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The #NoBollocks Content Strategy Entertaining Fans on Social Media

Vikas Bysani

Wow what a year 2013 was and what a party last night; well I guess it’s time to re-hydrate, remove those party bands and find your pants. What better way to start the New Year, than to kick things off with a brand, not just any brand but a brand with quite the personality.

Beer brands around the world have been known to have some very engaging, interactive and relatable advertisements for many years and its quite an achievement to stand out from the crowd. In an industry where big brands play holiday roulette, have adorable horses, have the most interesting man in the world, Newcastle Brown Ale, a no-nonsense ale from the North East of England, brings its own brand of irreverent humor to the US.

At Unmetric, we are constantly on the lookout for brands that are different, peculiar and most importantly engaging. Newcastle Brown Ale screamed like a cat stuck in a tree. So let’s take a look at some of the stats across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Facebook

Usually beer brands have it a bit easier when it comes to gaining fans, as most opt for a witty, fun, approachable and most importantly, an engaging personality. With a growing number of smaller brands, competition has increased for the average beer brand and competitors big and small are at every turn.

Newcastle Brown Ale saw a growth rate of around 6.6% which is just above the industry sector average of 5.8%. Compared to Samuel Adams, a brand in the same category which saw a growth rate of around 8.5%, Newcastle Brown Ale is doing better than average but still isn’t the sector leader in terms of fan growth.

Looking at the distribution of fans, it’s interesting to find that close to 95% of the fans are from the United States. Although you might be forgiven for thinking that Newcastle Brown Ale is mostly sold within the United Kingdom, over half of the brewery’s output is directed to the United States, hence the focus on the US market.

Admin Posts

The posting strategy of the brand is straight to the point, and addresses an interesting fact about what every beer lover is looking for: having a good time. The brand posted 32 times in the period analysed and the hashtag #NoBollocks was used 24 times along with a picture and a hilarious pithy quote which not only amuses, but sometimes makes you think a little.

32 posts in the period of 2 months averages to around a post every 2 days, by comparison Dogfish Head, a beer brand in the same category posted 75 times in the same period. This could be an area of improvement for the brand if they are able to ramp up the funny content. For example, we noticed that the brand didn’t leverage holidays and events and at the same time it could run some contests and certainly post more to engage with fans and perhaps grow their fan base.

The average engagement Newcastle Brown Ale received during the period analysed was 604 higher than the sector average of 545, a nod to the fact that funny content works (as long as it’s actually funny!).

(Note: the Engagement Score is calculated based on the number of Likes, Comments, Shares and Estimated Impressions that each post receives.The engagement score helps in ranking a post according to how well it resonated.)

The post above is the most engaging post with a score of 997. The release of a new flavored beer with hints of chocolate and coffee seems to be leaving fans with a craving to refresh their pallet and try the new beer.

Twitter

As we can see above, it’s interesting to see that plain text tweets engage the most. Most of the proactive tweets are repurposed from their Facebook account.

The hashtag #NoBollocks is also used here and was used 23 times by the brand and 299 times by followers. Again there seems to be no evidence of campaigns, contests or giveaways. Twitter is a great platform to engage with the masses and with the help of hashtags, it make things easier.

Newcastle Brown Ale also sees the highest engagement on Wednesdays, but tweets more frequently on Fridays. Perhaps followers crave a cold one in the middle of the week or are busy drinking the brown ale on Fridays.

YouTube

The video above is quite the audacious stunt pulled off by Newcastle Brown Ale in California. For the release of their new beer, the brand would give people who have had a drink or four a ride to the destination picked by them in an authentic British cab. The catch was that they had to advertise the new beer using the abnormally huge megaphone attached to the top of the cab. Watch the video and you can see they have attracted a good amount of attention, law enforcement included! The video received close to 1.1 million views in the period analysed and the brand channel has received 1.6 million views totally, which shows that close to 70% of the views the channel received comes from this one video.

An interesting fact is that Newcastle Brown Ale is one of the few beers sold in clear glass bottles. As any beer enthusiast knows, most beer is bottled in either a dark green or dark brown bottle as light affects the way the beer tastes, it’s pretty cool that Newcastle Brown Ale has got something interesting going on, helping them to differentiate themselves from the competition. That’s another story to tell the lads while you sip on a cold one at the local bar.

Methodology

Unmetric compiled the report by sourcing data from its own social media benchmarking platform. The Engagement Score is calculated based on the number of Likes, Comments, Shares and Estimated Impressions that each post receives. Data and Insights on Newcastle Brown Ale’s activities on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and were analyzed for the months of November and December, 2013. Click here to get your free 6 day trial of Unmetric.