5 tips to quickly master social media for food and beverage brands

in this video i'm going to share what's working for beverage startups and entrepreneurs in social media.

howdy, i'm giovanni.

social media tactics, platforms and strategies change so quickly, it's important for beverage brands to prioritize what's working and eliminate what's not.

when it comes to strategy, the first thing that beverage brands and entrepreneurs must do is to make a commitment to social media. you have to be truly dedicated to seeing your social media program succeed.

like any other form of marketing, social media can be an extreme challenge. it's hard to grow an audience, create great content and increase engagement on a consistent basis.

more often than not, brands give up on social media after just a few months. it takes eight months to a year to really get the hang of social media. that's from 20 years of personal experience and what i've witnessed with other marketers.

not only do you need to get a consistent content stream going, but you have to figure out what resonates with your audience and what doesn't. it takes an average of about eight months before you'll really start to see the traction regardless if you have a big audience or not.

the first tip that i can offer you is to make a commitment to yourself and to your team to make social media a priority if you really want to succeed. you start with planning.

create a social media strategy and write it down. it doesn't have to be perfect or crazy detailed. but just create your brand guideposts for your brand and a few goals to guide your efforts and keep you accountable.

your strategy should include a basic company overview, a content plan, a list of do's and don'ts, a list of content topics that you're going to focus on, and goals. in other words, what kind of content you plan on creating and posting, who your audience is, and what you hope to achieve. this document will morph and grow along with your social media and that's totally normal.

"the why" related to people following you on social media part is really important. a lot of beverage brands don't truly know the why. so determining your x factor, for lack of a better word, is the most important thing you can do right outta the gate. some call this your brand story.

so when it comes to your goals, it doesn't have to be traffic or sales. there's absolutely nothing wrong with creating goals around brand awareness, customer service, and engagement.

now you have to dig deep and ask yourself - not only "why would people follow me or my brand on social media," but why will they feel compelled to share me or my brand and how do we get them to tell their friends and family about us?

at this point words like "authenticity" and phrases like "being real" have been run into the ground by marketers and advertisers. and that's a real shame, because there are few synonyms that capture the same feeling and meaning as the word "authentic." but the core truth is still the same.

you have to always authentically be you on social media. if there's a simple secret to my success it's that i only work with brands where i can be my true, authentic self when i represent them. if that's not in place, then i don't take the gig.

take a minute and think about the brands that you follow on social. why do you think they're special? what do you follow them? is it the content they post? is the way in which they post it? is it the brand's personality?

think about that and let me know what the answer is in the comments here.

creating a great social media presence isn't only about showing the value of your product or services to your audience. it's about connecting and creating experiences.

you need to show a common point of view with them. talk like your fans, think like your fans, show that you experience the same challenges and successes as your fans. that's how you create a cohesive social media experience for them. successful brands on social media make fans feel like they're interacting with a real human being, not a company.

if you want to fail at this, put out a generic article or post some stock photography on social media. if you want to kill it on social media, you have to have a personality. be fun, witty, entertaining, informative. the more passionate you are and the more you can be yourself the more you'll attract an audience that stays around and engages with your content.

great social media programs are built around listening to customers, not promoting to them. social media offers an incredible open-ended platform that beverage brands can use to communicate and engage with customers. i highly recommend you use it that way.

social media has become a customer service platform. people now expect that of it. so, bare minimum, you have to make sure to respond to all customer questions and comments on your posts. as you get better at this, you'll see more engagement. in turn you'll get more comments. wash, rinse, repeat. it's gonna make you really busy, but that's really a great problem to have.

to be successful at this, you have to be willing to invest in those resources. now, your customers are the best source of inspiration for your content.

lots of beverage brands are sitting on a never-ending gold mine of content ideas by simply looking at frequently asked questions, recipes, or what people are asking them and their competitors on social media, they'll find that they'll never run out of great ideas.

other great resources for mining for content are sites like quora, buzz sumo, reddit, and answer the public.

social media makes us want to be everywhere and to try everything. but if you try and chase success on every social network, you're gonna fail. period.

it may seem counter-intuitive because you want to be everywhere and you think that the best way to do that is to just jump on every social network out there. but focusing all your efforts on maybe two to three platforms that give you the best return on investment really is the best way to go.

one reason why is that crafting content unique to each platform is absolutely critical in social media.

so let's say you write a blog post about the local ingredients in your beverage. writing the copy that will get attention and clicks on pinterest is much different than what works on instagram and that's dramatically different than what works on twitter or facebook.

if you end up posting the same copy across all platforms, it just won't perform at an optimum level. especially not that pinterest caption whenever you try to post it to snapchat. it takes a lot of time to craft the perfect update for each platform, and you have to be willing to invest the time to make it successful.

when you focus on too many platforms it's difficult to pinpoint what's working and what's not because it ends up all looking the same. focusing on a particular platform allows you to hone in and be successful on a specific tactic and also give you room for experimentation.

social media success is all about experimentation. consumer behavior and habits change more quickly than anyone keep track of, even someone who works in social media all day. focusing on a specific platform or two will allow you to keep a consistent stream of content going and lots of room for experimentation.

so my last tip on the strategy side of social media marketing for beverage brands is to remember that above all else, it's passion that generates truly great and memorable content. now i know this is passé - but the truth is the truth and i'd rather have an inexperienced person who's passionate about my brand running my social media over someone who is an expert, but doesn't really care any day, all day long.

finding success on social media requires that you play the long game. now i started this video by mentioning that it can take about eight months of hard work before you feel good about your social media program. imagine if that time was filled with posting content from a person who didn't even care about about your brand. if you're going to be successful, social media success has to follow a passion.

i find from talking to beverage brands and entrepreneurs, is that one of the biggest hurdles to their social media programs is generating new content on a regular basis. the only way to ensure long-term commitment and that social media doesn't become a burden is to make room for your passion.

now the nice thing about social media is that your content doesn't necessarily have to be directly related to your brand or to your industry. and a lot of times it's actually the best when it's not. it doesn't have to be what everyone else is doing. in fact, more often than not, i find success when i forge my own path with a brand rather than following what all the insiders are doing.

the content you create needs to serve your mission as a business. this will allow people to jump on board with a cause that they care about. when these come together, you quench people's thirst for an authentic relationship with your brand and everyone wins.

now, i want to know what makes your social media successful and what you are having challenges with! leave a comment for me or let me know. i check them every day and will be quick to get you a response.

i appreciate you watching - i'll see ya in the next video!

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Being true to my principle of using the minimal amount of consumer gear to produce the best possible content, my in-studio videos are shot with a Canon m50, a Rode Wireless Go mic kit, Falcon Eyes LED lights, a Parrot portable teleprompter, an Apple iPhone, & a Manfrotto monopod.

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