Fun, fun, fun till the TTB takes the fun awaaaaaaay… Everything we do as alcohol social media marketers is considered advertising. Though it may not seem like it, the government has decided that every time we open our mouths, tweet, pin (and repin!), post on Facebook, share that pic on Instagram, blog, post on a website, answer a review on TripAdvisor, etc., etc., etc., we're advertising to consumers. It's easy to think, we're just talking to people, but unfortunately, we're not. Because we are deemed advertisers in every way, we are held to laws and guidelines that regulate alcohol advertising. Not only is it not worth the fines that the TTB or state ABCs will impose, it's also not worth losing our entire social community because of a misstep. Here are four things to keep in mind as we manage our social presence:
- Recognize that you are an advertiser.
- Don't post images of anyone who looks under 25 years old. Check photos of visitors to your tasting room, attendees at events, business friends. Don't post photos of your kids.
- "She doth imbibe too much" - don't post images of people who look intoxicated.
- "Free booze here!" Nope. Don't give away alcohol and while you're at it, don't use the word free. Thesaurus.com comes in handy here.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. I've just been working on social media in the wine industry for a long time and know the ropes pretty well. Strike & Techel, a law firm in San Francisco, specializes in alcohol marketing and is a fantastic resource to get your bearings. Oh and their blog name is Imbiblog, which is awesome.