their wider network that they’re engaging with the brand.”

So for now, with most people doing the right thing and staying home, social media is more crucial than ever to connect with consumers.

Edited from from a story by Brydie Allen, originally published on Bars and Clubs.

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