Navigating Social Media Legally

Disclaimer: The information provided in this resource is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. While we have made efforts to ensure the accuracy and up-to-date nature of the content, laws and regulations can change, and the information provided may not reflect the most current legal developments. It is recommended that you consult with legal professionals specializing in alcohol regulations and social media laws to obtain advice tailored to your specific situation. The authors and creators of this resource disclaim any liability arising from the use or interpretation of the information contained herein. Always seek legal counsel for your unique circumstances.


In an era dominated by social media, the craft alcohol industry has found it to be a powerful tool to reach consumers, engage with enthusiasts, and build your brand presence. However, as the digital landscape evolves, so do the legal considerations that accompany it. For craft alcohol makers, understanding the legal implications of your social media presence is crucial to avoid potential pitfalls and ensure a compliant and successful marketing strategy.

Understanding the Legal Terrain

Effective social media marketing for your brand hinges upon a firm grasp of the legal landscape. This includes recognizing and abiding by the regulations set forth by governing bodies such as the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The TTB, in particular, wields significant influence in the industry, enforcing stringent regulations to promote responsible marketing practices. These encompass various facets, from meticulous labeling to the lawful conduct of advertising. Ignoring these rules can result in substantial penalties, fines, and reputational damage.

Social media platforms offer a means of connecting with target audiences for craft alcohol makers. However, leveraging this medium effectively requires a comprehensive understanding of the Do’s and Don’ts. Adherence to these guidelines ensures responsible advertising and shields against potential legal entanglements. Let’s go over just a few…

Age Restrictions and Verification

Ensuring that content is accessible, appealing, and targeted only to individuals of legal drinking age is crucial when social media marketing. This requires the use of age-gating mechanisms  on your website and adding a 21+ statement on your profile. Also, make sure you are only targeting 21+ when you are running social media ads for your business. Using these tools the right way can help us avoid legal troubles and ensure we’re marketing ethically.

Influencer Collaborations

The burgeoning realm of influencer marketing presents both opportunities and challenges for craft alcohol makers. Partnering with influencers can significantly amplify brand exposure, but it simultaneously introduces intricate legal considerations. Transparency is an absolute prerequisite for such collaborations. Properly disclosing partnerships and potential endorsements is critical to maintaining credibility while also adhering to legal standards. It is important to ensure that both you and your influencer partners follow the endorsement guidelines. To do so, the following must be considered:


  • A disclosure must be included in any post, photo, video, article, or other piece of content.
  • The disclosure should be visible in the text and contain the terms Ad, Sponsored, Affiliate, or Paid Promotion within the caption.
  • The disclosure must be verbally mentioned in a video or listed on the video visually.
  • If the endorsement is in a blog, the disclosure must be placed at the top of the page, close to the call to action (CTA) for the promoted product.
social media legal: Example disclosure that is still on brand
If the proper disclosure is not listed on the promotion from an influencer that you hired, you and your business could be held accountable. So even if your influencer assures you they always follow these practices, it is your responsibility to make sure they do on your content.

User-Generated Content

Craft alcohol makers often share user-generated content on social media to engage with their audience and increase their online presence. However, it is crucial to obtain proper permissions and give proper attribution to avoid potential legal issues. This includes obtaining consent from the user to share the content and using the user’s name and likeness. You can obtain permission by asking the user directly, including a consent form on your website, or using a third-party platform designed for obtaining user-generated content and permissions.

The simplest way to do this is by directly messaging the user and asking for their permission before you post it. It is also important to be aware of any potential legal issues that may arise when sharing user-generated content, such as defamation claims.

Need Help With Your Marketing

Our Craft Alcohol Marketing Bootcamp covers everything you need to know to to help you market your craft alcohol business. It covers everything from social media strategy, to tasting room traffic, to paid advertising.
Copyright and Intellectual Property

Using pictures or videos from other sources in social media posts is a popular way for craft alcohol makers to make their content look more appealing. But it’s important to follow copyright laws and avoid getting into trouble. To do this, you should get permission from the owner of the picture or video, either by asking them directly or buying a license. You should also give them credit, not change their work without permission, and learn about the rules for fair use. Understanding these rules will help you avoid getting sued for copyright infringement. Alternatively, you can create your content, use things that are available for free on Creative Commons websites, or get permission from the owner to be sure you’re doing everything right.

Contests and Giveaways

If you’re planning to run contests or giveaways on social media to engage with your customers and expand your reach, there are some important things to keep in mind. You’ll need to establish clear terms and conditions, follow social media platform rules, avoid misleading advertising, and make sure you’re complying with state and federal laws. By sticking to these guidelines, craft alcohol makers can create promotions that are both effective and legal.

Liability and Crisis Management

In the fast-paced world of social media, negative comments and crises are bound to happen, so craft alcohol makers need to be prepared to handle them while staying on the right side of the law. Quick and thoughtful responses can help prevent legal issues and protect your brand’s reputation. Be on the lookout for an upcoming blog from us in Distiller’s Magazine that guides you through navigating Crisis Management for your brand!

Staying Updated and Seeking Legal Advice

Social media and legal regulations are constantly changing, so it’s important to stay informed. Craft alcohol makers should keep up with evolving rules and seek legal advice when needed to ensure that they’re making informed decisions in line with industry standards. One safe space to ask these questions and get input from others in your shoes is our private Craft Makers Marketing Group on Facebook. Join for free today for real-time marketing support and guidance from us and other craft makers!

In conclusion, this guide provides craft alcohol makers with an overview for navigating the legal aspects of social media marketing in the industry. Following these guidelines and getting additional legal support where needed not only helps you create a strong online presence but also ensures that you’re operating within the law. By balancing creativity and compliance, craft alcohol makers can build a robust online presence while maintaining their brand’s integrity and supporting the industry as a whole.

Join the conversation!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related articles

Marketing Courses



Lightbulb icon

Download the free resources!

Enter your email for instant access to our marketing resources, including Marketing Planning & Budgeting, Hashtag Mini-Course, Digital Acronym Cheat Sheet, Social Media Scheduling Guide, an more!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Get 20% Off Our Craft Alcohol Marketing Bootcamp Courses!

Join our mailing list to stay up to date on marketing tips, tricks, and news to drive the best results for your craft alcohol brand. As a thank you for joining our craft makers marketing community you'll also receive a one-time discount code to get 20% off any of our online marketing courses, including our full 10-course Craft Alcohol Marketing Bootcamp! 

Welcome! Your 20% off discount code is WELCOME20 and it can be used on any courses or bundles at