If I've learned anything in the last couples of months, it's that nurturing one's audience is of the utmost importance. Especially in times of crisis.

In the wake of the announcement that we were to shelter in place in California, I received dozens of emails and social media communications from companies I hadn’t heard from in months, all of a sudden asking me for my support.

I don’t blame them, this is an unprecedented time and none of us really knows how to handle this situation, but what I will say is this: the companies that had shown up consistently in my inbox and social media feeds before all this went down didn’t need to ask for my support. I was already giving it.

I say this to highlight the importance of a marketing rule known as the Pareto Principle (aka the 80/20 rule).  

In general, the Pareto Principle states that 80 percent of our results will come from 20 percent of our efforts, but in social media speak it means that we should be nurturing (read: giving value to) our audience 80% of the time and actively selling only 20% of the time. 

That way, when shit hits the fan (like in this global pandemic), your audience doesn’t feel like your parents did when you would only ever call them for money because you were on your last Cup O’ Noodles (sorry, mom!)

Here is how the 80/20 rule can look for you in terms of social media posts:

  1. Recipe from your winemaker
  2. Uplifting post about what you’re up to in the winery during this time
  3. Food pairing suggestion
  4. Interview with your vineyard manager about what’s up in the vineyard
  5. Information about your rosé release with a hard call-to-action to purchase 

Notice how we gave value without a hard call-to-action 80% of the time and then asked for the sale in the last post? Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t give subtle sales nudges in your nurturing posts but the point is that you are leading with value before you ask for the sale.

Remember, your audience isn't on social media to be sold to. They are on social media for one of three things: To engage/be social, to be educated, and to be entertained. Here are three examples of how to use the 3 E's of social media to nurture:

Engaging with them by asking them how they are enjoying your wine and sharing the posts they tag you in (bonus: this is free content!)

Educating them on how their favorite wine is made.

Entertaining them by sharing a funny video of your winemaker talking about weird things they've found in the vineyard.

The idea of these nurturing posts is to turn your warm leads into hot leads, so by the time those sale posts come along, your audience is chomping at the bit to purchase your wine.

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 telling you how to be more social, Heather can be found hanging out with her husband, two dogs, and three chickens in their backyard garden, drinking beer made in said garden.