When thinking about the characteristics of the typical beer drinker, you might be forgiven for focusing primarily on white men. That’s how the demographics of the traditional beer audience were highlighted for decades in traditional advertising among the big international breweries. But in the past several years, with the rebirth of the craft beer industry, the audience has been expanding in diversity. With that expansion, innovative social media practitioners can expand beyond the traditional white male audience.
The other 50% of the world – women
In an effort to be more inclusive, many breweries are now focusing their hiring efforts on women brewers. Not surprisingly, this also brings along women drinkers, who have traditionally been sidelined where it comes to beer advertising. One online group that has expanded into physical events is the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies. It started in Toronto with a pair of women who wanted to build a supportive environment for women who drink beer. They have now expanded to hosting their own events exclusively for women and those who identify as women, and they have expanded beyond Toronto into Hamilton and Ottawa. They use traditional social media – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – to connect with their audiences, augmented by the in-person events.
Broadening the diversity conversation
In the past several years, there has been a growing audience beyond the traditional white male audience to include people of colour in the conversation. However, the problems of social media of racist and sexist behaviour are also colliding with this movement. There are still bright lights of optimism. The hashtag #IAmCraftBeer came into existence earlier this year when a black female drinker posted a vile commentary that she had received. By posting her experience, she rallied hundreds to the cause, resulting in the hashtag promotion of diversity in the beer drinking culture. This successful grass roots campaign can only benefit those companies who also seek to promote diversity in their operation or their clientele.
With this in mind, while it is important to be able to identify your main audience, it is also valuable to identify the audiences that are trending to increase. This enables the savvy social media practitioner to proactively take advantage of those new territories and increase the reach of their content.
What do you think? What is another audience that remains untapped by beer advertising?