Cider Corner: 5 Social Media Strategies to Boost Engagement & Sales

Navigating the always-evolving landscape of social media can be challenging for any cidery aiming to increase visibility and engagement. However, with a strategic approach and the right tools, it can effectively be used to boost your brand and connect with consumers. From scheduling posts and creating compelling content to understanding audience preferences and handling feedback, here are five key strategies from those in the industry that can enhance your cidery’s social media presence.

Strategic Scheduling Content Creation

Employ a dedicated social media manager to handle all aspects of social media, from scheduling posts to monitoring engagement. Tommy Evans of Two Story Chimney explained the importance of having a professional photographer on the team: “Her photos are always amazing and help maximize our exposure and engagement.” Utilizing professional-quality images to enhance the visual appeal of your posts is key, as high-quality photos tend to attract more likes and comments. Also, plan posts ahead of time to ensure a consistent and steady flow of content. Tools like Hootsuite, Planoly, and Bettr can help with scheduling and analytics.

Audience-Specific Content

Tailor your social media strategies to different segments of your audience. For example, use separate accounts for wholesale and taproom content if they serve different types of customers. “The audience ordering a draft in their favorite bar won’t have an interest in what pies we’re offering at the Gettysburg Taproom every week,” explained Ben Wenk of Ploughman Cider, as an example. Also, understand the preferences of your audience on different platforms. For instance, taproom events may get more traction on Facebook, while Instagram may be better for sharing visually compelling content and engaging with a younger demographic.

Engaging & Interactive Posts

Use Stories on Instagram and Facebook to announce deliveries to a location or share behind-the-scenes content. Heidi Smart of Hard Heidi’s Cider notes, “If it’s a fun or well-received story, the business will usually share it, doubling or tripling my exposure.” Encouraging user-generated content by prompting followers to share their own photos and experiences with your cider in hand can enhance a connection to your community and increase visibility. Also, post regular updates about new brands, give insights into cider knowledge, and local events to keep your content relevant and engaging without overwhelming your followers.

Handling Feedback and Negative Comments

View negative comments as valuable feedback and respond quickly and thoughtfully. “When someone has a valid concern, we feel a personal connection helps often,” said Jerry Thorton of Bryant’s Cider. Make sure to maintain a professional, yet personal, tone when addressing complaints. If a customer has a valid concern, acknowledge it and attempt to make amends. Also, avoid engaging with trolls or responding defensively to baseless negative comments. Doug Smith of Sly Clyde emphasizes, “If you are going to threaten our staff or make racist comments, we are okay with you not returning.”

Utilizing Tools & Analytics

Use in-app tools provided by social media platforms to monitor likes, comments, and other engagement metrics. These insights can help you understand what content performs best and why. Also, investing in apps like Lightroom for photo editing to maintain a consistent look and feel across your posts while using Hashtag Expert to find relevant hashtags can increase your content’s reach. Create a content calendar that aligns with your marketing goals, ensuring a balanced mix of promotional and engaging posts to tell your cidery’s story effectively.  Helen Lewis of Portland Cider explains, “Every post is a marketing tool to tell our story, and we try to create a content calendar to cover all our marketing goals.”

By implementing these strategies, cideries can enhance their social media presence, foster customer engagement, and ultimately drive sales and brand loyalty.

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