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How Craft Brewers Can Make the Most of Untappd


February 5, 2013 By Pat Strader

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.







14 Comments

  • Justin says:

    Nice read. I’m surprised that more breweries aren’t doing exactly what you are saying. I get that they don’t all have time to do so but I myself was toasted by Bear Republic after enjoying one of their beers. It was an unexpected surprise. I think the main reason that breweries should get involved is to make sure that data is correct about their beers. It makes the user experience better when you know that a brewery is making sure that their data is correct so you know exactly what you’re drinking.

    • Pat Strader says:

      Thanks for the comment Justin.

      You make great points, especially about the data. Bear Republic is working very hard to make the most of Untappd…full-disclosure, they are a partner of ours. In fact we spent last week with them, enjoying all of their amazing beers and talking about these very things!

      Cheers!

  • Rob says:

    We utilize untappd as a way to share what the founders of our brewery, Night Shift, are drinking. It’s a great way to share our passion for all beers and connect with other beer drinkers. It has been great for us. And when someone we are friends with checkins in to one of our beers we always try and comment/toast.

  • scott wood says:

    As with anything creative, passion runs high around beer. Untappd is a wonderful tool for beer enthusiasts to connect through or just keep track of what they’ve had or even to help guide a new beer drinker. For myself, I write a note on the whole drinking experience so I can recall the particular beer. Sometimes it’s a reflection of who I’m with or where I’m drinking far more than it is of what I’m drinking. Often it’s what stood out most for me from the beer – it’s just enough room for a note, after all. I think brewers need to take this into consideration when assessing comments or ratings. Untappd is not strictly a beer rating website/app (not yet anyway) though obviously some users use it for just that reason. Now, I’ve been personally attacked by a handful of smaller brewers for rating their beers 1 or 2 stars. I think ratings like these come with the business and they need thicker skins. On the other hand I brew as well and if someone tells me my beer sucks, of course it bothers me, but it causes me to stop and think about what it was that caused that reaction. Maybe my beer does suck. Maybe that person doesn’t like a particular style. Maybe they were rating the overall experience. Plastic cups, warm beer, bad lines, and bad servers go a long way to affect a rating. To lash out blindly is something that brewers need to control, it’s just bad business. Really, a bad review on Untappd is the perfect time to connect and show your willingness to work with your consumer and to learn. We all need to learn more about our customers and make those personal connections that make the beer industry what it is. Most of all though, we have to realize that when someone doesn’t like your beer, it doesn’t mean they don’t like you.

    • Pat Strader says:

      Thank you for the thoughtful comment Scott. I agree with you, and a poor rating is often an opportunity for the brewers, and I know many view it as such.

      If I were a brewer, and everyone liked each of my beers, I would worry that I wasn’t trying to come up with something truly unique.

      Again, thanks for the input!

      Cheers,
      Pat

  • Thank you for the comment Justin! You are very correct about Untappd. We like using Untappd to have the connection with our customers and to find out what they (YOU) are thinking. It helps us to know what you are drinking, where you are drinking it, and what you think. What a better way to find that out than to communicate with you on Untappd! We are very happy to know that commenting/toasting your post on Untappd, that your user experience was that much better. Thank you for being a fan of Bear Republic! Cheers!

  • Andrew Healy says:

    Great piece Pat. We work with a new brewery in Napa, Napa Point Brewing, and from the get-go we’ve had them on Untappd. It’s helped in many areas with one of those being as a customer service interface. It appears that many users don’t know they have to “like / follow” the brewery for the brewery to interact with them as we’ve had cases where we’ve gotten in touch with folks to follow up on issues and they asked us why we didn’t reply on Untappd! Well, we couldn’t!

    I also find your link to the Brooklyn Brewery great but was intrigued that they didn’t have a link to Untappd in their footer with their other Social Media presences and that they are using the out of date Twitter “t” logo instead of the “bird”.

    Sláinte from Wine Country!
    AH

  • Michael says:

    We are very curious how we can best use untapped as a resource for our customers. However, we are a tap room not a brewery. Can you help us out?

    • Pat Strader says:

      Hi Michael-
      I can think of several ideas that might help. Simple integration of recent checkins to beers, or checkins to beers at your tastings and in your tap room all can help provide social proof.

      I’d be happy to give you a quick call with some other ideas!

      Cheers,
      Pat

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