Monday, 13 December 2021 15:30

The Social Place: A socially savvy summer

Written by  Staff Reporters
Maria Ottley, Marketing Coordinator at Akarua Maria Ottley, Marketing Coordinator at Akarua

To wrap up The Social Place column for the year, we asked a few social butterflies for advice on platforms, payments, branding and navigating Covid-19.

Maria Ottley, Marketing Coordinator at Akarua

What’s key to developing a great social presence for your company?

One key element would certainly be to define your brand identity from the outset and ensure you are always planning and posting with this in mind. Who are you? What is your story? What sets you apart from your competition? Wine consumers connect to real life stories, the nitty gritty, and what goes on behind the scenes. So for us, communicating more than just our finished product is key to our strategy. Once a brand identity is known and its core values can be considered, it’s a matter of committing time, setting realistic goals, and ensuring relevant, quality content to keep your followers engaged and loyal to the brand. Whilst one person may manage a brand’s presence on social media, it is a team effort to ensure the content needed keeps flowing and is in line with the identity of the brand. We are super fortunate here at Akarua that our wonderful viticulture, winemaking and marketing teams send updates from the front line, meaning we always know what’s happening across our sites, even when we are behind our laptops in the office.

Stephanie McIntyre, digital and communications specialist, Outré Ltd

stephanie Mcintyre FBTW


Do you have a top tip for social connection?

Social media remains one of the most cost-effective forms of communicating with consumers, trade, and media alike. But it is a fickle mistress. No longer is it a free platform and no longer does it play fairly (if you want significant growth). Meaning, to get cut-through today on any platform, we need to keep on top of trends and algorithms and be willing to back posts with some dollars.

My top tip for social media is to refuse to be everything to everyone. Pick one or two platforms that best align with your target audience and do it well. Consistency is everything - commit to a post style, tone, and frequency and be sure to engage with your followers and fellow platform users regularly. Setting KPIs and understanding your target audience is critical and will guide you in determining which channel(s) you utilise, and your aesthetic. Spending quality time on a social media strategy is important as the reach of organic posts is intrinsically linked with your account’s engagement rates.

Do you need to invest for success?

Yes. At least a bit anyway! Nothing (other than my captivating smile!) is for free anymore and social media evolved years ago from a family photo album to a business entity. Luckily, it is still cost-effective as its reach is wide and far (2.85 billion monthly active users on Facebook and 1 billion monthly users on Instagram). But as a business there is a cost to being on these platforms, with Mr Zuckerberg charging us for ‘accessing his database’. The more you pay, the more your posts will be seen and, unfortunately, if you don’t pay, both Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms will drop your posts down in the feed or even remove them entirely. But, as long as your goal isn’t to double your followers each month, this doesn’t mean you need to spend your inheritance. Let’s be honest, if we didn’t want to see our follower numbers and interactions increase, we wouldn’t have opened a social media account. So to ensure your numbers don’t slide backwards, the odd boost or advert will keep the platform owners sweet. Today, over 3 million businesses advertise on Facebook. It is a game we have to play sadly, but it’s not too daunting. I read recently that $10 will get you in front of 1,000 people. That’s pretty good bang for buck really!

Sarah Rowley Adams, Communications and Digital Advisor at New Zealand Winegrowers

Sarah Adams FBTW


What’s the best way to manage your time on social media?

Everyone who has used social media knows it is a black hole for your spare time. It’s worth investing in scheduling software and creating a posting calendar. Whether you want plan months ahead or write the post a few days before, scheduling posts in advance saves you mental energy. It also gives you the ability to schedule at the best times for your account, even if they are late evening or early morning. I like to schedule a post for every second day, a fortnight in advance, leaving room for more reactive content.

Setting a routine for checking your work social media in your workday is another way to save time. First thing in the morning works best for me. Ten minutes, when used productively, is enough to catch up on the previous day’s posts, like and comment on a few things and ensures our account stays engaged with its followers.

It’s also a good idea to have a way to save content ideas. Inspiration strikes at inconvenient times, and it’s great to have a list of ideas the next time you’ve got creators-block. I save posts into a folder on my browser or directly on the platform if it’s while I’m scrolling. A notebook, digital or real, would also do the same job.

Angela Wilson, Marketing Manager at Rose Family Estate

Angela Wilson FBTW


How has Covid-19 changed the way you approach social media?

Covid has changed life in everyone’s sphere. The last two years, in my opinion, have seen the biggest change in how consumers shop and search for wine in the 30 years I have been in the industry. Have we changed how we approach social? Not really – however, the social media world has got busier and noisier, and because of this (and new laws on privacy) it’s harder to reach our people. What I would say is it’s more important than ever that the presence you have must be real and represent who you are and what you stand for. And always, always be putting your customers’ shoes on to see what the world looks like from their eyes.

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