Wine & Social Media Part 3 – Keep Up to Date
In our final instalment of this social media blog series, we focus on staying ‘up to date.’ We explore the importance of becoming what Forbes has coined a “knowledgeable voice” in and across the digital hospitality industry. Trust us when we tell you that the trick to an effective and valuable wine menu is knowing what is happening and being said around your business and within the industry at all times. Let’s look at a few ways Instagram can help both you and your customers stay connected, well-informed, and most importantly… up to date!
As highlighted in our previous blogs, alongside being loud and proud (read here), as well as seizing every ample opportunity to engage with your followers (read here), staying up to date on your social media platforms is the final ingredient to secure your triple-threat success online & provide your guests with an out-of-this-world wine service. One that is profitable, enjoyable, and, of course, worth a share or a mention across any and all social platforms.
First impressions count
Picture this: having been recommended to dine at your out-of-this-world establishment, customers turn to the ‘gram to get them ready, in the mood, and to do a bit of pre-meal planning. The food options sound divine and the wine selection is exactly up their alley…only for them to disappointingly realise they have encountered an out-of-date menu from 2018. Incredibly helpful, thanks a million!
Research undertaken by CGA Strategy reveals that “consumers’ number one digital priority is to ascertain a venue’s range of menus and pricing structure” before they even set foot inside. With this in mind, think of your menu as the visual face and door to your business. Don’t let the initial step through the doorway be tainted by disappointment. Avoid disappointment and a bad rep by keeping your website & online menu up-to-date; both are imperative to both future sales and current retention.
So…how can you help both your own team and other people stay up to date and in the know?
- Post (almost) anything and everything!
Diversifying your content and social media ‘updates’ will allow you to cultivate a well-rounded profile, which users will respond to & interact with eagerly and enthusiastically.
Be sure to post your menu & specials board frequently – and keep them up to date. Four in five (79%) consumers, according to the CGA, say drink menus are very important or quite important in their decisions about what to drink. Of this percentage, more than four in five consumers drinking wine (85%) say they check menus before ordering. This makes menus the most influential factor in the On Premise, making it absolutely crucial to get them right.
Menu updates aside, if you change or alter your opening times, share it on your pages. Undergoing renovation? Share it on your pages. Team updates or changes? Share it. Seeking new members of staff and in the process of hiring? Post about it. Making a pledge to be more sustainable? You guessed it, share it. Announce new milestones and achievements. Showcase your involvement in any sort of event & be sure to share relevant information before, during, and after to really ramp up intrigue and engagement.
Commenting on the power of social media, we had the absolute pleasure of speaking to Soren Reed, Digital Influencer from three Michelin-starred restaurant sketch London, who provided us with some insight regarding online platforms, deeming them a valuable asset for any business and establishment:
“Social media is a crucial and powerful tool for the hospitality industry. It gives an establishment a chance to not only market their business but also to build an equally important affinity with their customers through an authentic, creative, and relatable medium. We describe sketch as a painting that never dries, and social media allows us to take our guests on the colourful journey of change and development that is inherent to sketch’s ethos.”
Take a closer look at their Instagram page here!
Always bear in mind, nothing is too big or too small to spark conversation amongst your community of online followers. The more they know, the more you grow!
- Pledge to check your socials daily
Yes, we couldn’t agree more; there are never enough hours in the day to do what you need to do let alone to complete additional tasks. Truthfully speaking, however, keeping up to date with your socials is a non-negotiable and shouldn’t be regarded as a meaningless, time-crushing, burdening chore.
Try setting 15 minutes aside each day (at least!), dedicated to scrolling through your Instagram feed. This is the perfect opportunity to see what other businesses are doing, what’s trending in the hospitality sector, and what changes are taking place relevant to either you or your customers. Are there new food and wine pairings you can jump on board with or any trending, up-and-coming wines you can add to your portfolio? If you want to take your guests out of their ‘comfort zone’ you have to present them with the means (cough, menu) to do so!
Here are a few top tips on how to maximise your ‘social media’ time and use it efficiently:
- Only follow relevant accounts. Fellow businesses like yourself, competitors, big brand industry names, your suppliers and producers… you get the idea. Nothing personal.
- In addition to accounts, you can also follow relevant and trending hashtags (consistent with your business and industry, of course). Learn more here.
- Save articles to read later so you can revisit when you have more time – read how here!
- Get the whole team involved by sharing interesting posts & articles regularly amongst yourselves; this can be a huge time-saver as everyone won’t need to scroll the feed(s).
All in all, when used as an information portal, your Instagram account can become a gateway to the industry & help you stay up to date with all daily occurrences that impact you – or your consumers – both directly and indirectly.
Our first two social media blogs contain many step-by-step guides on how to navigate Instagram’s tools, find them on our news page here.
- Keep a close eye out…
As part of your allegiance to the daily Instagram pledge, make sure you and your team look at what other venues are posting, promoting, sharing, and talking about. Don’t replicate their content, rather, derive inspiration from the competition. Maybe they have started to promote a new bespoke drink or cocktail; consider it an opportunity to do the same! Or perhaps they have started to make some noise about a new, trendy, esoteric wine…maybe you have an interesting wine producer’s story you could promote & offer your customers as an alternative (and response) to this.
Set the bar high. Own your space. The only way to successfully do that, is by knowing exactly what you others are saying…and what you can learn.
The Bottom Line
Hospitality is all about community and connection. Using social media to help yourself and others stay in the loop and keep up to date will massively help your business secure those loyal, returning customers, newly engaged potentials, supportive suppliers, or steady retailer relationships & partnerships. Being out of date or out of touch with the industry is a massive no-go and truthfully, with the wonderful tool that is the internet…there’s really no excuse!
- Any changes, big, small, and in-between, share them on your feed. It can be venue-related, staff-related, industry-related, menu-related – updates need to be shared and broadcast across your channels.
- Only follow relevant accounts and check your Instagram feed daily to make sure you are on top of the latest industry news & announcements. Share relevant findings across the team.
- Pay close attention to what your competitors and fellow businesses are planning and/or announcing. This will probably feed into your own future plans and direction.
Looking beyond the lens of pure entertainment, excitement, and enjoyment; your page should serve as a primary educational tool where customers, suppliers, and other businesses can keep up to date with your ever-changing news and events. This is why we focus on wine as an interesting pillar of social strategy due to its wide and loving customer base. It is also interesting to learn about and you already have it in your venue! Make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to grow and engage your customer base using tools you already have at your disposal.