In the September issue of National Liquor News, Claire Stevens of Crunchy Social gives her top tips for creating interesting content for your store’s social media accounts.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to avoid using social media as part of their marketing, with nearly 80 per cent of people actively using social networking platforms in 2021. But when your expertise is alcohol or running a store, social media marketing is most likely way down on your priorities list.

Platforms including Instagram and Facebook are being used daily by businesses vying for their few and fleeting seconds of attention. Building trust and community is imperative to capturing your customers’ curiosity and resonating with them. As so many business owners know, having a personal connection to a customer is one of the first reasons why they’ll keep coming back. Now multiply this by hundreds, and you’ll see the beauty of building a social network.

It’s an excellent time for alcohol businesses to engage consumers on social channels, but it comes with its own set of challenges. As liquor retailers, it can be daunting to create unique and engaging content that will keep your audience interested, so here are a
few tips to get you started.

Frame products well

To capture customers’ attention on social media, the first point of call is to take photos and videos with well-presented products in the shot. You want to focus on the product you’re selling by positioning these in the frame to draw the eye. For phone photography, use portrait mode to blur the background or other products sitting behind your key piece in the foreground. A good example for how this is done can be found on the Instagram profile for Perth retailer St James Cellars (@stjamescellars).

Draw attention with props

You can also use different props such as other bottles and cans, coasters, bottle openers or a metal straw to create a ‘V’ shape towards the photo’s focus. This draws the viewer’s eye towards the product you’re showcasing.

Consider the ingredients in the product or the particular flavours you want to promote. An easy way to add interest to your photos is by including these ingredients or complementary flavours such as lemons, limes, watermelon, mint leaves… the list goes on. You could even showcase other food products that match the style of your drinks, such as nuts, cheeses
and fruits.

Find the perfect background

One of my favourite tricks is to source backgrounds that suit your product colours or style. Picking a plain background makes your product the centre of attention, while adding a funky coloured or textured backdrop draws focus to the kind of lifestyle your
product represents.

Photography backgrounds can be found on places like eBay or Amazon for around $20-$30 for a set and can take your shots from average to outstanding instantly with marble, wood, tiled, or even concrete options. Complement the can or bottle details to ensure you bring out its colours, highlights, and shape.

Two examples of businesses making great background choices for framing their Instagram photos include WA’s Mane Liquor (@maneliquor) and Sydney-based Platinum Liquor (@platinum_liquor), who use walls, concrete, sky or plants in their shots.

Make it look enticing

Have you seen those drink ads where there’s a perfectly formed water droplet running down the side of the glass? Or images of fresh, icy drinks that can cool you down on a hot day, just by looking at them? Well, it’s all fake.

You can have the most average looking, room temperature drink and make it look ice cold and alluring by spritzing a mixture of three parts water and one part glycerine from a spray bottle. This helps the water droplets form and stick around rather than melding into a complete mess. Glycerine can be bought from your local supermarket in the beauty section, easy as can be!

Get the lighting right

Another significant aspect of your photos is lighting. The best lighting is outdoor, bright light, but not direct sun. For indoor settings, often using your camera’s flash is too intense for a close-range photo. To combat this, you can pick up a cheap ring light online or from
Kmart or Big W to provide a secondary light source while taking your photos or videos. I’d recommend anything from six inches for small-scale shots or 18 inches for wider shots.

Enjoy yourself

A set of unique images showcasing your store’s products will not only show your customers what you have on offer, but show them you’re in-tune with what they have to say in the comments. With a smartphone, you can test to see what works best and develop an
eye for composition.

And most importantly, have fun! Set aside enough time to experiment with different product combos, shot framing, lighting and props. While it’s important to consider trends, strive to find your own unique style that stands out to your audience.

Have you got these basics down and looking for more detailed and insightful social media advice? Catch Crunchy Social at the Bloody Big Drinks Summit at the end of this month! Tickets available here.

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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