Updated: May 24, 2019
I’ve been told that the wine industry isn’t behind other industries in digital, that all wine businesses use social media correctly and that "we know what we’re doing". I’ve been called a ranter because I wrote an article exposing these statements as false and fortunately, lots of people agreed with my views and those who didn’t, provided constructive criticism, showing that the industry really wants to do better, although we all have different views on how to do it.
When consumers use Instagram, they’re looking for inspiration and stories that they can build a connection with.
TRASH IN MY FEED
When I see something like this I have to share it. This is a REAL Instagram feed of a wine business. Clearly (?), they’re complaining about the fact that the bin man didn’t come or because someone left some bin bags outside their shop. Whatever the reason is, their Instagram feed has turned to TRASH - it's quite literally rubbish.
No words needed to describe this abomination.
Imagine being a consumer and seeing this feed when browsing for local places to buy wine. Would you feel inspired to buy from them and follow them when eight out of their past twelve posts feature great piles of bin bags and complaints, filling your feed with garbage and negativity?
Start by browsing Instagram, looking at what your competitors are doing right and what they’re doing wrong.
When consumers use Instagram, they’re looking for inspiration and stories that they can build a connection with, in the form of beautiful pictures and captivating copy because, at the end of the day, people use Instagram to feel inspired. If you want to sell your wines and your story, please do not post pictures of trash. If you really must use Instagram to vent your frustrations about your waste problems, at least use Instagram's Stories feature so that they will disappear after 24 hours, saving your followers' feeds and phones from your trash.
If you’re a wine shop or a wine importer, you probably have 10+ wine producers on your portfolio, resulting in 10+ stories at your disposal to share.
TAKING OUT THE TRASH
As a small business, you probably don’t have the budget to hire a photographer (and you probably don’t really need one anyway), but you definitely have access to the camera on your mobile phone and to Instagram. These combined with a little dash of time and imagination are the only tools you need to stand out from the pack.
Don't be afraid to have a look a what non-wine businesses are doing and what's working for them.
Start by browsing Instagram, looking at what your competitors are doing right and what they’re doing wrong. How to do this? Make a note of which posts have received the most engagement - likes and comments - and be inspired to implement similar tactics on your own profile using the budget and tools that you have at your disposal. Don't be afraid to have a look a what non-wine businesses are doing and what's working for them, and find a way to replicate this on your profile, always taking into account your unique strategy and brand identity.
This is an example of what you can do with zero budget - A combination of pictures of your wines, events, team and vineyards - @GourvidWine, Wine Importer.
If you’re a wine shop or a wine importer, you probably have 10+ wine producers on your portfolio, resulting in 10+ stories at your disposal to share. You can request permission to use their imagery and search their hashtags to source images to share, always giving credit to the owner and writing your own views about their wines. Share your story, pop-up tastings, team members and customers. Use customers’ reviews to show that you have an engaged fanbase and share them with your audience.
If you have a more varied portfolio of photography at your disposal, you can take your feed to the next level - @NakedWines, Wine Importer and Online Retailer.
If you’re a wine producer, you only have one story to tell, but it’s your story and you'd better be telling it well. Take pictures of your vineyards and the different stages of the wine growing season, focus on your team, the events you attend, your wine tours, the story behind your brand and your wines, always following your strategy and the values you’re trying to showcase to your customers.
If you have access to budget for a photographer or a friend that takes great pictures, you can have a beautiful looking feed. Once it's looking slick and planned like this one, you'll soon see a boost to your engagement levels and follower growth - @QuintaDoValeMeão, Wine Producer.
There are many other examples out there - you just need to spend a bit of time browsing and looking for inspiration that you can replicate with your own style and message. If you don’t have the time, the patience or the knowledge, get in touch with someone that does.
I know that the example leading this post is extreme, and that probably 90% of the wine industry is using Instagram better than these guys, but sometimes extreme examples make people think and wake up, and if that’s what’s needed, then that’s what I’ll give you.
Do you think I’m a ranter? Do you think I know nothing? Do you agree with me? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts!
This article was published first on LinkedIn on the 25th April 2019.