In March 2018 the agency reviewed the activity of more than 100 English-language twitter accounts from major spirits and liqueur brands in Europe and North America, including brands owned by Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Bacardi, Campari, Brown Forman, Beam Suntory and William Grand & Sons. It found that ‘a high number of spirits and liqueur brands have effectively abandoned the channel’.
YesMore suggests that ‘channel overwhelm’ could be the reason for this.
Managing accounts: ‘Gone are the days where an intern could do it’
YesMore found that 20% of the 100+ accounts surveyed had not posted in the last year or more; while more than 40% had not tweeted over the last month.
Among the brands who have let Twitter slide are Beefeater (last tweet March 20, 2017), Auchentoshan (last tweet October 21, 2017) and Haig Club (March 29, 2017).
However, YesMore identifies other brands such as Makers Mark (@makersmark) and Bombay Sapphire’s distillery (@homeof Bombay) that continue to use the platform effectively.
So why are some brands reducing their emphasis on twitter?
“The simple answer is likely to be channel overwhelm; in short, having too many accounts to manage and not enough resource or budget to continue with all of them. It’s just too much to handle, and gone are the days where the intern could do it”.
It also suggests the ease of communication on Twitter means it accounts become focused on customer service rather than conveying brand identity.
YesMore found that each brand has a minimum of three social media profiles (usually Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for each key market. There can be up to 10 different markets.
Making Twitter work
YesMore says the platform ‘undoubtedly continues to have value’, given that it is the easiest platform for building influencer and customer relationships via two-way conversations.
Its top tip is to consolidate accounts into one clear global presence. For example, @makersmarkuk stopped tweeting more than a year ago, while @makersmark continues to tweet. “Makers Mark UK abandoned its account, presumably to focus its effort on its global account, and the efforts are paying off”, says YesMore. “The brand’s resources are focused and collaboratively feeding one clear presence on Twitter that’s manageable and effective”.
Meanwhile, @HomeOfBombay – the account for Bombay’s distillery – is commended for having a ‘highly engaged, completely human and genuinely sociable’ account – unlike the global and UK accounts for Bombay Sapphire.
Social media strategies
Diageo: “We have a well-rounded social media strategy which includes paid and organic content across the major social media channels: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter," the company told BD. "This is run centrally and we work with our markets to activate across the most relevant channels at a local level.”
“A way forward for Bacardi could be to merge Bombay Sapphire’s accounts into one.”
YesMore also looked at engagement with Twitter accounts. “Of those with ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ engagement, 55% are global accounts; 21.7% are US; 20% are UK and 3.3% are European accounts. Taking a global approach seems to pay off.”
YesMore emphasizes that the global account needs to tie in with the overall brand aims and marketing messages across all social media channels.
It advises that posting original content regularly (at least eight times a month) to communicate brand identity; and posting curated content (re-posting) with an original comment to keep the tone of voice and content relevant to the brand.
Meanwhile, creating a network of people who can feed into the Twitter account – such as the farms the produce the grains or raw products to the distilleries through to mixologists or sommeliers – to enhance the pool of content curation.
Setting a good example
Best practice on Twitter is to post at least 20 times a month; have good or excellent engagement with followers; and use community management to engage the audience, says YesMore.
YesMore’s top five Twitter accounts – the only ones surveyed which do all of these things - are Sipsmith (@spismith); Makers Mark (@MakersMark); Bombay Sapphire distillery (@homeofbombay); Absolut US (@ABSOLUTvodka_US) and Jameson US (@jameson_us).