Selling Whisky: A Bar Owner’s Guide To Building A Social Media Strategy 

A picture of a back bar and numbers liquor bottles.
Image created by Me! (Geoffrion-Greenslade, Natasha)

Hands up if you’re a single malt fan???

Then I need your help!!

How do I sell more whisky?

That’s the question my team and I having been discussing since the re-opening of bars here in Montreal.  If you read my intro discussion post you’ll know I’m a Montreal bar owner intent on re-branding my business, NsurMackay.

Moving into 2023 my team and I are developing a whisky program and in turn hope to drive single malts sales, increase our whisky drinking client base and host extensive whisky-oriented events such as weekly scotch tastings.

This week, while busy shaking drinks (yeh, I seem to spend a lot of time doing that!) I’ve considered how to plan a social media strategy that would in turn supplement this whisky program. This course’s reading material on The Sprout Social blog suggests using four main goals in the development of that strategy:

  • Goal #1: Create brand awareness
  • Goal #2: Generate leads and sales 
  • Goal #3: Increase the brand audience
  • Goal #4: Boost community engagement

    Here are ways I plan on achieving each of those goals with the end goal of selling more whisky:

    Create Brand Awareness | Become a whisky expert and share that wealth of information with clients:

    Write a weekly post about a specific single malt.  Include the taste profile, facts about the distillery and information about its malt master.

    Toby Lyle owner of the Pub Burgundy Lion, a British Pub in Griffontown Montreal, knows a lot about single malts.  Every Tuesday he curates a post on the Pubs Instagram regarding a single malt he chooses as part of their “Slainte Tuesday”. It’s an indepth, informative post about the whiskey and it’s distillery: 

    Image of Burgundy Lion's Instagram post on Glenfiddich Winter's Storm
    Image taken from Burgundy Lion’s Instagram

    Generate Leads & Sales | Design and promote a whisky deal:

    Create an onsite promo such as a 1$ off a “Whisky of The Week”. Promote the whisky deal and advocate clients to come-in and try it out. Consider making a deal only for the bar’s social media users as an added incentive.  

    Pre-pandemic, N sur Mackay already featured a Whiskey of the Week. It worked well and it was something easy for me to post about weekly:

    Facebook post from N sur Mackay featuring a bottle of Dalmore 12 year old single malt
    Image created by Me! (Geoffrion-Greenslade, Natasha)

    Increase the Brand’s Audience | Become active in whiskey social media groups

    Join local online whisky groups and become active by commenting on the members posts. Answer members questions and consider tagging one of the bar’s own social media posts that would respond to these questions. Follow whisky and distillery pages, as well as brand ambassadors and other whiskey connoisseurs.  Repost some of their reviews, information and advertising when it applies and also hashtag and tag these pages when designing the bar’s own posts. 

    There’s a ton of local whiskey-lover’s facebook groups here in Montreal and Quebec such as:

    Club de Scotch Whisky de Montreal

    James Neil, a Whisky Ambassador is an active Instagram user and he posts great product information. He also reposts and features local bars that carry his products:

    Instagram post from user WorldWhiskyCanada featuring a bottle of Bowmore at tagging a restaurant
    Image from the Instagram of WorldWhiskyCanada

    Boost Community Engagement | Feature a Q & A at the beginning of the week about a specific whisky 

    Get people talking, commenting, liking and interested in the whisky of the week before the week even starts! Develop a series of multiple-choice questions regarding each whiskey of the week and feature it on the bar’s Instagram stories.

    I’m sure these posts and content for the bar’s social media feed will help achieve my marketing goals and start the social media marketing strategy on the right foot for 2023.

    What other content could I post to target whisky drinkers? Have you engaged lately with any bar’s social media in your area?? What’s motivated you to spend money at your local? I’d love to hear your input!