Nowadays what you do online to establish your winery’s brand and build your fanbase is just as important as what you do offline. Social media is an incredibly powerful and accessible tool to build your virtual fanbase, but before you get posting here are some things that you need to know.
Tip #1: Less is more!
It’s an old saying that rings true, especially when it comes to building your online presence through social media. A common mistake wineries make is to spread their focus thin across multiple social media platforms.
Winery staff usually juggle a lot as it is, so unless you have a full time social media expert, you might want to consider picking one or two social media platforms to focus your attention on. Because at the end of the day, a single social media profile that is performing well and engaging people is a lot more valuable than 2 or more sub-par profiles.
So how do you decide between Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, TikTok, Pinterest and so on for you winery? Just ask yourself these 3 simple questions:
- Who is my winery’s target audience?
- What platforms do I think they would likely spend most of their time on?
- What do they enjoy about my wine?
You can find these answers easily by observing or asking your customers questions about themselves directly at your cellar door, tastings and events, or even by looking at the online audiences of wineries similar to yours.
You can also use customer engagement technology like Cellr, which allows you to engage with your customers directly and learn more about them.
Tip #2: Good content quality does not mean high production quality!
You don’t need a professional photographer or even a DSLR camera to be producing social media content of a high caliber.
What would you find more interesting; a high definition photograph of a glass of wine, or a story about something meaningful to a brand? Quality content is content that is authentic to your brand, and by default will add value to your followers brand experience.
As cliche as the saying “be authentic” may be, it’s a really powerful tool to bring to any post you’re creating, as it’s easy to use, works like a charm and is completely free! So what does being authentic on social media mean for a winery? It means focusing on being relevant and open in order to create content that is quality.
To do this, you just have to ask yourself, “what’s going on right now in the winery?” Then just have a look across the entire business, from the people to the things that are happening and openly share it. Here are some examples:
- The mess your winemaker made during today’s vintage
- Some facts about a new staff member
- The sheep currently in your vineyard
- A sale in your online store
- Staff packaging and sending this quarters wine club orders
- A picture a customer sent of them drinking your wine on the beach
- An event you are preparing for
Moral of the story: if you have a winery, you have endless opportunities to create high quality content.
Tip #3: Get to know your audience…
This one is really simple, get to know what your audience likes on social media. How do you do this? By trying different things! If you notice one post getting a lot more attention than others, have a look at what stands out about that post. This could be anything from what’s happening in a photo, to what the caption says, or even the time of day you post!
For example if you notice people interact with posts that involve your winemaker, post more of them! But of course, you don’t want to post the same content on repeat or it will get old. What you want to do is try a heap of different types of posts in different formats, and understand what works best. But as I went over in #Tip 2, keep it authentic.
Tip #4: Get to know the camera…
This goes for everyone in the winery, not just wine makers! There are 2 things social media marketing experts know gets high engagement across all social media platforms:
- People smiling
Simply, if you post a video with a person in it who smiles at some point (so you can use that as the video thumbnail image) you are likely to get more engagement.
And as I mentioned in Tip #2, it doesn’t have to be a high quality production and you don’t have to be a trained presenter. A smartphone video of a person being themselves talking about something related to your winery is just as effective, and probably more relatable too.
Tip #5: Save time where you can.
Social media is a lot of work, that’s why there is an entire sub-profession dedicated to it. Don’t be afraid to utilise social media post scheduling tools. You can still follow Tips #2-4, but also take a bit off your plate. Just put aside some time at the start of the week and work out what’s going on, what went well last week and queue up your posts.
Hootsuite, among others, has a free option with enough tools to get your started.
Also, don’t be afraid to post on the fly! Contrary to what we know about “popular” posting times, if something cool just happened let people know.
Have fun through your social media profiles, because that’s what wine is about and it’s what your followers love about it (and you)!