Case Studies

Know of Any Breweries Using Social Media Well? We Do

Let’s say you run a single, independent brewery or sports bar. Your experience is inherently a social experience, right? Social media should be a no-brainer.

Unfortunately the reality is, we don’t always witness that, and we track hundreds of restaurants, sports bars, and breweries using social media.

Angel City BreweryBut we recently caught up with Kathleen Barnes, who runs social media for Angel City Brewery, in Los Angeles, California. Why talk to Angel City?

Only because, with their multimillions of monthly website visitors, advanced this little brewery all the way to the Elite Eight in their Most Social Small Business Competition. That’s all. Sniff.

When you take a look at their Facebook page, there’s great activity. It’s not just THEIR activity though – it’s the activity from customers who love their brand.

When you take a look at their Twitter stream, and you’ll see far more than drink specials. How about giveaways to nonprofits, partnerships with the uber-popular Kogi BBQ food truck, and Beer Fact Friday?

Angel City has discovered how to use the right social media outposts in the right way to engage their brewery fans.

On Twitter in particular, they’ve amassed nearly 3,300 followers. On Facebook, approximately 18,000 fans. On Instagram, 2,800 followers. And how about this one: On Untappd, they’ve raked in over 900 likes and over 7,700 reviews of their beers.

Having said that, it’s really not solely about the raw numbers of likes or fans or followers. It’s about how engaged they are — helping keep the brand alive in their minds. That’s where Angel City Brewery excels.

And this place isn’t even a real restaurant. It’s a brewery. No food.

So, what’s their approach? I asked Kathleen about this recently, and here’s what she had to say, below. Great lessons to be learned not just for other breweries using social media, but just as much for sports bars and restaurants.

1. How did you go about crafting your social media strategy?

I’ve been working on social media for Angel City since I started with the company back in July of 2012. I came with agency experience, managing social media channels for a number of clients. I drew my strategy from my knowledge of the nature of each channel and how each channel has requires different messaging styles and frequency of messaging.

Not everything that goes on Facebook should go on Twitter or Instagram, and vice versa. The number of posts/day and timing/day definitely goes in to play as we plan posts.

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2. How much time goes into managing your social media work?

A bulk of my management of our channels happens the week before we post content. I look at all of our upcoming programs, events, new beers, etc. and determine how and when we want to get that information out. I work with a team who helps draft posts for a weekly calendar, which I approve, then it’s a collaborative effort among the team to make sure content is posted.

For example, if someone is at an event, they may be tasked with taking a photo and getting it to Instagram, or taking a bunch of photos for a Facebook album.

Each day I’m monitoring our channels periodically to make sure people’s questions, comments, and concerns are addressed in a timely manner.

The amount of time it takes to manage really depends on the day/week and what we have going on. If we’re launching a big sweepstakes and have a new beer launch and a big event going on, all within the same week, it’s naturally going to take more time.

3. How would you describe Angel City’s brand? And is it pretty easy for you guys to translate this via social media?

I would definitely consider our brand personality to be fun, down-to-earth, maybe a little edgy at times. We’re definitely all about community, whether that’s the LA community, the community that has formed at the brewery, or our online community.

I think our team’s personality comes out on our channels, furthering that greater sense of community.  At the end of the day we’re a brewery, with a really fun space and a really fun staff and it shows on our channels.

4. Are you seeing an ROI from your efforts? Or would you say social marketing is just something you’ve felt you need to do with the brand?

Drinking beer is inherently social, so it only makes sense that we would be active on social media.

With that, we’re definitely seeing a rise in the awareness of Angel City around LA and beyond, and more foot traffic coming to the brewery as a result. It’s hard to measure direct ROI, but we can definitely see that our efforts are working.

5. Where can consumers interact with the Angel City Brewery brand?

Twitter: @AngelCityBeer
Instagram: @AngelCityBeer

About the author

Brandon Hull

Brandon is the original founder of He has helped thousands of restaurants implement innovative marketing strategies, campaigns, and tactics by incorporating new technology, in order to attract loyal guests.