When marketing our products or services to our customers we need to keep one very important thing in mind:

People don’t buy products, they buy solutions to their problems.

So the first question you should be asking yourself when you’re creating content on social media is,

“How is this going to help my audience survive?”

First, we must look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. 

It is traditionally shown as a pyramid, with our most basic needs for survival forming the base.

In order to move up the pyramid, we must satisfy our basic needs first, illustrated by this graphic.

graphic of a pyramid describing Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

So how do we use this to market our wine? 

In her amazing blog post, "Stop Scaring the Newbies-A Look at the Wine Hierarchy of Needs," Amber of Spit Bucket Blog perfectly sums this concept up in relation to wine drinkers with this statement, "Our motivations as wine drinkers are not that dissimilar from our motivations for everything else in life. There are basic needs that enjoying wine can fulfill as well as the potential for more emotional and intellectual satisfaction."

I have applied Amber's concept to marketing wine via social media and created a new graphic of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, renaming it "The Wino's Hierarchy of Needs."

Here is how I would address each level of The Wino’s Hierarchy of Needs on social media:

I want to drink wine:

Food is something everyone can understand so creating a post about suggested food pairings with a caption like, “Our rosé pairs great with burgers and fries” as well as a call to action on how to get their hands on your wine is perfect for wine newbs. I’ve seen these types of posts perform extremely well for my clients!

I want to buy wine that I’ll like:

Giving suggestions based on what you know your ideal customer likes can help give them the tools they need to advance to the next level of the pyramid. As Amber so perfectly says in her article: “The idea is to keep them enjoying wine and to not get turned off or intimidated.” You don’t want to stunt their growth or dismiss them because maybe they like a wine that is “sweet,” instead, help give them the language for that next level. For example, “People often perceive pinot noir as sweet because it tends to be a very fruit-forward wine that is low in tannins. Gamay shares those similar qualities, so you’ll probably enjoy it as well!”

I want to enjoy wine with friends and be a part of a community:

humans are social creatures. We need human connection to not only survive, but also to thrive. Once your customer has reached this level on their journey towards being a wino, they are going to want to learn about ways they can be a part of a community, or enjoy their wine with friends. A few examples of posts that satisfy this need could look something like,

  • Posts with photos featuring diverse couples and groups that illustrate your tasting experience
  • Recommendations on how best to enjoy your wine with friends and family: “3 *insert your winery here* wines to enjoy at your next family barbeque”
  • Information about your exclusive wine club, how they can join, and the kind of community perks they will get when joining”
  • Posts about your staff so your audience can be on a first-name basis with the people who are making their favorite wine.

I really want to learn more about wine:

Your customer has almost reached “wino” status when they are getting curious about the winemaking process. You can satisfy their curiosity by showing photos and videos of the behind-the-scenes winemaking process and giving information about the processes. In short, give the nerds what they want.


Huzzah! Your customer has reached the top of the pyramid and is ready to throw down some cash on awesome shit. This is where you invite them to an exclusive event or product, something that only the elite will get access to. Do you have a library or a collectible bottle they can access? Get this wino on your email list and send them exclusive updates on how they can get their hands on these unique bottles or private experiences.

Depending on your ideal audience, you will focus on some parts of this pyramid more than others, but your strategy should include at least one post that touches on each level.

If your ideal audience is made up of first-time wine drinkers, you will likely focus heavily on content that satisfies their physiological and safety needs, but you would be remiss to not at least offer glimpses of what life can be like for them if they join your wine club or get curious about how their favorite pinot noir is made; because eventually, those beginning wine drinkers will want and need to gain status in the beautiful world of wine.

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Heather Daenitz is the founder and photographer of Craft & Cluster, a wine & beer photography and social media marketing company based in Santa Barbara County, California.

When she isn't photographing and teaching you about the needs of wino's, Heather can be found hanging out with her husband, two dogs, and three chickens in their backyard garden, and drinking beer made in said garden.