Social engagement with alcohol brands up 327% following coronavirus donations

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

'Given the number of normal activities that have been taken away from consumers, people are especially thankful they're still able to drink' Pic:getty/casezy
'Given the number of normal activities that have been taken away from consumers, people are especially thankful they're still able to drink' Pic:getty/casezy

Related tags: coronavirus, Social media, Guinness

Social engagement with alcohol brands has risen far more than other sectors during the coronavirus pandemic. And people are particularly keen to engage with brands that are donating money or resources to coronavirus relief efforts.

“At a time when there's so much depressing news going on in the world, people are even more receptive than usual to hearing about brands doing the right thing,” ​says ListenFirst, the social analytics company that compiled the data.

Guinness, for example, generated 82,918 responses from a Facebook post about the brand committing $500,000 to give back to the community on St Patrick’s Day.

And overall, eight out of the 10 top performing posts by alcohol brands all address the coronavirus in one way or another.

Guinness and Budweiser 

ListenFirst looked at 284 alcohol brands, alongside 22 other verticals such as healthcare brands. It compiled a social engagement score measuring the volume of post responses and fan growth across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; and hashtag/handle mentions on Twitter.

Social engagement with alcohol brands increased 326.51% in March 2020 compared to March 2019. To put that in perspective, ListenFirst looked at 22 other verticals and alcohol brands by far have seen the biggest lift in social engagement during the coronavirus. 

For instance, the next highest score was around healthcare brands which saw social engagement increase by 141.35% in March 2020. Engagement around CPG Food brands increased by 58.08% in the same time period. 

The most successful social media post by an alcohol brand in March 2020 was a Facebook post by Diageo’s Guinness: that generated 82,918 responses about the brand committing $500,000​ to give back to the community on St. Patrick’s Day.

The second and third most successful posts by alcohol brands during the month were both from Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser. The brand generated 51,858 responses around a Facebook pun​ showing the beautiful buds of spring outside a lockdown window, and 33,396 responses around a Facebook post​ asking for names of people who are going above and beyond in doing the right thing.

And in general, both beer and wine has seen increased conversation online. There were 4,043,688 tweets mentioning beer in March 2020; which was 40% more than the volume of tweets than mentioned beer in March 2019.

Meanwhile, there were 3,007,145 tweets mentioning wine in March 2020 - an increase of 66% from March 2019.

The exception was Corona beer: negative sentiment around Corona on Twitter went from 7% Negative in March 2019 to 19% Negative in March 2020, according to ListenFirst, because people wrongly associate Corona beer with the Coronavirus.

Tito's Handmade Vodka generated 31,487 responses to a Facebook post on how it's producing hand sanitizers at its distillery. Fireball, meanwhile, created 24,450 responses from a post on its $400,000 in match money to a tip jar fund for out-of-work bartenders.

Tracy David, Chief Marketing Officer, ListenFirst, said: "Given the number of normal activities that have been taken away from consumers, people are especially thankful that they're still able to drink, which is a big contributor to why social engagement around alcohol brands has risen.

“However, brands like Guinness, Tito's Handmade Vodka, and Fireball are even further ingratiating themselves to the audience by posting about how they're donating their money or resources.

“At a time when there's so much depressing news going on in the world, people are even more receptive than usual to hearing about brands doing the right thing."

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