Alcohol marketing: The Instagram minefield

With more emerging and younger audiences wanting to spend their time on Instagram over Facebook these days, the channel will have a larger proportion of underage and vulnerable audiences. Making this process harder than it needs to be is simply not good enough.

3 - Use inherent features, such as Instagram story highlights to naturally talk about legal restrictions

Too many alcohol brands fill up their bios with links to content & community guidelines that don’t get read by the user. And if you do read them, they’re totally irrelevant to the platform and it’s functionality. Instead try creating an Instagram story highlight with only the relevant information for Instagram. For example:

  • Create a story highlight called something like ‘House Rules’ and add a no under 18s icon as the highlight cover.
  • Add a story to this highlight for each rule you want to include.
  • Or if that’s too much effort for you, just do one story highlight that links to your content guidelines on your site - you’ll need more than 10,000 followers to use the link function in stories though.
  • The same rule applies to other channels. On Twitter you could use the ‘Moments’ or ‘Pinned Posts’ feature, and on Facebook use the ‘About’ section, for this rather than cramming everything into the short bio.

4 - Use your Instagram biography to do what it was designed for

Many surprisingly well-known brands are clearly so worried about compliance here that they don’t use their bio as a bio, but instead cram it full of legal disclaimers. Sometimes they don’t even mention their product or link to the site.

So fill your profile with a proper description once you’ve moved your responsible drinking measures into a different place. This is more appropriate for the user and ultimately better for the brand. If, after age-gating your profile in step one, you still want to keep a mention of age in there then use the emoji specifically designed for it.