What We Learned at Social Media Marketing World

Every spring, 7,000 marketers from dozens of industries gather in San Diego at the country’s largest social media conference. We sent Benson’s digital marketing team to Social Media Marketing World to keep up with the latest trends and tools. In this blog, we share our five key takeaways from this year’s event. None of this will be new information exactly, but it was reassuring to hear confirmation of these trends.

Bigger isn’t always better

While gaining more follows should be an ongoing goal for your social media account, don’t assume that more fans equals more success. It’s better to have a smaller audience who cares than a larger audience who doesn’t. So focus on engaging the audience you do have by prioritizing social listening and sharpening your brand messaging strategy. Vanity metrics won’t love you back the way loyal fans will.

Focus, with flexibility

Spend your efforts on what you do best. Seeing a high number of shares when you post videos on Facebook? Spend more time on making videos than on photo shoots. Of course, leave room to readjust strategy. Monitoring metrics closely helps keep an eye on shifts in audience preferences.

Something isn’t better than nothing

Choose a primary platform for your brand’s social media communications. Have a highly engaged audience on Twitter? Put most of your time into developing customized content for Twitter; engage with your followers there. Design content that’s optimized for your focus platform, and then repost it on other channels.

Be conscious of your audience’s attention

Audiences have less trust in brands now than ever before. How does this translate into developing a wine brand’s social media strategy? Only talk if you have something to say, because redundant or generic content only contributes to the static. Be conscious of your audience’s attention by posting intentionally and choosing quality over quantity of messages.

The future of social media is relatability

Instagram and Facebook stories. Private messaging. We’re all seeing a shift towards more personalized and meaningful communication on social, in large part due to privacy concerns. Brands find success by doing less broadcasting and more human interacting. At Benson, we connect with our clients’ fans through commenting on and liking their posts, even when they don’t overtly reference wine.

Case study: One of our winery clients was struggling to grow their audience on Instagram. Through our community management tactic of interacting with followers posting about wine-adjacent topics like home entertaining and cooking, we were able to achieve 10% organic follower growth month over month.

Similarly, sharing content posted by followers and winery employees creates more personalized messaging. And we recommend taking the digital conversation a step further by utilizing private messages to communicate with fans.

At Benson, our team education efforts are ongoing. In case your missed it, here were the top takeaways from our visit to Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium in January.

Anecoop Bodegas Teams with Benson

Anecoop Bodegas, a consortium of 1,000 winegrowers exporting 200 wines to 50 countries, has tapped Benson for a U.S. brand strategy project. Based in Valencia, Spain, the company operates out of three wineries and seeks to raise its profile and sales in the U.S. market. The company is backed by parent company, Anecoop, a $1 billion leader in fruit and vegetable growing, processing and exports.

Wine Influencer Event

5 Post-Campaign Tips

How do you get the most out of wine influencer partnerships?

In most cases, we design influencer partnerships with the goal of attracting prospective consumers into our clients’ digital ecosystems. Creating and executing a campaign is only part of the process. If you really want to spike the results, here are some post-campaign recommendations.

Maintain a relationship with your influencer partner

Partnering with a social media influencer yields a multitude of benefits for a wine and spirits brand including one that might go unnoticed at first glance – ongoing relationships. Just because the campaign is over does not mean the relationship is over. Continue to engage with the influencer and reach their audienceby liking and commenting on their social channels to increase impressions. It maintains the association with your brand and keeps the door open for future partnerships. Your brand will gain reputation benefits among other influencers (potential future partners) by being in your partner’s inner circle.

Case study: After a campaign with the 100 Layer Cake blog, our client has continued to be mentioned on the blog, and therefore, continued to generate brand impressions and engage prospective consumers. It was the right influencer for the right wine, and vice versa.

Repurpose influencer content

Include reposting and linking back to influencer-published content in your editorial calendar. Repurpose materials that were already published, such as by re-posting photos in different social media channels, cropping photos for a new perspective, or editing text to match the season. Repurposing and re-imagining your new content makes the influencer investment even more worthwhile.

Utilize unused content

Make use of the assets created by the influencer partnership that may not have been used during the initial campaign run. A strategic influencer partnership plan has clear guidelines for asset creation and if your plan included extra deliverables beyond the campaign needs, incorporate them into your future editorial calendar. You chose a partner based on the brand fit and quality of the influencer work, so revel in the success of your selection and utilize those assets.

You bought it; you own it. Your campaign agreement should include a stipulation that all work, regardless of whether it is posted, is a “work made for hire.”

Prepare for the ripple effect

In some cases, influencers’ friends become a part of the campaign simply by being in their orbit. We have a winery client whose partner invited her influencer friends to an event at the winery. These influencers wrote unsponsored blogs about the experience and the brand was able to comment on these blogs to increase impressions. In other instances, influencers are so captivated by the campaign that they will write about your brand on their own. Expect this amplification and engage with the influencers who are the right fit by liking and commenting on their posts.

Case study:  One of our clients partnered with over 60 influencers in 2018. As a result of their great reputation and product, many influencers hope to work with this brand – and they feature the brand in unsponsored posts in hopes of gaining that opportunity.

Strengthen your digital community

Liking and responding to the comments from the followers gained during the campaign will further cultivate trust with your new audience. Actively engage with your growing community because social media is, after all, social.

If you’ve read through to the end of our four-part blog series, thank you! Tell us what you think – what did we miss? What did we nail? What topics should we cover next?

 

In case you missed it, here are links to the first three posts in the series:

Part 1 – 6 Reasons to Use Influencer Partnerships

Part 2 – 8 Tips for Selecting a Wine Influencer Partner

Part 3 – 5 Tips for Running a Successful Influencer Marketing Partnership

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