Part 1 – Be Loud and Proud.
Whether you are at a novice level or you’re an absolute social media guru, we’ve got you covered. With this article, we kick off our exciting social media for hospitality series, designed to share tips & tricks that will not only allow you to develop an interest in your awesome wine service, but also allow you to confidently and effectively speak directly to your customers (wink wink, followers).
Updating and maintaining a social media profile is surely the last spinning plate you want to try to balance but trust us when we tell you that your online presence should be regarded as a helpful tool, not a burden.
Two in five Americans are reported to check restaurants’ social feeds & sites before deciding whether to visit which merely highlights the monumental need to cater to judgment consumerism; the modern customer wants to see before they buy. An article by Forbes underpins this concept, claiming that 84% of millennials are likely to be influenced to make a purchase based upon user generated content that is created by strangers. This suggests that you consumers are heavily influenced by their peers and are incredibly likely to order a drink they have seen on social media, posted by friends or the bar.
Here are some other interesting quickfire stats for you:
- Research done by QSR reveals nearly half (45 percent) of U.S. diners said they’ve tried a restaurant for the first time because of a social media post made by the establishment itself.
- When choosing a restaurant, Gen Z and Millennials are 99% more likely to rely on social media and online reviews than are Gen X and Boomers.
This is simply to say that now is not the time to be shy; you want your exemplary service to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds and frequently posting about it to your feed is absolutely the way to go – trust us (and the stats)!
Using social media to showcase your incredible wine & Champagne offers should be a no-brainer, given that the US has one of the highest social network penetration rates in the world, according to Statista. With over 70 percent of the U.S. population holding a social media account, researchers suggest that these platforms have become some of the most popular tools and devices of the past decades. In addition to this brazen familiarity and comfort with the tools to hand, it is also worth noting that it doesn’t cost anything to create/use your account(s). So, your online presence is both free and easy to use thus far; what more persuasion could you possibly need?
Well, we realize we may need to persuade you of one thing… why wine & Champagne? Why should you leverage that as part of your social media strategy? Wine is diverse; it brings with it its own unique backstory. Not to mention, with one bottle of wine, you can create many pieces of content. Discuss pairings, display the bottle, talk about the producer, offer by-the-glass specials, link to special International Days or holidays – the opportunities are endless. Wine also has the widest reach as it appeals to the highest percentage of your customers; with so many varieties available (still & sparkling), there is bound to be an option for everyone to love! Truthfully speaking, wine is very easy to incorporate into your social media plan and we guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how much interest and excitement it can stir up.
A note to the social media experts: To anyone reading this who is a social media expert, with a million followers under your belt, we are of the mind that you can always pick up something new, so do read on!
Before diving in headfirst, remember: every successful outcome was birthed from a good plan. Investing (your time) in a carefully crafted social media strategy ensures your efforts support your overall goals; the trick is doing it in the right way & nailing your presence online.
What is trending at the moment; what style of wine are people talking about (example; Organic)? Is there a Champagne cocktail sweeping the scene and worth adding to your specials board? Staying relevant and up to date with ongoing market trends is key to aiding the overall planning process; if you want to establish a strong identity, you need to be able to be among the conversations consumers are having.
Did you know: You can follow hashtags on Instagram to stay connected with interests you and your customers care about.
To follow a hashtag:
– Tap any hashtag (example: #Wine #HoReCa) you see on Instagram.
– Tap Follow. Once you follow a hashtag, you’ll see its photos and videos appear in the feed.
What we are not saying is be a sheep but stay up to date with the conversations online. We aren’t suggesting you simply follow the crowd, rather, lean into and really ramp up the unique attributes and offers that make you…well, you! What drinks and offers are you known for? Is there a bottle of wine unique to your menu? Do you grow your own fresh ingredients to add to cocktails or source them from a local business? Maybe you have invested in a cool, new wine? Nothing is too small to shout about – nothing!
All in all, when it comes to planning, knowing how to best leverage your platform to get new customers while also inflating the revenue of your current customer base is tricky – but not impossible. So, start with outlining what type of posts you think you can create (not limited to):
- Educational (about a producer, food and wine pairing tips, etc)
- Brand focused
- Menu focused (parings, new additions, flights, etc)
- Special offers
- Customer experience
- Venue focused
- Latest news
and so many more….
…then move on to a calendar-based view of when you want to post. Let’s now move into some content ideas focused around you…
A worthwhile experience
Share a glimpse of what guests will encounter when they arrive. Again, really lean into the aspects that make you…you! If you are a bustling, busy venue, embrace the thrill of the buzz & upload Instagram stories that highlight the excitement of your busy bar, or, likewise, if you entice curious onlookers with an incredibly comforting, intimate setting, share these vibes with your audience; really capture the setting, the atmosphere, the décor, the ambiance with great photography, and delectable picture posts. See below for some examples:
From simple, fresh, delicious, chilled glasses of wine being poured in slow-motion at the table to flaming, Cirque du Solei inspired Champagne cocktails, the beauty of social media is that there is room for it all! With more than 3 in 4 millennials (78%) claiming they would rather spend money on an experience…be sure to sell them the experience! A picture (or video) really can paint a thousand words (or in your case, hopefully three: come on down).
It’s also worth noting, ‘behind the scenes’ videos and photos also go down a treat with followers – especially if you can show them an interesting process they might not have seen or will ever see during their in-house dining experience. How and where you store your wine, how you pair your wines, your staff tasting sessions, snippets from meeting with a producer, your new glassware, or even a look behind the bar during peak hours… anything that could spark conversation or intrigue, add it to your rich tapestry of post-worthy content.
Be loud and proud about what you do
Instagram is the perfect space to connect with your patrons in fun, useful, and creative ways.
According to brand and company researchers, Instagram is an incredible discovery tool with 1 in 2 people using it to identify new brands, products or services! This means that 50% of the population – half! – turn to the ‘gram when in search of a new adventure and experience. There is also data suggesting that 200 million userscheck out at least one business profile each day! So, whether you’re on day one of your Instagram adventure or stuck for inspiration, easy but effective posts will show off all your amazing, delicious offers:
- Post simple pictures of your popular wines
- Host an Instagram live wine flight introduction
- Advertise your new-to-the-scene wine of the month
- Share an Instagram reel of a popular cocktail being made
- Promote a special offer assorted with your social feeds
- Have a secret wine option only followers can request
- Display your unique by-the-glass offering
and so so so much more!
Not only does this promote the ‘exclusive’ offers guests can expect from you, but this also reminds regular customers of the fantastic experiences they have had & shows new customers what they can look forward to! This kind of content also gets previous customers returning to your feeds again and again so they don’t miss anything.
At the end of the day, having a persistent presence online not only keeps your business & brand relevant, it is also a crucial element for drawing in customers.
The take-home message
Mastering your profile, growing your business, and engaging with customers is effortless when your social media profiles are both visually captivating and easy to access on the go. In truth, none of the above suggestions require you to go out of your way – if anything, content is already available and waiting for you to use! You’re already serving & pouring glasses of wine, the decor and ambiance already exist…all that’s left to do is snap & share!
Bring your social media marketing strategy to the next level & trust us when we tell you: your business definitely needs to use these digital tools in such a highly competitive, fast-paced, ever-changing day and age. Adding images of a cool, funky bottle, or your recommended food & wine pairings, even full glasses of still or bubbly enjoyment will captivate your followers as they scroll through their social feeds and flick through their stories. Bearing in mind, your online profiles give you the perfect opportunity to showcase what you are most proud of, it would be an absolute shame not to utilize them to their fullest potentialSo, what highlight reel can we leave you with now that you’ve reached the end?
- Plan your social content schedule and stick to it.
- Be loud and proud on both your feed and your stories. Show your audience every nuance – big or small – and give them insight as to who you really are!
- Lastly, and perhaps most important: have fun. Your social pages shouldn’t feel like a chore; think of them as a gateway inside your world. An open door that beckons customers in. Hey, the next door they open could very well be your front door…what have you got to lose?
Our next installment of the series will dive into user engagement. Why is it important and how can you effectively engage with your audience(s) in meaningful and impactful ways?
Keep an eye out for our follow-up article to learn more.