Used well, social media can be an invaluable way to engage with your customers. Nearly 40% of users follow brands and while this might not seem impressive at first glance, consider this. Just 41% of people say they use social media to keep up with friends. It suddenly seems a little better right?
Whether you want to drive traffic to your website or offer quick and easy customer service, having active social media pages will help you establish meaningful relationships with your customers. The problem is that creating and finding content for social media can be time consuming and with studies finding that you should post to Facebook at least three times a week to grow your page (and preferably once a day!), it can quickly become overwhelming.
So that’s why we’ve rounded up the top 7 places to find the best free content for your social media.
1. Rights-free images
In an ideal world, you would always be able to create your own images and even videos. In reality of course, is a little different and having access to some rights-free images can be a useful addition to your own collection.
Sites like Pexels, Unsplash, Pixabay, Negative Space and Death to Stock come in handy here. These images are perfect to create your own graphics, like announcements for sales, holiday greetings or even ads, but they shouldn’t be used alone for social content.
Oh and if you don’t have the graphic design skills to create your own content? We recommend Canva.
Gifs for wine can be a little difficult. Relying on pop culture and humour, a lot of the options are people drinking from oversized glasses (or even bottles) and many references to wine o’clock. For some pages, this lighthearted tone will work and promote engagement, but others might need to look into creating their own options.
Giphy is perfect for both of these. While you can easily search for premade gifs, the site also makes it easy to create your own. After all, isn’t opening a bottle of champagne just perfect to be turned into a gif?
3. Google Alerts & Feedly
While there’s no doubt that photos and video are king on social media, there is still the place for sharing relevant articles. This is particularly true for wineries, when many of your customers will respond positively to educational pieces.
Easy to understand posts on how to taste or pair wine with food can be extremely helpful and promote engagement, while longer form interest pieces will hold the attention of your more knowledgeable customers.
One of the easiest ways to find the content that others are writing is through Google Alerts. Google Alerts allows you to track keywords such as “Australian wine” or “wine” and sends you any articles that are related to this topic at a frequency that suits you.
To streamline the process even more, you can use the RSS feed that Google Alerts creates to get the articles delivered right to you in Feedly (this link tells you how to do it!) This means a few less emails a day and they’ll also highlight the most popular content to help you prioritise what you share.
Another way to find written content is Medium. A community that focuses on words and ideas, it is commonplace for bloggers, writers and other media outlets to repost their work on the site. What does it mean for you? You've got a source of great stories by people who are passionate about what they’re talking about.
To use Medium for social media, all you need to do is search for your topic of choice. You can then filter the posts to see the most popular stories or the most recent ones.
5. Your customers
There’s a simple reason to use the content your customers share related to your brand. This content can generate engagement 6.9 times greater than other posts!
For wineries, we think this is even more important. While the images of your vines and the winemaking process are beautiful, one of the things that can often be forgotten is the people who are enjoy your wine. A candid shot at your cellar door allows people to more easily imagine themselves there and can create a different sense of connection. And who is taking those pictures? The people who are visiting you.
Encourage customers to tag their pictures with a certain hashtag so you can easily find them. You can even run a contest or offer a free bottle of wine to get even more content to choose from. The last benefit? When you do reshare that content, you are likely to deepen the engagement with the original customer who created it.
Pinterest is a haven of content for wineries. From DIY projects that utilise corks to infographics that explain the differences between types of wine glasses, there is a kind of content available for every winery. The content you’ll find on Pinterest is particularly handy for two different occasions. Firstly, when you’re looking for evergreen content – content that can be posted at any time of the year, time and time again – but secondly when you are looking for seasonal content. A guide to pairing wine with your favourite Halloween treats? You’ve got it.
While many of the content ideas you find on Pinterest will be image driven, others will also link through to longer pieces of content that you can also post. The only thing to be careful of when posting Pinterest content is that sometimes the image quality is poor – if that’s the case, keep searching. You can nearly always find a similar idea with a better image.
7. Your own brain
While all of these ways to source content will help to create a full social media calendar, you should never underestimate the power of creating your own. Taking the time to create your own content is often the most rewarding, as it forms a deeper connection with your audience and it also doesn’t need to be a lengthy process.
Some of the best content we’ve seen from wineries has been the simplest. Want some inspiration? One winery dedicated a day a week to Winemaker questions. They encouraged their followers to ask what they wanted to know and then created simple and on brand graphics to post the answers. In the lead up to Christmas, another winery created Facebook posts with a picture of a staff member and a short few sentences about what wine they would be having with their Christmas meal. Others have used live video options and Instagram stories to take followers on a morning check of the vineyard or to experience the bottling process.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box or hesitate to post something because the content has not been professionally created. Some of the best social media content is more laidback and with the number of tools available to you, anyone on your team has the capacity to create content that truly connects with your customers.
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