Craft beer and social media. While it isn’t a new subject, we will continue to talk about the how’s and the why’s of craft brewers and social tools. In this post, we are going to take a look at some simple ways craft breweries can use Untappd to build relationships with those drinking their beer.

If you are unfamiliar with Untappd, here is a description (from early 2012) in their own words:

“Untappd is fun, mobile-based social network for beer enthusiasts that allows users to “check in” the beer they are enjoying, add the location of where they are enjoying it via Foursquare, upload photos, and share all the information with their network of beer-loving friends. Users can find beer recommendations based on their check-in history, as well as unlock “badges” for trying certain beers, drinking at certain times, or trying certain establishments. Friends can comment on beers, toast each other and communicate directly about the beers they like. Launched just over a year ago, Untappd now has over 100,000 registered users, 150,000+ uploaded photos and over 4 million check-ins.”

Greg Avola, co-founder of Untappd, has confirmed that these numbers have now grown, to 400k+ users and 21m+ checkins. Bottom-line is this: if you are a craft brewer and are not participating within Untappd, you are missing a massive opportunity.

As a user myself, I find using Untappd to be a fun way of keeping track of the great beers I have had an opportunity to try. It also helps to locate beers and bars with great selections that are nearby. Fold in the gamification component of earning badges, and you have the recipe for a fun, useful tool for those that love craft beer.

Untappd for Brewers
Early last year Untappd provided brewers with the opportunity to claim their profiles.

Claiming Tips
These tips are pretty simple and straight-forward. One of the most important is to add your Twitter handle!

  1. When creating your account make every effort to set your username to be the same as your Twitter/Facebook/Instagram username.
  2. Make sure you edit your brewery settings and include links to your Facebook page, and most importantly, your Twitter account. By adding your Twitter account, your Twitter username is automatically appended to every “share to Twitter” that is made by those drinking your beer.
  3. Upload your brewery logo

After completing the simple claiming process, brewers then have several great opportunities at their fingertips.

Why Use Untappd?

  1. Build Relationships
    When someone follows your brewery, you then (as the brewery) have the opportunity to “toast” and comment on check-ins to your beers. This is the holy-grail of engagement. By simply
    “toasting”, which is Untappd’s equivalent to “liking”, you are letting those people know
    that you appreciate them for choosing your beer. You can also comment. Something
    as simple as a “Cheers” can help create stronger relationships between brewers and
    beer drinkers.
  2. “Untappd has become an invaluable resource to us because it allows us to easily interact with our followers. We can answer questions, see what people are drinking, and where they are drinking our beer.” – Kate Gratto-Bachman of Bear Republic Brewing Co.

  3. Ensure Data Accuracy
    Once your brewery is claimed you will have the ability to add and edit beer data. You can set the style, ABV, IBU’s, description, as well as upload label art. Additionally, you can merge duplicate or inaccurate entries. Untappd is a crowd-sourced application, which inherently creates limited amounts of data duplication and inaccuracy. While there is a dedicated team of volunteer “super-users” tasked with keeping data clean, you need to make every effort to stay on top of the information presented to craft beer drinkers.
  4. Learn
    You can gain some valuable feedback on your beers, as well as gain a better understanding of where your beer is being consumed. Knowing the difficulties of obtaining accurate information through the three-tier system, this provides valuable insight for a brewery. Untappd has built-in analytics that helps you see at a glance the activity, over the last 15 days. You can see daily activity, top venues and beers. While there is currently no opportunity to export or view historical data, I feel confident in speculating that Greg Avola and the Untappd team have that feature on their radar.
  5. “What’s great about Untappd is that when I go to our page, I can see why people like something, what they are looking for, and how we can help to make things better for our customers.” – Kate Gratto-Bachman of Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Custom Badges and Promotions
Craft brewers and events can leverage Untappd further by participating in promotions, or creating custom badges. We have watched several breweries, including Anderson Valley, Sixpoint, Bridgeport (amongst others) promote beer releases, and encourage content creation this way. While pricing and structure is not publicly available at this time, you can get in touch with the Untappd team to learn more.

Display Check-Ins On Your Website
Several breweries are doing a great job with the Untappd API to display check-ins on their websites. Brooklyn Brewery has a great example of integrating check-ins to provide “social proof” right on their pages. However, it is surprising that more breweries are not at least displaying the Untappd icon to follow and connect, just like Twitter.

Realizing that not everyone has the resources to build something from scratch to make use of the Untappd API, we plan to release an Untappd WordPress widget in the coming weeks. This widget will allow you to quickly install, configure and display Untappd check-ins by brewery, beer, venue or even user (for you beer bloggers out there!). Watch for an announcement soon! Or, simply use the form below to be the first to know. If you are headed to Craft Brewers Conference 2013, in Washington, D.C., stop by our booth (#5107) and we’ll give you a complete demo and your very own premium copy of the plugin.

What are some ways you think craft brewers can use Untappd to build relationships with beer drinkers?

Cheers!

Be The First to Know
Interested in the Untappd WordPress Plugin? We’ll email you as soon as it is available, just complete the simple form below.