Social media is one of the four main areas we measure and weigh in each of our Digital IQ Index score tabulations. Within the social category, we analyze a variety of sub-categories: brand presence, community size, content volume and quality, and fan engagement. Because each of the prestige industries is in a different place, digitally (i.e., specialty retail, overall, has much savvier brands than say, watches & jewelry), the weighting of these four main areas (the other three being mobile, site and digital marketing) also varies. For our latest report, Digital IQ Index: Spirits, social media represented 30 percent of brands’ overall score, same as site, and slightly above mobile and digital marketing, each of which were weighted 20 percent.


Spirits brands’ presence on the major social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — is extremely high at 100 percent, 94 percent, and 94 percent, respectively.
Numbers reveal that Facebook  serves as the hub for most brands’ social activity with community sizes averaging approximately 500,000 for domestic U.S. pages and twice that when adding in regional and product-specific pages. Because of the 21-years-and-over age restrictions in place for these brands, the importance of social media to the industry cannot be overstated. Given that 15 percent of those who purchase alcoholic beverages do so as a result of content encountered on a social network, investment in quality fan engagement is a top priority. Nowhere was this engagement more active than on Facebook, a brand breakdown of which, along with YOY growth, can be found below:



One of the three top-rated digital Geniuses in the study, Bacardi, is Facebook’s number one performer, with the largest single community of 3.8 million–which is almost double its size from a year ago. Across all regional pages, Smirnoff came in the top brand with 8.1 million total fans. As we’ve said before, fan numbers are not the end all be all and by no means indicate quality engagement. Some brands with smaller fan-bases have demonstrated Facebook savvy with creative features. Belvedere’s, for example, built a product locator into a  custom tab, making it easy for fans to find retailers selling its vodka. And Ballantine’s incorporated a live feed of an artist inking the interactive tattoos.


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