Whisky brands in digital and social – Speyburn

During the day when I’m not fighting crime and helping old ladies cross the road, I have the pleasure of working on marketing and advertising a whisky brand and I recently read an article on single malt whisky brands and how they perform in the digital space. With this being a subject close to my (professional) heart, I wanted to follow up on the article with a look at one of the brands mentioned in the article and explore some of the opportunities that digital and in particular social media have to offer.

The brand that I chose to look at is Speyburn and taking a quick glance at their website, you can buy whisky from the site (they use shopify for their ecommerce) but overall, there’s not really a huge amount going on. The most interesting thing you can do is sign up to ‘Clan Speyburn’ and in return for giving them your preciously guarded personal details, you will  receive a welcome pack, pin badge, and a regular newsletter.

Venturing off their website and onto Facebook, there is a Speyburn page which has 2,650+ followers but again not a huge amount going on (for the record the Swedish Speyburn page has 2900+ likes and more activity going on). Intermittent bursts of activity are about as good as it gets here.

Further afield on Twitter they don’t have actually an account and don’t tell them, but people are actually talking about Speyburn on Twitter… OK so they aren’t exactly a trending topic, but there is enough conversations mentioning them specifically  and  DEFINITELY enough conversations going on about whisky in general for them to want to try and grab a piece of the action!

Overall they really should try harder with their presence in digital as currently it’s a bit of a token effort at best.

What Speyburn should do:

(This is based on the twin assumptions that they would like to make more people aware of their brand and ultimately sell more whisky!)

  1. They should listen in on the social conversations which mention them, their industry and their competitors.
  2. Analyse the conversations that they have listened to; what are people saying, who is saying it, where are they saying it and what drives people to engage?
  3. Based on this analysis, they should create a plan around providing content that whisky and Speyburn fans will be interested in to try and grow their social presence and to build more awareness of the brand. The content they create should be housed on their website to encourage traffic and so that they can work to capture information and drive e-commerce. Looking at what works for other brands they should consider behind the scenes news and pics as well as consider activities like photo driven competitions to try and increase fan and follower involvement. A potential source of existing content is YouTube where there are already videos of people tasting and reviewing their whisky. Other activities they could try are tweet tastings and blogger outreach in an attempt to tap into existing whisky communities.
  4. In terms of trying to sell more whisky, there are plenty of B2B conversations to tap into; pubs and bars talking about brands, tasting events happening and retailers mentioning the whisky they sell – all of these conversations represent potential customers who can be engaged with on or offline.

Overall I think that Speyburn’s digital/social presence is symptomatic of a wider trend, where most companies, brands and organisations feel that they should do more in digital and social in particular but after a short time lose interest. As with anything in marketing, their activities should be linked to the overall  strategy for the brand with a plan put in place for how they are going to achieve their objectives They then they need to stick to the plan.

All easier said than done and certainly easy to say from the comfort of home!

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2 thoughts on “Whisky brands in digital and social – Speyburn

  1. First, a comment about drinks websites and access to them in the UK. It is surely laughable and disingenuous when the whole culture revolves around drink to have someone tick off a box to say they are of age to view the site!

    Good analysis and I respect what you say about how Speyburn could improve.

    From the look of their site I would guess that they didn’t put a lot of attention of effort into their online presence. If they don’t see the value, then the token effort is probably better than no presence at all.

    Maybe they need to see the ROI explained and proved to them?

    It surely cannot be that they don’t have the resources to do better. They are building a £60 million pound biomass plant – and that’s big news that could generate interest – but it’s buried in ‘clan news’ which is a sub-heading under ‘Clan Speyburn’.

    http://www.speyburn.com/clan-speyburn/clan-news/post/rothes-goes-green/

    • Interesting points on age gates and your point about some presence being better than no presence. In terms of ROI I genuinely believe there is business value in them monitoring social media as there are so many conversations going on about whisky which involve pubs, bars restaurants, hotels and the like. With the right combination of online and offline activity I am sure they could convert some of these conversations into business. As for the Biomass story, this is a great source of potential content for them and maybe even an opportunity to go for the green angle in their wider marketing, they can’t be short of a bob or two but obviously just aren’t sold on social media and digital marketing!

      Cheers!

      Hope you’re well

      Scott

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