Drinks brands impress social media users during coronavirus crisis

13 April, 2020

Engagement with alcoholic drinks brands on social media has increased by more than 300% during the coronavirus lockdown, according to social analytics agency ListenFirst.

It crunched the numbers for the 300 most popular drinks brands on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Analysts reported a 326.5% year-on-year increase in engagement and growth for these brands during March.

“Given the amount of normal activities that have been taken away from consumers during quarantine, people are especially thankful that they're still able to drink, which is a big contributor to why social engagement around alcohol brands went up,” said Tracy David, chief marketing officer at ListenFirst.

Researchers were keen to point out that interest in alcoholic drinks brands is far greater than healthcare brands during this global pandemic. Engagement with healthcare brands increased by a mere 131.4% during March.

Beer and wine emerged the winners on Twitter, according to ListenFirst. It said the number of tweets about beer increased 40% year-on-year to more than 4 million in March, and the number of wine tweets shot up 66% to 3 million.

Eight of the top 10 most popular drinks brands on social media during March referenced the coronavirus outbreak. Guinness enjoyed the most successful reaction during the month when more than 80,000 Facebook users responded to its Facebook video about donating $500,000 to healthcare workers.

Budweiser delivered the second and third most popular posts. One featured beautiful buds of spring outside and quarantined window, and the other asked for names of people “going above and beyond and doing the right thing” during the lockdown.

“Brands like Guinness, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Fireball are even further ingratiating themselves to the audience by posting about how they’re donating their money or resources,” said David. “At a time when there's so much depressing news going on in the world, people are even more receptive than usual to hearing about brands doing the right thing.”

Off-trade sales increased in a number of markets around the world during March after on-trade establishments were forced to shut up shop. In the US, off-trade sales of alcohol shot up 22% year-on-year in the week to March 28, according to Nielsen, continuing a trend seen throughout the month.

Boston-based alcohol-delivery company Drizly Inc. said sales were 461% higher in the last week of March than it expected, with 41% of recent orders from new users.

Nielsen also reported surging sales in the UK off-trade, with flavoured spirits proving exceptionally popular. IWSR data shows that big, trusted brands are enjoying strong off-trade sales across the world, as consumers look for brands they know during these uncertain times.

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