If your winery isn’t on the photo sharing platform Instagram, there’s no time like the present. Instagram was the fastest growing social media network last year, and it rivals Twitter in number of users: over 300 million! Fifty-three percent of adults aged 18-29 say they use the app. Meaning, if your target wine consumer is a Millennial, you need to be on Instagram. (Not sure of your wine consumer, check out this post –> The 6 different wine consumers.)

Unlike many other platforms, Instagram’s native functionality (taking and editing photos) is only available on mobile devices so you have to manage it from your phone or tablet. The app is free, and it’s available on both iOS and Android devices for download via the App Store or Google Play.

Once your account has been created, you’ll be able to log in, fill out your profile information, and start posting! Here are five tips to help you get started:

Take pictures!

Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. Take and post pictures of your wine, wine bottles, wine barrels, owner, winemaker, the whole team, winery, tasting room, vineyard, grapes, food, and so on. Most importantly, make sure you tell your brand story – how your winery is different through photos. As you experiment with different filters and images you’ll get a feel for how you want your brand to be represented, as well as what types of images motivate your followers to respond.

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instagram_bottling the wine

Establish an official hashtag

A good place to start is #YourWineryName and possibly #YourWineName. Also, be aware of industry trends and participate in them such as #WineWednesday, #WineDownFriday and #Winelovers. Hashtags help others find your photos so don’t hesitate to use the ones that apply, but don’t go overboard. While 30 is the max per post the sheer volume of hashtags can detract from your photo description; try starting with 5 – 10 and see what happens to your engagement.

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instagram_cheese plate

Cross-promote on other social networks

Make sure your customers know you have an Instagram account by sharing your photos on Facebook or Twitter, and asking them to follow you. Instagram has a built-in ability to share your images to other networks to make this easy. You also should notify customers in your email newsletters and add the Instagram icon to your winery’s website to link back to your account.

Link your photos back to your website

Tie your Instagram account into your overall marketing strategy to get followers to act. Whether you want them to sign up for your wine club, take a survey, enter a contest, RSVP for an event, or buy online, this platform should ultimately enable you to have fun and encourage sales. While not every photo is a sales opportunity, a little nudge here and there can yield great results.

San Antonio Winery Texas instagram

Follow other accounts

Following fans, complementary brands, local businesses, and other Instagram accounts that interest you is a great way to increase awareness of your winery and gain more followers. You also can follow competitors to see what they’re posting, although you may prefer to do that from your personal Instagram account. Want to see what I’m posting? Follow me at @willdesign4wine on Instagram.

As with anything you do in social media, it is beneficial to step back once a month or so to see what’s working and what isn’t. You can use www.squarelovin.com to get free analytics on how your Instagram posts are performing.

For some more helpful tips and advice, check out Instagram’s “getting started” guide for businesses!

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