Markets, Strategies, and Rivalries
New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Jens Gammelgaard and Christoph Dörrenbächer
Chapter 11: The use of social media in the beer brewing industry
Social media offer breweries an opportunity to engage with and learn more about their customers in detail on an unprecedented scale. Insights gained through social media are useful in downstream activities such as marketing, potentially leading to lower operating costs for these activities. Upstream activities such as new product development can also benefit from new ideas harnessed from social media. Furthermore, these benefits may be reaped by large multinational companies and small local producers alike. Needless to say, the term itself is also very fashionable today. However, before getting carried away by the hype, let us ask: what exactly is social media and how and in what circumstances can breweries enjoy these benefits? Social media have been understood as software platforms and corresponding websites that allow the publication of user-generated content and establishing connections among users to share this content (Kaplan and Haenlein 2010; Kietzmann et al. 2011). User-generated content includes various types of media: text, photos, videos and music. Examples of social media technologies according to this definition are microblogs (Twitter), social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing) and media sharing sites (YouTube, Flickr), among others. This distinguishes social media from, for example, predominantly one-way content publication platforms such as blogs (e.g., WordPress, Blogger).
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