3 Steps to Social Marketing Success

We live in a social society. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube have completely transformed the way that consumers find, access and share information, and how they communicate with each other. Social media offers your business an opportunity to reach large audiences and to promote your brand. However, the heart and soul of social media is a chance to really know your audience and engage them in something they love. There is no one-size fits all solution for achieving your goals on social media,  but there are some basic steps to increase your chances of being successful. 

1. Start with clear goals.

Every post on the steps to social media success will start with this point, for a very good reason, because it is so IMPORTANT. If you don’t know where you are going, then how do you get there? You have to decide what it is you want to achieve by engaging on social media.  Be very sure that your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) Goal setting doesn’t need to be a fifty page document. It can be a single page which answers the following questions:

A. What in general do you want to achieve? 

  • Brand awareness
  • Customer insights
  • Market information
  • New distribution relationships

Or it may be a combination of all of the above.

B. What do you want to achieve in six months, and in the next 12 months?

Define short and long-term goals.

C. Who do you want to connect with?

  • Who is your target audience?
  • Is this consumer focused or trade focused or both?

Be specific about the different goals for each target audience.

D. What kind of community do you want to build on your social channels?

  • Think beyond pure brand advocates, what would this community look like? 
  • How would they engage with you, and with each other?

E. What do you hope to learn through social media?

This is key as this is the goal that will define how you listen and what you listen for.

F. What are you willing and able to contribute?

Be very clear about this and take into consideration your industry knowledge, resources as well as your capabilities. 

If you want to learn more about setting SMART social media goals, then I highly recommend reading this blog post from Kevan Lee at Buffer.  

2. Turn on your listening ears

This is something that my daughter has been taught at pre-school. It is excellent advice when it comes to social media. Listening is just as important as sharing on social media. There are a number of free tools available on the web that allow you to monitor social chatter across various platforms.

Set up a Google Alert for ‘New Zealand wine’ or ‘wine’ or ‘your company name/brand’. This is a very simple and easy-to-use tool that will send reports right to your inbox. You can monitor keywords as well.

You could also use social mention. This tool has lots of great features that focus on blogs, video, and social.  You enter in a search term, either a keyword or a company, and the tool will tell you what’s being said about that term across the web and you can filter by channels. You can see how many times and how often it’s mentioned. It also will give sentiment analysis and top keywords associated with your search.  

Twitter search is a free tool that you can use to search Twitter specifically, but many conversations around New Zealand wine are accompanied by the hashtag #nzwine. For this reason a tool such as Tagboard is a great way to visually capture conversations across multiple platforms that leverage the hashtag as a communication tool. 

We will include information about a range of free and subscription social and content monitoring tools in our take home wine seminar tool kit.


#nzwine Tagboard


3. Find your brand personality and voice

One of THE most important things you can do to give yourself a real chance to connect with your audience is clearly define who ‘You’ are, or in the case of a wine business, ‘Who the wine is’?

You may have heard the term sticky content. It is the holy grail of digital content. Sticky content is memorable and  holds the attention of the customer so they want to come back for more. Sticky content on steroids is contagious content…that is the stuff that people just can’t help but share! One of the best books you could ever read on this subject is by New York Times best-selling author, Jonah Berger aptly titled Contagious. As a brand your best chance to create and deliver sticky content is first to define and find your unique, authentic brand voice. 

Your brand voice has four key elements:

A. Personality :  You want to make sure you’re authentic – so think of your brand as if it was a person. Outline personality traits that would use to describe who that person is. By doing this, you will learn how to communicate your brand more like a person and less like a business. This will give your social followers more reason to engage with you. People connect with people, they don’t connect with brands, so it is important that you define the humanity of your brand.

B. Tone: This may change based on channel, content or audience, but these changes should be subtle. Defining an overarching tone will set the stage for how you behave. Do you want to be open and friendly or authoritative, Your tone should tie back into your marketing strategy. Rather than keeping it vague (this is fine as a starting point) think of each individual personality trait that you outlined for your brand and define what tone is the best fit around each. 

C. Language; The world of social media is more casual. For example, with Twitter you are limited by characters, so each and every space counts. Think about the language you will use. Is it appropriate to use emoticons? If you think about the language, this will help when it comes to planning your content.

D. Content:  Your success on social media is not just as a result of what you say and how you say it, but the actual content that you share. Your tone of voice will help define your content creation and curation.  Once you know what you are looking for, finding things to share that resonate with your audience becomes less daunting. 


dr-seuss-youerIf you are an owner operator wine business, then many times your brand voice will most often be an extension of yourself.  If that is the case and it is true to your brand, then you should follow the advice of Dr Seuss. That is exactly who you should be. It is still worth doing the exercises above to define who that ‘You’ is on social media. 

While social media is one of the most powerful ways to reach existing and new wine customers, it’s easy to waste time or alienate people if your messaging doesn’t connect. Giving some thought to the planning process and working through these three exercises will not guarantee your success, but it certainly will get you off to a great start. Even if you are already active on social media channels, it is always worth revisiting these three points to make sure you are on the right track.


If you want to learn more tips and practical tools to kick-start your social media success, you should attend our wine marketing workshop The New Age of Wine Marketing which is taking place in Thursday 20 August at Wine Marlborough Blenheim.