August 9, 2010

Dogfish Head: A craft brewer increasing sales through crafty social media

Boosting sales via social media

Delaware-based Dogfish Head has a recipe for success both in the kettle and in the marketplace. According to Nielsen Co., the brewery spent a mere $2,000 on traditional media in 2008, and nothing in 2009. So what are they doing?

Founder Sam Calagione has found a nice mix of limited-release beers, such as the Miles Davis–inspired Bitches Brew; pairing advice (something usually associated with wine); and encouragement of fandom and brand advocacy by being very active within the craft brew community, constantly spreading the gospel.

The Dogfish Head team explained their choice to us like this: “Social media is a great way for us to connect with our customers & talk beer.” And connect they do, with close to 20,000 followers on Twitter alone.

@DavidMichaluk @DogFishBeerAnd how is the craft brewer faring? The approach is definitely working: in 2009, Dogfish Head sold 97,000 barrels, giving them a 29% year-over-year increase with zero dollars spent in traditional media.