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5 Twitter and Instagram Lessons From Jimmy, Johnnie, and Jack

How do top whiskey brands Jim Beam, Johnnie Walker, and Jack Daniels stack up on Instagram and Twitter?

5 Twitter and Instagram Lessons From Jimmy, Johnnie, and Jack

While each brand employs unique tactics and brand aesthetics, all of them have learned how to connect their brand effectively to a receptive, spirit-loving social audience.

Let’s dig in and take a look at which of these whiskey brands is focusing their efforts on which network, and what you can learn from Jimmy, Johnnie, and Jack’s social strategies.

Johnnie Walker Rules Instagram 

When compared to Jack Daniels and Jim Beam, Johnnie Walker was by the far most successful on Instagram, receiving over 61,000 total engagements in 2015 so far.

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This Simply Measured chart compares Johnnie Walker, Jim Beam, and Jack Daniels Instagram engagement performance between January 1, 2015 – March 17, 2015.

While Jim Beam has driven an impressive amount of engagement compared to their audience size, it doesn’t even have have half of Johnnie Walker’s engagement numbers.

And that’s not just because Johnnie Walker is posting significantly more than its competitors.

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This Simply Measured chart compares Johnnie Walker, Jim Beam, and Jack Daniels Instagram posting frequency between January 1, 2015 – March 17, 2015.

In fact, Johnnie Walker posts less frequently than Jim Beam but holds all top ten most engaging Instagram post slots this year so far.

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This Simply Measured chart shows the top ten most engaging Instagram posts between Johnnie Walker, Jim Beam, and Jack Daniels from January 1, 2015 – March 17, 2015.

So what is Johnnie Walker doing so right on Instagram, and how can your brand replicate this success?

Collector’s Items 

This was Johnnie Walker’s most engaging Instagram post of the year to-date (1/1/2015 – 03/17/2015), and the most engaging post between Johnnie Walker, Jim Beam, and Jack Daniels.

This post is one of many top-engaging Johnnie Walker Instagram posts that associated product with a special occasion or holiday. It’s a tactic that clearly works for the higher-end spirit.  By making their whiskies holiday-specific art objects, Johnnie Walker piques its followers’ attention and drives engagement.

The Johnnie Reward 

Many of Johnnie Walker’s most engaging posts emphasize the whiskey brand’s status as a luxury reward for a job well done. Take this post, for instance, which has been Johnnie Walker’s third-most successful in the year to date.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 2.57.42 PM By connecting the idea of achievement with its brand in the caption text, Johnnie Walker is able to use fairly straightforward  product pics to get its top-market flavor across to its Instagram audience.

Goodness Takes Time 

Another successful tactic for Johnnie Walker on Instagram is highlighting its “Keep Walking” tagline and “good things take time” vibe. This Instagram post has been very successful for Johnnie Walker.

What a way to come of age. Johnnie Walker Platinum Label is aged for 18 years to create its subtle, smoky flavour.

A photo posted by Johnnie Walker (@johnniewalker) on

This is yet another example of Johnnie Walker’s ability to consistently pump out engaging Instagram content by knowing what its audience wants and staying true to its own brand mystique.

Jack Daniels and Jim Beam Duke It Out on Twitter 

Johnnie Walker might rule the roost on Twitter, but its Jack Daniels and Jim Beam who duel for supremacy on Twitter.

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Jim Beam has received 20,000 in total engagement on Twitter, while Johnnie Walker, the Instagram winner, received only 499 in total engagement. Jack Daniels wins with followers and, thus, potential impressions, racking up 49.2 million in total impressions.

Responding to Engagement 

By responding to engagement, you build more engagement. That’s what Jim Beam has been finding out. The brand holds the title for most engaging Tweet in 2015 so far among its competitors.

Being an active brand presence on any social network means building a community there, and this Tweet is a great example of how Jim Beam isn’t afraid to reply and respond to its loyal Twitter followers.

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In this case, Jim Beam isn’t just engaging — it’s directing Twitter followers towards becoming customers by linking to the purchase site.

Images Win 

Jack Daniels has the second-most engaging Tweet of 2015 so far among its competitors.

It’s no surprise that this Tweet includes an image. In fact, 100% of the top 10 Tweets by engagement for Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniels, and Jim Beam all include pictures. This is a commonly used tactic in the spirits industry because it has proven so fruitful in generating buzz.

What Could Your Brand Learn From Regular Competitive Analysis? 

If you remember anything from this post, remember these lessons:

1. You don’t have to dominate every social network. You get to define your own success on social. Consider focusing your attention on one network to avoid finding yourself a jack of all trades and master of none.

2. Don’t get too far away from your traditional brand voice. You might want to refresh your content or voice for your social efforts, but don’t stray too far from the aesthetic that made your brand recognizable and attractive in the first place.

3. Tie yourself to celebrations. This is especially relevant for brands in the B2C category. If you can get folks to associate your brand with good times and/or reward, they’re more likely to purchase your product when they get that promotion or marry the girl of their dreams.

4. On Twitter, the more followers…the more impressions. That means the more possible eyes on your content. This is a smart brand focus for this social network.

5. The power of the image. Using visual content on Twitter is always a great way to generate engagement.

What type of competitive analysis on Twitter have you found most informative for your brand? Please share your insights in the comments below.

Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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