How will marketing and social media in the wine industry evolve in 2020? Instead of making claims about a future I can’t predict, I’ve been thinking about the wine social media trends I WANT to see in the next year. What strategies would help more wine businesses attract new customers, sell more wine, and sell out more events through social media?
When I manage social profiles and content for my winery clients, I’m always thinking about how we can grow in what we offer to our followers, and how we can stand apart from others in our industry. With this post, I want to help your business do the same.
Whether you’re a winery, wine bar, or restaurant that serves good wine – here’s how I want to see use of social media marketing change in 2020.
Trend #1: Wineries should fully embrace social media as a critical marketing tool
Contrary to the belief of many people who did not grow up with it, social media is no longer just a fun tool for wasting time. And as many people in the industry already know, wine businesses have been slow to catch up to free digital marketing tools like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and others.
In the last few years, opportunities for businesses to increase revenue using social media have vastly expanded, and with a savvy marketer behind the reins, these platforms can be used strategically to drive sales and leads in a trackable way.
When I use social media to sell wine, promote events, and generate private events leads for my clients, I’m not just blasting info to our followers. I’m constantly tracking the performance of every post we share, analyzing monthly trends, and evaluating which platforms and posts lead to direct sales and inquiries. More wineries should recognize the value of doing so in 2020 and implement intentional social media into their own marketing plans for the year.
Trend #2: Wineries must take the time to check their social media notifications
I am completely aware that many wineries are low on staff and time – and that dedicating capacity to social media and marketing can fall by the wayside next to what are perceived as more pressing concerns.
That said – it is crucial that some portion of the time your business devotes to social media be dedicated to engaging with the customers and followers who are interested in you. It is not enough to have a profile and post to it occasionally.
Even when you’re not posting – your customers are visiting you, posting pictures of their experiences, and tagging you. And when you do post – they are often responding to you and asking questions. If the person at your organization responsible for social media never takes the time to log in and check these notifications, and if you never show appreciation for the customers who are freely singing your praises on social – you are not effectively using these tools to build a community of loyal customers and followers, which misses the point.
[I’m really passionate about community engagement as part of an overall social media strategy, and have written a separate post on the subject. Read it here!]
Trend #3: Wine businesses should be more intentional about using Stories on social media
Here’s another social media topic I like to get on a soapbox about: treating Instagram Stories like the unique content channel they are!
Unlike the Instagram feed, or feeds on other social platforms, Stories are a special place where your business can share updates that are unpolished, less-staged, and numerous: which is exactly why they’re called Stories. The purpose is to create a narrative for your customers to follow – whether that’s a behind the scenes look at what’s happening in your winery production space, or a walk through of your newest menu items, or a glimpse into your tasting room when it’s full of happy patrons.
And the good news is, Stories can be used to strategically promote the wine or events you’re trying to sell! If your winery’s use of Stories thus far has been limited to sharing your feed posts with a sticker that says “new post” or other after-the-fact moments not optimized to be effective on Stories specifically, it’s time to think a little deeper. I’ve expanded on ideas for doing just that in blog post on Stories here.
Trend #4: Wineries should begin creating better quality graphics for social media
If your business is lucky to have a graphic designer on staff – or anyone well-versed in the Adobe Creative Cloud – you can skip this advice. For the rest of the wineries that don’t, and who are still struggling to quickly and easily make attractive promotional graphics: 2020 is your year to save time and look like you’re a design pro, even if you’re not!
The answer, if you have not discovered it already, is Canva.com. It’s like a middle point between Microsoft Paint and Adobe Illustrator and InDesign – but it’s made for people who don’t know design. Many wine businesses use Canva all the time (I do for clients when I don’t have time to dig into Illustrator!), but I can tell a lot of wineries out there haven’t found this tool yet, so this advice is for them.
The best part of Canva is its preset templates for a variety of useful image sizes and dimensions. Need a square graphic for Instagram? They have hundreds of templates for that. Need a banner for your website or Facebook cover photo? They have those templates, too. Need a copyright-free icon or stock photo to use in your graphic? They offer those. I can’t understate how useful Canva has been to my work – and the ability to open their app from any of my devices, allowing me to edit projects even when I’m away from my desk, is incredibly helpful.
The gist is: lack of professional design skill is no longer an excuse to share bad graphics on your business’ social platforms.
Thanks for reading! Do you think we’ll see the wine industry adapt to my desired trends for 2020? Have any additional thoughts? I’d love to hear them in the comments below or via my Contact page.
Meaghan Webster is a wine and food photographer, marketing consultant, and results-based social media manager for wineries in Washington, DC, Virginia, and New York. Learn more about her services at meaghanwebster.com or see her latest work and tips at instagram.com/meaghanwmarketing.
In addition to managing social media and taking photos for clients, Meaghan is also available to host classes, lessons, and one-on-one workshops on social media best practices for brands. Interested in booking a workshop or class? Get in touch here!