Everybody likes a drink at Christmas – unless you’re teetotal, of course, which all of us at M2 Bespoke have declared to become after this weekend. It was the M2 Bespoke Christmas party on Saturday and, um, el vino did flow…

Office party

However, where once it was seen as the ‘cool’ thing to boast about how much alcohol you’d consumed the night before, now that binge culture is largely frowned upon.

In fact, the number of under-25s opting for total abstinence from drink leapt by 40% between 2005 and 2013, according to the most recent data from the Office for National Statistics.

The figures show that more than a quarter of young people do not drink alcohol at all and binge drinking is also in decline.

This has made life harder for alcohol brands, who are already having to work within strict regulations on social media set by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The rules are entirely necessary to protect young people, of course, but it’s not easy for them to promote their products responsibly on social.

While sympathy for alcohol brands might be in short supply, we can still admire their work on social and seek to learn something from it. The Econsultancy blog has brought together some of the booze brands making the best use of the platform:

1. Kronenbourg

One thing that alcohol does have in its favour is that it’s synonymous with silliness. That gives brands the license to come up with puerile (but clever) campaigns in order to engage consumers.

Kristen Wiig

That’s exactly what Kronenbourg did with its #LeBigSwim campaign, which saw retired professional footballer Eric Cantona promising to swim the English Channel if 10,000 people declared Kronenbourg to be the supreme beer.

With 2.5 million engagements generated and reach of 66.3 million, it’s fair to say that by giving consumers a purpose, asking to actively respond and engage, Kronenbourg excelled itself.

2. Moët & Chandon

Not all alcohol brands have that puerile side to them, though. Those at the top end of the market are synonymous with sophisticated times, as opposed to horribly drunk times.

Moët & Chandon is one such brand, and its social media presence proves that you don’t have to sell yourself as something that you’re not in order to flourish on the platform.

The French winery’s Instagram page, for example, consists of just straight-up images of its product in a variety of different settings, but still boasts over 250k followers.

The lesson to be learnt here, I guess, is not to sacrifice the things that make your brand unique in order to ‘fit in’ on social media – embrace the opulence and decadence, as Moët & Chandon has done, if that’s what sets you apart.

3. Patrón

Tequila brand Patrón is another brand that has built a reputation for being a cut above the rest. Its social media reflects this with content that other brands struggle to come close to, such as its virtual reality-ready videos that allow viewers to “experience Patrón like never before – through the eyes of our iconic bee”.

By making the most of the technology available to it, it was able to live up to its promise and deliver a behind-the-scenes look at its Hacienda Patrón distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, where the process of how tequila is made.

Tools and technology are there to be used and doing so could give your brand an edge over your competitors on social media.

4. Jack Daniels

The Jack Daniels name is so well known it doesn’t even really have to try on social media. However, it doesn’t want to take anything for granted – quite rightly – and replies to the majority of comments on its Facebook page.

David Brent

By making itself available to customers on social media, it naturally generates a lot of user generated content. You might even go as far to say that they’ve created their own mini-community or hub given the amount of Jack Daniels-inspired ideas and recipes that get shared on social media.

It just goes to show the extent to which brands can use social media to their advantage, with customer loyalty the nice by-product of creating a presence your followers can and do engage with.

The social media practices used by these alcohol brands are not any different to what you should be using to promote your business and to build lasting relationships with your customers. It’s just a case of giving your followers a reason to engage with your business on the platform, which requires you to embrace what it is that makes you, you, and using the tools and technology available to you to keep up with customers’ expectations for firms to be always on.

Don’t worry, though, they’ll make some allowances for your Christmas Party. Just remember to drink responsibly…

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With love from Lapland! 🎄🎅🏼🎿✨

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