It's pretty common now to hear a story or two a week on major data breaches from big-name companies affecting millions of users. I've been a part of a few of those, which is why I started using Dashlane Password Manager to help protect my login credentials. It at least forces me to use different, complicated password combinations, which is an improvement though not foolproof. You may remember the Cambridge Analytica scandal that rocked Facebook/Instagram in the last year, which caused them to double-down on privacy, security and other measures to eliminate the threat of another data breach of that size…which we know happened again mid-year with yet another notification to change your password.
As a craft beverage brand, why should you care? Aside from privacy and data protection being top-of-mind for everyone, these scandals accelerated some pretty aggressive changes to how Instagram (owned by Facebook) operates, both as a stand-alone platform and when connected to other web applications through what are called APIs (Application Program Interfaces).
Fact is, 90% of the craft beverage brands I've studied have not yet switched their Instagram accounts over to business, which means they're missing out on key business tools, like:
- The ability for customers to email/phone/connect with the brand directly versus using comments (which sometimes get lost).
- Instagram Insights give brands actionable information about followers and engagement, allowing your team to learn and optimize.
- Promote lets you turn well-performing posts into ads which can be targeted and run based on your selection criteria (or Instagram can make recos).
I want to make sure that you and the team have what's needed to make the switch to Instagram Business Tools if not already. And check to make sure your Facebook page(s) and Twitter account(s) are in order while we're at it.
INSTAGRAM IN THE CROSSHAIRS
Remember the stats from last time – it's estimated that a third of all adults use Instagram. There are other social platforms where a majority of users are 21 years of age or older. But Instagram use is on the rise, outpacing most while helping Facebook play defense against Snapchat. It's for those reasons craft beverage is jumping into Instagram with both feet, often posting without a strategy, content calendar or expectation. But that's a conversation for another email….
I don't want you and your team to make the same mistake I did recently. As you know, I'm evaluating Sprout Social with a number of clients. All have found it valuable for streamlining their posting to multiple accounts through a single interface, as well as managing workflow and social customer service. Not to mention the competitive insights and performance reporting to which they now have access. But it exposed the fact that tools like Sprout Social, Hootsuite and others rely on the approved APIs from Instagram, Facebook and Twitter in order to collect a majority of the actionable consumer engagement data for your brand. And when Facebook tightened its hold on Instagram data earlier this year, the APIs restricted data collection to business profiles only. Therein lies the rub – no business profile, no data for you…
I'm sure you heard the wake-up call last time: don't use personal profiles to post to your accounts! Become an admin on the page and post on behalf of your craft beverage brand. Unless you've achieved craft celebrity status (no doubt, there are the Grossmans, Mondavis and Noes out there), customers are following the brand, not you directly. So, with that said, here's a quick video and steps for switching to an Instagram business profile:
- Go to your profile and tap ☰
- Tap ⚙ Settings
- Tap Switch to Business Profile
- (Optional) If you want to connect your account to an existing Facebook Page, you can, but it's not required. If you plan on using third party apps with your Instagram business profile (like Sprout Social or Hootsuite), you'll need to connect it to a Facebook Page. At this time, only one Facebook Page can be connected to your business profile.
- Add details such as your business or profile's category and contact information.
- Tap Done
More background on what and why:
- Instagram Business Tools, original announcement: May 31, 2016
- Guide to creating a business profile, July 22, 2016
- Tech Crunch coverage of the API changes, April 4, 2018
Strike #2 against me this week was recognizing that I myself was using my personal profiles for business. So, while I was recommending to everyone that they separate their profiles and voices, I was struggling to understand why my follower and engagement performance wasn't at the level I had hoped after 6 months in business. I have since made the switch to business profiles for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and I captured 60-second videos of the setup highlights.
Maybe you've already got a Facebook page for your craft beverage brand - Facebook makes it easy to recognize a profile versus a page – or a business profile for Twitter – account setup is virtually undistinguishable. If so, these videos aren't for you. Or you might find something you haven't tried yet. In either case, I'm now practicing what I preach!
If you haven't already, visit SproutSocial.com, a tool to help monitor, grow and track social media efforts. I've evaluated a number of tools and I find this to be the most insightful and easiest to use, with access to a single interface for posting content to all major social platforms. As an advisor, I qualify for discounted pricing of $150/month for up to 2 users and 3 social profiles (i.e. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for Enterprise-level services. Additional profiles and users can be purchased.
What I'm reading this week:
- Beer Business Finance: Breaking Down the Taproom-Focused Brewery Model: with 74% of the breweries operating throughout the US producing fewer than 1,000 barrels of beer annually, the taproom experience for guests has to be on-point. Is your taproom speaking their language?
- Trouble brewing in Columbus: I was sad to see posts and speculation this week about Four String Brewing Company closing until further notice. I enjoyed my visit there earlier this year, always tough to hear of challenges facing craft.
Information is based on best available, public resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. All trademarks are the property of their respective companies.