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While breweries, restaurants and cocktail bars know that their restaurant marketing strategies need to include social media, it can be harder to see where wine fits into the social media game.

However, wine has a unique social media opportunity that other sectors don’t. Since there are more than 10,000 labels on the market, wine can be especially confusing. In the past, consumers have consulted books, magazines, and newsletters, but more increasingly they turn to social media for advice, according to Wine Business.

Wine has a unique social media opportunity that other sectors don’t.

Partner with Influencers

According to Bon Appetit, influencers are changing the food industry as we know it.

When you partner with an influencer who thousands of followers, you can reach a highly targeted audience for a relatively low cost.

Check out this robust list of wine influencers from Influence.co, and a quick Google search for wine or food influencers alongside your city’s name will turn up at least a handful of people you can reach out to and eventually partner with.

Food and beverage-based social influencers are everywhere these days—including in or near your town, regardless of how small it is.

When Thinking About Restaurant Design, Keep Instagram In Mind

Sure, ambiance is important for plenty of reasons. But how about for Instagram? Kristina Libby, CEO of SoCu, works with wine bars all over the country on their social media strategy. When working with Precept Wine, she had a ton of fun helping them build an “Instagram Corner.”

When you partner with an influencer who thousands of followers, you can reach a highly targeted audience for a relatively low cost.

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“Make sure that is has a fun hashtag incorporated like #winedownwednesday or #WineDay,” said Libby. “The space doesn’t need to be expensive but it needs to be beautifully lit and cool enough looking that people will want to take pictures. This helps others create social content for you and then tag it so that it is easy for you to find and repurpose.”

charcuterie board with glass of wine

Share Your Positive Press

There’s no such thing as bad publicity. Really. If you’ve got good press coming in: say your regional food critic highlights your killer wine selection on their blog, make the most of it.

“When a local newspaper or influential website mentions your bar, you should be sending out a link to Facebook and Twitter on the same day. This is a perfect opportunity to show potential customers that you’re well-liked by [tastemakers] in the community,” advises Restaurant Engine.

Flaunt Your Thought Leadership

If you’ve put in all the effort required to fire up a blog that showcases your expertise or if you or someone on your staff has a uniquely high level of wine knowledge, why not amplify your expertise over social media? Share links to blog posts as you roll them out and post any accolades your bar or staff receive. Establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field or community not only build relationships but it can actually increase sales,  according to Pam Moore, the host of the podcast Social Zoom Factor.

Appeal to a Wide Audience

“A wine bar is no different than a bar,” tells Jill Weber, owner of Jet in Philadelphia, to Beverage Media She believes that too many wine bars make the mistake of crossing the line into pretentious, which can alienate a huge section of your potential social media audience and, therefore, customers.

Take home message: If you offer more than just wine at your wine bar, don’t be afraid to show it off on social media. That way you appeal not just to oenophiles but to their beer and whiskey-loving friends as well.  

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Cinnamon is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer and journalist who paid a large part of her way through college and graduate school by serving. Her work has been published with outlets like National Geographic, the Washington Post, Pacific Standard, and more. You can read more about her at www.cinnamon-janzer.com.
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