It’s not every day that you see a company, let alone a beer company, so dedicated to having a very interactive brand on social media. And that brand…Steam Whistle Brewery. Their landmark Roundhouse is located right in the heart of downtown, just steps away from the CN Tower, Rogers Centre, and a visible site when going into and coming out of Toronto on the Gardiner Expressway. A historical site like this can’t be described in full from a blog post, it needs to be lived and experienced, so be sure if you are in Toronto, or planning on going to the city, book your Steam Whistle Brewery Tour and you won’t regret it!
I got a chance to sit down withÂ Marina Arnaout, social media extraordinaireÂ and community manager for Steam Whistle to ask her some questions. Here is what happened!
Q: Tell us about yourself! Who is Marina Arnaout?
MA: My first gig ever consisted of helping out in the Publicity Department at MuchMusic. After that, one thing led to another with various contract jobs in media and marketing communications. I was really fortunate to be able to get experience working with media giants such as CTVglobemedia, Astral, Transcontinental Media as well in small business environments with tech start-up Atum and online media agency, VMG Cinematic. Working with VMG, I developed a strong interest in digital and social media. I found that the industry as a whole is very forward-thinking and dynamic. It also made me realize two things: 1. This is the future of the âmarketingâ industry 2. You can get away with doing just about anything before everyone fully figures it out!
MA: My goal is to strengthen the Steam Whistle community by interacting with our drinkers on a daily basis. This involves integrating the offline and online communities through a variety of events and media channels. I also create content and manage the Steam Whistle social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Blog), execute contests and online strategies, spread the word about our art shows and Unsigned concert series and overall, help tell the Steam Whistle story of the âThree Fired Guysâ* Steam Whistle is company of a perfect size â everyone wears multiple hats but stays focused on their role and strengths. *If you donât know why our cofounders are the 3 fired guys, I suggest doing the tour immediately!
Q: How long you have been doing social media for?
MA:Well the other day, I got a notification from FourSquare wishing me a happy 2 anniversary. To add to that, my relationship with Twitter started March 08 2009 and Timeline tells me I joined Facebook on 17 August 2005. Thatâs the nature of the internet â your every move is logged and tracked (whether you like it or not)! I even created a few Yahoo Groups and Geocities sites back in the day â who remembers those?!
Q: Which social media sites does Steam Whistle use? Â Why?
MA: Steam Whistle is most active on our blog, Twitter, and Facebook. We also have a YouTubeÂ channel to upload our video content. I found that these are the most effective ways of communicating and sharing our story, and are also most conversational.
- Steam Whistleâs slogan is âDo one thing really, really wellâ and this is applied to everything we do â weâre not the type to create 20 social media websites just because it might be the latest trend.
- How does Steam Whistle use Social Media to engage with their followers?
Simply put, by engaging in a two-way conversation. We ask questions, listen carefully, cater to what people are interested in learning about the brand and the beer industry, communicate events Steam Whistle supports, and provide entertaining and valuable information to our followers. We also run contests and give away freebies â who would have thought freebies from a brewery are well received?
Q: What is your end goal with all of your social media efforts? What do you want to accomplish?
MA:Steam Whistle doesnât have million dollar budgets or spend much money on advertising. We prefer to get involved in the community by supporting events that we feel are a good fit with our brand and offering our support to great initiatives. Same goes for social media. By providing engaging content and having conversations with our drinkers, that results in word of mouth and personal connection to the brand. Iâm fortunate to be interacting with such a loyal community and the Good Beer Folks – as we like to call them – have definitely helped us over the years. Itâs amazing some of the things people send in to us – Steam Whistle cakes, bikes, back yards, you name it!
Q: What has been the most effective social media marketing campaign you have been involved in? Â How was it effective?
MA:I think the most effective and crucial âcampaignâ lays in the daily interaction with your community and involves being a consistent voice. That being said, I can most definitely tell you about the most fun promotion I ran. It was last year for a national Oktoberfest sweepstakes where the winners were flown to Toronto and were provided accommodation, dinner with our cofounders, tasted brewery-fresh unfiltered Pilsner with our Brewmaster, partied at Steam Whistleâs Oktoberfest with 1L steins at the brewery, and had an overall amazing Â time. The experience these people had here was success on its own! You were able to enter the contest through our Facebook page which created quite a buzz around it, resulting in growing our followers by 70% over a short time-frame.
Hootsuite OR Tweetdeck?
Hootsuite all the way â Go Canada!
Android OR iPhone?Â iPhone
Google+ OR Pinterest?Â Pinterest (so much more visual)
Tweeting OR Texting?Â Texting
Draft OR Bottled Beer?Â Bottled Steam Whistle
Stay Social With Steam Whistle:
Here’s where they are located!
255 Bremner Boulevard
Pictures courtesy of Steam Whistle Brewery
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
Stay social. Stay relevant.