Pyramid vs Redhook

Here in the Pacific Northwest we are spoiled by the variety and accessibility of craft brewed beer. In the 1980’s a revolution started in which micro-breweries became popular and the trend has exploded since.

In Seattle two early players were Pyramid Alehouse (est. 1984) and Redhook Brewery (est. 1981). Today both of these brewers are alive and well (but I would likely not refer to them as micro-brew anymore), and they must compete for customers in the beer imbibing Pacific Northwest. Both of these companies have used social media to some extent and the table below shows the channels that they participate in.

 

Pyramid Brewery

Redhook Brewery

Active?

Facebook

Yes

Yes

Yes/Yes

Twitter

Yes

Yes

Yes/Yes

Instagram

No

Yes

No/Yes

Blog

No

Yes

No/Yes

Youtube

Yes

No

Yes/No

Other

Brewers Notes – signup newsletter

Pandora Music Channel

 

 

The information above is pretty standard. However if you look deeper into the data you will see that these companies use social media differently. To set the table for this discussion let’s look at the physical presence of each company.

Pyramid has four locations and they are all on the west coast. In Seattle the location is adjacent to the football and baseball stadiums. This provides for an automatic walk-in customer base throughout the year.

All four of the locations are accounted for on one Facebook page. This seems to lessen their ability to promote location specific events or discussions. There is also evidence that Pyramid is not overly responsive to questions or comments from customers who communicate via these channels. On the bright side Pyramid has 60,000 plus “Likes” on Facebook, but only 752 check-ins.

One thing that Pyramid does have however is a signup newsletter for customers. This allows the customers to sign up directly for information and not be shut out by the arbitrary algorithm that has been set up by Facebook.

Being that Pyramid is a larger company it appears that they use social media mainly for marketing purposes.

Redhook on the other hand is located in Woodinville. This makes it more of a destination for customers and is far less likely to get walk-in customers. The second Redhook brewery is located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and is also somewhat rural.

Because of this configuration Redhook tends to use social media as a way to interact with customers. Redhook is active on the channels that it participates in and is commonly chatting with customers, responding to their feedback or answering specific questions. Redhook also uses Instagram very successfully thereby allowing customers to post pictures with their favorite beer and link them to their (customer) pages as well.

Redhook also hosts many events and uses social media to share the upcoming events. These events are very popular and garner a lot of attention from their brand loyal customer base. Events include Sounders FC games, outdoor movie nights and fundraisers. This is an interesting idea because Redhook only has 3,248 “Likes” on Facebook, but has 58,190 check-ins at the physical site! This seems to indicate that Redhook values check-ins more and likely receives better visibility on Facebook.

In total it appears that Redhook uses social media more as a platform to communicate with customers and less to advertise to them. 

In closing it is noteworthy that both of these companies have embraced social media and that there are commonalities in their methods.  Yet they are definitely using these methods to accomplish different objectives.  In my opinion both are successful.

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