Using Social Media to Engage with Customers: Filters and Stories
By Jennifer Zelinskie and Dr. Kathy Kelley
We have written a few blogs on social media, how to use the tools, and our survey participants’ use of these tools to connect with wineries and tasting rooms. You can learn what Snapchat is and the number of U.S. adults who use Facebook and Instagram in one of our more recent posts: http://bit.ly/2o44NFy. We are finishing our social media series by describing a couple of features that wineries, tasting rooms, wine festival organizers, and similar can use to engage with consumers and enhance their experience.
If someone has shared a Snapchat photo with you and it looked as if it was embossed with words/phrases, cartoon images, or a business’s logo, the person who took the photo likely applied a filter to decorate the image.
If the filter also included the name of the location then it is likely a “geofilter,” which would only be available to Snapchat users who are in a certain geographic area. For example, a Penn State University filter was available April 19, 2017 (see below) but only to those who were on the University Park campus, based on the GPS signal that their smartphone was emitting. Once I left this “area” the filter was no longer an option in the Snapchat app.
According to Spredfast.com, “Geofilters are most popularly used to represent a location or event, but they can also help spread the news of an upcoming release, or trigger participation in a campaign” (http://bit.ly/2m874tv).
Imagine the power that a filter could have:
- A wedding takes place at your winery, you host an event, or are present at a wine festival, and you promote that a filter is available on Snapchat (which includes either your winery’s name, the festival, etc.).
- Visitors take photos with Snapchat, apply the filter, and then share the photo with others who follow them on Snapchat. The photos can also be saved to a smartphone or tablet and shared via Facebook, Instagram, email, etc.
- Those who receive the photo see what a great time attendings are having at your event or tasting room – hopefully prompting them to visit.
While the following provides guidelines for designing Snapchat geofilters, some of these tips are applicable when creating filters using other social media tools.
- Your design:
- Be sure to keep the middle of the screen open and free from any design (http://bit.ly/2m874tv).
- One source suggests that the design “shouldn’t take up more than one-third of the screen space (http://bit.ly/2m8fX69). Your design should include your logo, but it should be “secondary to a good design” (http://bit.ly/2m8mptY).
- Snapchat may reject geofilters with designs that cover the “entire frame or take up too much space in the four corners of the frame” (http://bit.ly/2m8mptY).
- Consider developing a few different geofilters so that your customers have some choices. This also gives you the opportunity to highlight more than just one key activity during your event. According to Ashley Ranich, one could have a “strong typography” and the other could include a “fun illustration.” She also suggests that offering two or more filters can help you determine which filter is more appealing based on use (http://bit.ly/2m8mptY).
- Font color considerations:
- Some minimums and maximums specific to Snapchat:
- The minimum cost for a geofilter is $5.00, which will cover a 20,000-square foot area (slightly less than ½ an acre) for one hour. It is suggested that you make the geographic area a little larger as “geo-targeting isn’t quite as precise” as it could be (http://bit.ly/2m8fX69).
- The maximum coverage area is 5 million square feet (approximately 115 acres) and a campaign cannot last for more than 30 days (http://bit.ly/2m8fX69).
You can upload your own design, use one of Snapchat’s templates, or create one using their online design tool, which provides business designs (with generic themes) and special occasions (e.g., weddings, birthdays, current holidays, events).
Personal geofilters cannot include “branding, business marks/names, or logos, and doesn’t promote a business or brand” while a business geofilter can be used to promote your tasting room and include marks, logos, etc. that you own (http://bit.ly/2mKCkmG).
The one-hour campaign yielded the following:
‘Uses’ and ‘views’ “include any repeated views or uses from the same Snapchatter” (email exchange with Team Snapchat, March 9, 2017).
What was the return on investment? If all 28 views were unique, meaning that 28 individuals viewed snaps with the geofilter, then our cost per impression was 18 cents. If 14 individuals viewed the snaps twice, then our cost per impression was 36 cents.
Facebook recently introduced “frames,” which can be used to decorate profile pictures or photos that were taken using the Facebook camera feature on a smartphone or tablet. You can take a tour by clicking on the following: http://bit.ly/2o3NmoK. A few stock frames are available (see below), and Facebook users can create custom frames.
Designing your own frame
A desktop tool like Photoshop is needed to design and build the frame (no design tools are available in the Create a Frame app), which then needs to be uploaded to Facebook.
The frame can be available to “everyone” (regardless of where they are located) or just Facebook users in a particular area (instead of drawing a “fence,” like when designing a Snapchat geofilter, a “pin” is used to identify a location on a map). Facebook users can search for your frame based on the name you provide (e.g., Happy National Wine Day!) and/or keywords (e.g., wine, festival, party). By indicating that “Penn State Extension Enology” owned the frame – followers may see Denise’s photo/PSU Enology next to the frame, which can also help users find it.
Facebook Frames, like Snapchat Geofilters, need to be approved before they are “live.” As of today’s posting, we have not been able to learn how much a frame costs.
Instagram is primarily a mobile-oriented social network, but it does offer some capabilities when viewed in a desktop web browser. Similar to other social platforms, Instagram allows users to engage with one another through following each other, liking posts, saving photos, commenting, tagging, and sending private messages between users. Filter and editing options, as well as geographical location tagging, can also be applied to pictures and videos users upload (http://bit.ly/2oRyCZh).
Additionally, Instagram allows users to change their account to a business profile, which provides business-related insights, including: “top posts,” “promotions,” demographics of “followers,” and days/times they are most active on the network (photo below).
Another way to communicate with social media followers, keep them informed about your winery tasting room, and generate a response is by creating “stories” – a series of images and video that “lets you share all the moments of your day… in a slideshow format” (http://bit.ly/2o4VWUa). While Facebook and Snapchat also allow users to create stories, we will focus on Instagram Stories and what you can do with this “feature.”
If you follow Instagram users who are creating stories, you will easily find them at the top of your main feed (they look like “little photo bubbles of the users you follow”), and you can access them for 24 hours after they have been posted (http://bit.ly/2oRyCZh).
To view a story, tap the user’s photo. Tap on the right side of the screen to skip to the next post or tap the left side to go back. Swipe left to skip to the next user’s story.
To post your own story, select the “Your Story” icon at the top left of your main feed page and take a photo or video. You can apply filters, text, drawings, and stickers to enhance your post. You can read more about all the features Instagram Stories offers here: http://bit.ly/2auWwCJ.
Instagram Stories can be a great way for wineries and tasting rooms to engage with followers. Businesses can post photos of new products, videos of events held at the tasting room, harvest, stages of vine growth, and even post videos of the winemaker explaining processing techniques. The fact that they only remain visible for 24 hours adds an element of urgency and could encourage followers to view stories before they disappear. Another way that wineries and tasting rooms could use the story feature is to post a picture of a coupon that can be redeemed during the 24-hour period. You can also target specific Instagram followers and send the story directly to their Instagram account. But instead of being visible for 24 hours – after they view it, they are only able to replay it once and then the photo will disappear.
Social media is always evolving, and one of our goals is to identify tools that might be of value to your tasting room and give you a bit of insight as to how you can use them. These are just a couple of ways that you can use social media platforms to engage with customers, and they do require a bit more time than just posting a quick photo; however, depending on your customer base you may get much more interaction and a greater reaction than a quick photo.
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