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Laura Jennings
Head of Strategy & Client Service

Laura has 10+ years experience working in social and content marketing. Fascinated with tackling business challenges through smart, effective marketing, Laura ensures all our clients are receiving superb quality work that makes a commercial difference and brings a smile to the client’s face.

Working with start-ups and FTSE100 companies and everything in between, Laura has enjoyed defining influential strategies, delivering creative work and bringing customers and brands closer together.

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FMCG

Alcohol ranking: Let's raise a glass to Blossom Hill!

It has been reported that alcohol is now 45% more affordable than it was in 1980, contributing to consumption levels reaching an all time high in 2005. However despite this the UK has since seen a gradual decrease in alcohol consumption: with the number of individuals having consumed alcohol in the last week decreasing each year, according to statistics from The ONS.

Desperately trying to increase these dwindling figures however are the alcohol brands, and one way in which they are eager to reach the consumer in a competitive marketplace is through placing branded content on Facebook.

The intentions of this ranking are to analyze a brand’s engagement levels on social: to investigate how much value their branded content offers their community and ultimately, which tipple has the content to topple the ranking.

Methodology

To compile this study, we have partnered again with The Grocer who provided us with our original source list of the top 20 best-selling alcohol brands in the UK, according to the IRI. We then found an active Facebook presence for 17 of the brands, and monitored their social performance for a one month period dating from September 7th to October 7th inclusively.

Within this time frame we extracted one post per brand which received the highest engagement rates. For the purpose of this report, an engagement is a like, comment or share over Facebook. Following this we awarded one point for a like, two for a comment, and three for a share – based on their value to the brand. These figures then totaled to form the combined score shown in the below ranking.

The ranking

Below are the top performing pieces of content, from ten of the top 20 best-selling alcohol brands.

 

Ranking
Fans
Engagements
Total Score
Blossom Hill
271k
29,662
33,742
Jack Daniels
630k
19,053
22,589
Stella
7m
13,640
14,545
Carling
167k
5,702
10,618
Strongbow
562k
9,325
12,029
Bacardi
8m
3,214
5,547
Gallo
89k
3,282
5,362
The Famous Grouse
240k
3,013
3,663
Hardys
54k
942
1,494
Kronenbourg
102k
1,031
1,277
 
 
 
     

What value does the top performing content hold?However interestingly enough for the top three performing posts, less seems to be more…

1. Blossom Hill (27,279 likes, 686 comments, 1,697 shares)

The best things come in smaller packages!

The award for the top performing piece of content across all the alcohol brands over the set period of time is awarded to Blossom Hill, introducing a new series of 50cl bottles to their range.

Receiving just fewer than 30k engagements, smaller bottles definitely look like a huge hit amongst Blossom Hill’s community but instead the visual resulted in around 600 desperate pleas from thirsty fans to increase the bottle size, as opposed to decreasing it. With this said, the content encouraged a vast amount of positive sentiment and brand advocacy.

2. Jack Daniels (17,116 likes, 338 comments, 1,599 shares)

The original Rock & Roll.

Here the famous Tennessee brand of Whiskey serves up a simple shot of the product on top of a black and white backdrop portraying a musician. The copy reads, ‘The original Rock & Roll duo. Before Rock & Roll was invented.’

Simple but effective, proving less sometimes is more.

3. Stella Artois (13,062 likes, 251 comments, 327 shares)

One carafe: two chalices.

With over 7 million fans on Facebook, Stella is definitely doing something right. The Belgian brand’s top performing content is another simple product shot displaying the brand’s cider offering; Raspberry Cidre.

4. Carling (2,685 likes, 1,118 comments, 1,899 shares)

A case of cider in exchange for ten engagements.

To celebrate the end of the summer, Carling offered to give away one case of British Carling Cider for every ten likes or shares the piece of content receives. Offering monetary gains in exchange for social engagement has definitely had an effect on the way Carling’s community has engaged with this post: as this is the one piece of content to receive the highest amount of shares throughout all of the best-selling alcohol brands.  

Sharing a post naturally increases its reach, a crafty way for Carling to get more eyes on their brand.

5. Strongbow (7,545 likes, 856 comments, 924 shares)

If only all sheds were like this.

Here Strongbow have created an image of a perfect haven for their beverage, tucked away at the end of the garden in a shed with nothing but the two flavours of the cider for company.

This content shares an entertaining idea, and encourages brand advocates to share their personal photos of similar set ups in their own homes, resulting in earned media.               

It would be interesting to know if any Strongbow-inspired sheds were actually built after scrolling past this visual in a newsfeed!

Key Findings

Remaining consistent with other category reports, the most popular way for a fan to interact with an alcohol brand on Facebook is to ‘like’ a post, with these totals being considerably higher.

All of these above alcohol brands however have successfully managed to navigate themselves through the changes Facebook posed earlier in the year regarding squeezing a brand’s organic reach. They appear to appreciate both the strengths and weaknesses of the borrowed media channel and adapted their strategy accordingly, often more than likely employing tactics of paid media to promote well-performing posts.

[i] www.alcoholconcern.org.uk

To see the full Alcohol report, head over to The Grocer.

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