Everyone these days uses social media, including bartenders who can use it to promote themselves and the places they work. Creating good, consistent content and engaging with the audience is the easiest way to reach a global audience and may even help you move forward in your career.
“As a bartender, you are your own brand,” explained Natalie Migliarini, founder of Beautiful Booze. “And if you want to become a brand ambassador, you have to be at least half famous on social media,” she explained.
Migliarini and James Stevenson of Little Lane Media are social media and content development specialists who spoke at the Chilled 100 Elevate event to offer information and advice to bartenders hoping to enhance their social media efforts. While the seminar mainly focused on Instagram accounts, the presenters also answered questions from the audience about other platforms and the headaches of constant algorithm changes.
“Algorithms change every day, so just do the best you can,” said Stevenson. “Post on a consistent basis and make sure you have some type of social media presence; being out there is always more beneficial than not.”
Beautiful Booze launched in 2013 as a resource for the cocktail professional, enthusiast, and home bartender with a website and social media network dedicated to unique recipe development and photography. One of the most popular resources for home cocktail enthusiasts and professional bartenders alike, most of its growth has come from Instagram.
Calling social media “the highlights reel of your life,” Migliarini says that users should create a social media profile using all the real estate that a platform provides.
• Having the primary SEO details in place within the limited characters allowed
• A bio that includes details such as your primary location, job title, email address and anything else relevant
• Having the most important details in your Instagram name, which makes it more searchable
• Always having the company website or relevant link in your profile for easy follower access
The presenters also suggested setting up a professional account vs. a personal account and activating two-factor authentication. “Too many people can steal your page and Instagram doesn’t care,” says Stevenson.
One of the more surprising things that the seminar showed is that the number of followers no long matters as much as comments and saves. “Someone liking your photos does not necessarily convert to engagement,” said Migliarini. “It’s more valuable to have an engaged community that will contribute to your brand/business/growth.”
To do this, she suggested creating content that has value to your audience and engaging with them digitally, not just in the bar. Doing this creates a sense of community and they are more likely to come to the bar and engage with you on that level, resulting in better tips and sales, and an increased audience.
The pair also suggests posting at least five times a week following an 80/20 strategy; 80 percent of your content should be fun and engaging to attract and retain followers, with 20 percent being more sales-oriented, such as advertising happy hours or specials.
“Put the social back into social media,” said Migliarini. “Find what works for you and use it to grow.”