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5 Beer Instagram Tips and Discoveries for a Better Beer Blog

5 Beer Instagram Tips and Discoveries for a Better Beer Blog

November marks one full year since we kicked off our beer blog, Ale Adventures. In that time, we’ve had a lot of incredible opportunities and highlights which we shared about in our last post. But we’ve also learned a lot about beer blogging and utilizing social media.

Here are five things we’ve learned in our first year of beer blogging that might just help you on your own journey.

1. There’s Strength in Numbers

Although we thought we were at the start, we quickly realized we weren’t the only beer bloggers out there. As we began exploring the craft beer community online, we discovered countless others doing the same thing locally and around the country. Had we known it at the time, we might not have begun blogging our “ale adventures” at all. Instead of being discouraged, though, we resolved instead to set ourselves apart from the rest. One of those ways was by building our credibility and clout through numbers.

Ale Adventures

When it comes to social media, we’ve learned that numbers are huge — the more Followers, Likes, Shares etc. you have the more credibility you (seem to) have. While numbers aren’t always accurate or reliable, they do add a degree of authority and influence to who you are and what you do. For instance, we felt much more confident and had better response introducing ourselves as beer bloggers when we had 2,000 Instagram followers than when we had just 200. This month, we passed 5k followers on Instagram (with an additional 200 followers on Facebook and a handful of  WordPress subscribers). We used a combination of self-work and third-party service to increase our Instagram interaction, engagement and following. As far as our goals for the first year of blogging went, our efforts paid off — the more our numbers grew, the more opportunities we were presented with.

All that to say, there really is strength in numbers. Our advice is to carve out time weekly or even daily to interact (ie. Like, Follow, Comment) with other like-minded people online. Or, find a legitimate, trustworthy third party to do the work for you; we highly recommend Jumper Media. Either way, it will require time, effort and/or finances, but if done right, it will pay off (literally).

2. Add a Human Element

A piece of advice we were given early on was to “include a human element.” Adam’s sister Abigail is a professional marketer who has been able to apply her knowledge and skills to her fly fishing and baking hobbies. She found that photos that included a human element (ie. her hand, another person etc.) got a better response than photos that didn’t. We’ve found this to be true, too. Despite Adam’s keen photographic eye, creative shots of a taproom or glass/bottle of beer usually don’t do as well as a photo of a beertender pouring, or musician performing, or Katie sipping from a glass.

Ale Adventures

As we’ve developed our own social media strategy, we still include static shots of taprooms, breweries, brewing spaces and beer; but we intersperse those with more active shots that include human elements. Play around and see what works best for you.

3. For Better or Worse, Sex Sells

We’re not exactly crazy about this, but if we’re being honest the numbers don’t lie — images of women with beer and cleavage do perform really well online, which makes sense — the craft beer industry is hugely dominated by men. Even though most of the non-brewery accounts we follow on Instagram are women, 66% of our own followers are men. We’ve found that no matter how creative or unique a photo of Adam with beer is, a photo of Katie with beer almost always does significantly better. It’s also clear through observing trends from fellow Instagram beer blogs, that the more skin a woman shows — especially her cleavage — the better that photo does.

Ale Adventures

Katie is a proud ambassador of Girls in Craft and loves promoting and encouraging women in the craft beer community. Some of our favorite beer bloggers and social media influencers are women who create awesome content. But we personally find the exploitation of women or oversexualizing of content for results, is a cheap means to a cheap end. Some may be upset to hear that — and we’re not pointing fingers or shaming anyone out here — but we know we’re not alone in our sentiments.

In a recent display of self-respect and feminism, one female beer blogger we admire publicly called out another account for its oversexualized profile image. “What does your profile image have to do with your account?” she asked. The tone of her question wasn’t lost, and after a quick look at the account, it was clear that the sexy profile image was unrelated to and unnecessary for the otherwise unsexy, unoriginal, generic beer-related photos.

Then again, we’ve recently been made aware of another popular female beer blogger who was excluded from an industry event because of how she portrayed herself publicly (namely, by the way she dressed). Again, we’re not here to name or shame, we’re simply sharing the facts: in short, sex sells. Ultimately, your content is your own, and you’re free to post whatever you want; but know that that the world is watching and free to have its own opinions as well.”

4. Predictably, Algorithms Are Unpredictable

If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or otherwise — you know that the algorithms are nearly impossible to understand much less predict. With Instagram being owned by Facebook, at least you may see some algorithmic similarities between the two. But aside from that, we don’t have much in the way of advice to offer.

Ale Adventures

As far as Facebook’s and Instagram’s Insights go, we do suggest checking those every now and then — knowing who your audience is, where they are and when they’re online may give you some insight into what and when to post. To complicate things, however, we’ve also found that our Instagram insights can be dead-wrong — a photo posted on the day and at the time suggested for high results can absolutely bomb, and a photo posted on the day and at the time suggested for low results gets great response. Basically, find what posting strategies and insights work most consistently for you and stick to them.

5. Be Relatable

People like feeling like they connect with someone. They like relating to someone. They like having something in common with someone. Be that person. While there’s definitely a time and place to #Humblebrag what you’re drinking or the taproom you’re visiting or the beer-mail you just came home to, make the effort to get to know your followers and let them get to know you. Ask questions; share stories. The more someone feels like they connect with and relate to you, the more likely they are to come back and continue engaging.

Ale Adventures

Social media is an ever-evolving animal. It can be demanding and frustrating, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. These five Instagram tips are just a few things we’ve learned or discovered for ourselves in the past year that have led to what we consider success. We hope they may help you on your own journey to a successful beer blog, too!

What have you learned that you might add to our list? 

Also, be sure to follow @aleadventuresmn and @porchdrinkingco

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  1. Gordon Moul

    Hello, I have a story to tell that I think you and your audience might find entertaining and informative.
    I’ll paste a bit of it here for you to read and decide if you would be interested in publishing it. Please let me know.

    Here’s a lesson for anyone thinking about buying a used Kegerator.
    Don’t. Until you read this.

    I thought I wanted a Kegerator, I could save money by buying my beer in bulk and be able to tap a perfect cold mug of beer whenever I wanted…. Right? No more beer cans or bottles to deal with! Save money! Sounds like a great idea!

    So… a new kegerator costs anywhere from 500$ to 700$ Or more.
    Let’s buy a used one!

    After weeks of looking online we found one not to far from here being advertised on Facebook. It was only $285 and came with everything including the manuals and cleaning supplies.
    This is going to be great!

    We went to look at it, and the man explained that he bought it for a party a few years ago and it had been in his garage ever since. The place looked clean, the Kegerator indeed had all the hardware inside including a co2 tank and the refrigerator came on when plugged in. No dents or major scratches…. Black…. Looks good…. I talk him down to $275 because I’m smart.

    So after getting it home, reading the manual, cleaning all the lines and taps and putting it in the perfect spot I couldn’t wait to tap my first keg.
    Let’s go buy a keg of beer.

    The first thing you need to know is there a deposit on your first keg that you will be refunded for, or given credit towards your next keg when you return your empty one.
    I drink Coors light. No jokes please….
    My first 1/4 keg cost $117.something….
    Ok. 50$ deposit? Right!? That would make the keg like 67$ For 83 12oz beers. Not bad. I buy a 1/4 keg.

    Kegs are heavy!!!!
    They don’t fit well in a car!

    Let’s hook the keg up and tap it.
    Make sure that that handle on the keg coupler is in the up position, or it WILL spew beer in ALL directions at HIGH pressure when applied!
    Lower the handle after tapping the keg properly.
    Beer is sticky when it dries.

    Time to tap a beer.

    My first tap was nothing but foam.
    I kind of expected that since I had just dragged it out of the disturber, hefted it into the car, drove it home and dragged it up the driveway. Kegs are heavy.
    It will go away.

    It didn’t go away, instead it was starting to form a puddle of beer on the floor…. I had a leak.

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