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How To Make More Money From The Instagram Generation

How To Make More Money From The Instagram Generation


Internal research conducted by Gaina Software suggests that sales managers from the Drinks Industry are not typically heavy users of social media. On a personal level this may not be a problem, but it does place the sales team at a disadvantage when trying to understand their customers’ customers. 

The fact is, consumers are obsessed with social media. And social media is about much more than chat between friends:

  • Nearly 60% of 16-24 yearolds have an Instagram account, and nearly 50% of those aged 25-34
  • 36% of young people now use social media for product research
  • 92% of adults online have an account with at least one social media service

Your customers need to understand the importance of these facts for their own sales efforts, and your sales team needs to be able to help them exploit that knowledge for profit too.


When Looks Beat Taste

Instagram is a social network built around the sharing of photographs. Images can be Liked and Shared, helping increase the visibility and popularity of the photographer. As a result, many Instagram users are obsessed with taking the perfect picture, including those of their food and drink. There are several Instagram accounts boosting 100,000+ followers that share nothing but pictures of food.

Food photography is important for two reasons:

  1. Consumers choose photogenic drinks

Instagraming drinks has become something of a joke as people reach for their phones to snap pictures before imbibing. But so ingrained is the habit that many consumers will choose drinks that look good, simply because it makes for a better photo.

Strangely, taste is often of secondary importance, for the first drink at least. Customers are choosing beverages that are presented attractively (like cocktails), or which are served in a unique, visually appealing glass, bottle or packaging.

To capitalise on this trend, sales reps need to help their customers understand the importance of presentation, and how your product line is best served/displayed to appeal to the photo-centric social media generation. As food industry research consultancy Technomic noted;

Dining is no longer just a personal experience, but a staged event that imparts bragging rights. Plating and lighting are increasingly designed with phone snapshots and social-media sharing in mind. Customers collaborate to put on the show; menus, marketing, even charitable efforts are crowdsourced.

The more attractive the product, the more popular it will be with people sharing photos on Instagram and Facebook.

  1. Consumers become an important part of the advertising mix

Instagram users may be sharing photos of their drinks in order to increase their number of social followers, but every image is also a free advertisement – for your customer’s venue, and for your products. By choosing product lines that encourage social sharing, your customer can help increase awareness of their establishment and the products on offer, potentially increasing footfall and sales in the process.

With this in mind, customers who are targeting younger consumers need to be encouraged to prioritise presentation when preparing drinks. Doing so will help to create “free” advertising, with satisfied photographers becoming brand advocates, the modern equivalent of word-of-mouth referrers.


A Change In Consumer Behaviour

Capturing and sharing pictures of food and drink is a major pastime for younger consumers. Your reps do not necessarily have to join Instagram to profit on this trend however, they simply need to understand that it exists, and tailor their sales approaches to address the importance of presentation.

Some customers will already be aware of the importance of Instagram. In this case your reps will need to pitch product lines in terms of how they can be used to enhance other products, or improve presentation of the client’s existing offerings.

The continued growth of Instagram and other photo sharing services prove that consumer behaviour has changed, and your future sales engagements will need to take account of those developments.  Drinks that are photogenic lead to shares, Likes and comments, offering your customers the opportunity for increased brand awareness and your sales team the opportunity for value-added sales.