The festive season is fast approaching, and locally produced sparklers are a fantastic way to celebrate with friends and family. So, it’s a great time to boost your brand with your social media activity – creating enticing imagery and glittery messages to get your followers into the Christmas ‘spirit’! Vineyard finds out some of the top tips for getting social this Christmas.
“Social media is fundamental to marketing our brand,” explains Elisha Rai, co-founder of the new rosé still wine brand ‘Folc’, based in Kent. “Customers will often check social media profiles of a product or brand before visiting the website or store, so it’s incredibly important that we represent our brand in a way which is informative, engaging, and attractive to our audience.
“Most of our wines are sold into trade, explained Galia Pike from Westwell Wines in Kent, “so for us, social media is more of a platform to talk about winemaking and viticulture rather than a sales platform. We do however intersperse these posts with a smattering of sales chat – especially at Christmas – which like most sparkling wine producers is our busiest time for direct-to-customer sales.
“Our Instagram account is an important way to connect with customers and trade – and communicate what our brand is all about. We post regularly with tales from the vineyard and try to keep our feed as an authentic look into our processes.” Galia added.
“Over the festive season it is essential to focus on what your audience wants to see – be that inspirational gifting ideas, Christmas food & wine pairings, festive giveaways with other like-minded brands or a ’12 days of Christmas’ advent calendar – where each day you gift an item or provide a festive fact about your product. This year especially people will be excited to come together with their friends and family to celebrate Christmas so the more you can show your product being enjoyed the better,” added Elisha.
“Try to come up with some creative videos that suit your brand,” suggests Joana Albogas, WineGB Marketing Assistant. “Maybe share a Christmas family recipe that pairs perfectly with your wine or take your viewers on a behind-the-scenes tour of your cellar door. How about swapping wines with a fellow producer and having a live tasting!
“The festive season is a prime time for lots of video content – use reels, stories and IG Live, for Instagram, which you can save on your IGTV. Not only are your customers ten times more likely to interact with a video, but social video generates considerably more shares than images and text combined,” commented Joana.
“Earlier this year we ran an IG live which was brilliant fun albeit slightly chaotic,” exclaimed Galia. “We’ve experimented with ‘reels’, although only a little. I think this is something we should all be doing more of – according to Instagram, it’s now no longer a photo sharing app!” Galia added.
Run a competition
“Christmas is undoubtedly an expensive time of year, so give something back to your customers by giving them the opportunity to win something,” suggests Elisha. “Running a competition is a win-win, it will come at very little cost and will help to boost the reach of your brand, boost engagement – and in some cases provide you with loads of priceless user-generated content,” Elisha added.
“We’re running a competition at the moment to try and create interest in our tours and tastings – a stroll through the vineyard on hazy summer afternoons with the vines full of promise is a different prospect to a wintery, muddy visit,” smiled Galia. “For this reason, we’re putting the finishing touches to our tasting room right now so we can welcome visitors into an inside space. This current competition has gone really well with lots of engagement, so it’s been well worth doing,” said Galia.
“Running a competition on Instagram is a great way to increase brand awareness, get more followers, and promote your selection of wines,” added Joana. “The key to a successful giveaway is good planning, so make sure to define the objective and goals of your giveaway beforehand,” Joana added.
“We plan a limited number of partnerships and giveaways with other like-minded brands or persons, during the festive season and throughout the year, which really help with brand awareness – particularly outside of the wine world – and to increase social exposure. I also do IG lives before and during a product launch to talk about the product, brand and Folc’s story which gives the audience the opportunity to learn more in an interactive way,” explained Elisha.
Hashtags help you find and engage with your followers and also mean you can monitor the results of a campaign, using specific hashtags.
“The biggest reason for using hashtags is for the increased exposure and discovery,” explained Joana. “But now instead of using 30 or more hashtags, Instagram recommends using only three to five. Think of a hashtag as a tool that provides context about your post and supports delivering content to people who are interested in a particular topic,” Joana added.
A few of Joana’s tips:
- Do use hashtags that are relevant to your content
- Check what hashtags your fans already use and follow
- Mix well known and niche hashtags to broaden your discoverability.
“Reaching your audience can be a bit of trial and error. If your brand is unique no two audiences will be exactly the same. My advice would be to create a large library of content with different themes so that you can test which ones work well with your audience and which might not be so popular. This is the same with hashtags. A combination of those with low mentions and high mentions may work for you, along with changing these every so often to learn which ones are driving audience to your profile,” commented Elisha.
Christmas markets, especially for food and drink, are very popular – and they are a chance to buy and support local producers – and social media is a great way to let everyone know. “Shopping local is not only less stressful but also more ethical and sustainable,” commented Joana.
“You can post a countdown on your Instagram Stories and create an event page on Facebook with all the details your guests need,” explained Joana. “If you have invited speakers or special guests, then tag their official pages. Then post lots of teasers! Teasers help build up the hype and provide your audience with useful information. Of course, during the event post lots on social media.
Sharing and caring
“The holiday season is about more than consumption,” commented Joana. “Why not give something back to those in need, with the support of your consumers. You can opt-out of commercial promotions such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday and do something a little more feel-good instead; support a charity that reflects your business’s values and role in your community. You can even get your Instagram audience involved by using the donation sticker for Instagram Stories. With just a few clicks, Instagrammers can support their charity of choice, or help spread the word to collect donations from their followers,” suggested Joana.
“Also boost user-generated content by shining a spotlight on people that love your products. Share positive customer experiences and include photos or videos, as real user feedback is seen as more trustworthy than company-driven ad campaigns,” Joana added.
“Imagine what you would like to see on your own social media feed and replicate this,” Elisha advised. “The best social media accounts do well because they are authentic, so your audience will always respond to content that they know is reflective of the brand.”
“Do use social media as a space to promote and sell wines. It’s the one time where you can really go for it and push your products and story without suffocating your audience,” Galia advised.