The art of Instagram success

If your wine brand targets Millennials, Instagram is now an essential marketing tool, writes Rebecca Gibb MW.

Melanie Brown, founder of the UK-based online retailer The New Zealand Cellar @nzwineuk, does a photoshoot four times a year.
Melanie Brown, founder of the UK-based online retailer The New Zealand Cellar @nzwineuk, does a photoshoot four times a year.

Wearing their coats to keep warm at their rented desks in 2010, the founders of photo-sharing app Instagram could not imagine that their new company would be snapped up by behemoth Facebook two years later for about $1 billion. Co-founder Kevin Systrom, then aged 27, blogged about the early days: “Instagram’s first office had few redeeming qualities – and insulation was not one of them... the air was so cold we could see our breath.” 

Heating bills are no longer a concern for this multi-millionaire. Since he sold the company seven years ago, the app’s estimated worth has risen to more than $100 billion, and it has more than 1 billion users, a number predicted to rise to 2 billion within five years, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. But is Instagram just another social media platform that wine businesses feel obliged to sign up to, diverting them from pruning the vines, racking barrels and selling wine? 

If a winery’s customers align with the demographic of Instagram users, then yes. Pew Research Center figures show that Instagram is favoured by the under 30s; in the 30- to 49-year-old age group, 40% use Instagram but 78% use Facebook; in the 50- to 64-year-old category, just 21% use Instagram but 65% use Facebook. It’s clear that if a wine brand targets Millennials, Instagram is a must-have, but wineries with older audiences may feel their time is better spent elsewhere.

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