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12 social media tips for bartenders

With more and more bartenders online and building their social media game, here are 12 top tips to boost your game. By Lorenzo Antinori. Edited by Holly Graham.

Lorenzo Antinori, beverage director for Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong and beverage ambassador APAC, is a dab hand at social media. Curated and quirky, his Instagram (@lorenzoantinori_) offers insight into his day to day life, including friends, projects, beautiful cocktails and Michelin-starred eats. Here’s his advice on how to nail your social media game.

1 Make a choice
Are you going to post about your private life, work life or both? If your goal is to build a successful brand and be recognised as a leader in your field, you’ll want to give priority to work content, but at the same time, share sides of your personality, or things you are passionate about related to the f&b industry so your audience can relate.

A good exercise is to use Instagram posts for work related topics and Instagram stories to give your page a more human and fun side. Live content can also include things you’re passionate about. Great examples of this are successful bartenders like Shingo Gokan (@soberspeaker) and Ryan Chetiawardana (@mrlyan) who have created a solid brand around themselves and use Instagram as a reflection of their work, as well as things they are passionate about.

2 Find your holy trinity
Pick three topics or categories to be the base of your platform and messaging. The content of your profile is crucial to attract an audience and continuously trigger curiosity. I personally picked people, products and community – with the latter representing the personal and fun part of my content. It’s here that I share about friends and industry peers I’m close to, or any exciting activities related to our trade. There are no right or wrong picks, since it’s very personal, but it is important that you choose things you strongly believe in and that you are ready to share with confidence.

3 Don’t be a dick
This goes without saying.
The internet doesn’t forget.

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4 Be careful with divisive or taboo topics
If you stand up for something you really believe in, be well informed, use the right tone and most of all, be respectful of everyone’s opinion –
within reason, of course.

5 Be sure
A continuation of the above – if you make comments or take a position on a subject, make sure you know your stuff, and be ready to be called out.

6 Be positive and fun
We attract what we are. One of the positive sides of social media platforms is that they allow us to get inspired and inspire others, hence why positive thinking must be the backbone of your messages. Don’t take yourself too seriously either.

7 Tell me something I don’t know
Master your craft in order to be recognised as a thoughtful leader in your field. Are you passionate about agave spirits or natural wines? Share it with the world and become an “ambassador” for the category. Shout out to Martin Hudak of Mr Black (@martin_hudak) and his commitment to coffee and cocktails; Jesse Estes (@jesseocho) of Tequila Ocho and Jay Kahn of COA, Hong Kong (@jaykhan313) for constantly spreading the agave gospel; and Kelsey Ramage (@kelseyramage) and Iain Griffiths (@iaingriffiths_) for their work and effort in promoting a more sustainable industry with their Trash Tiki (@trashtiki) project.

8 Don’t post after midnight
People tend to sleep sometimes! Most importantly, post according to where the majority of your audience is located worldwide. Avoid early hours like 5-7am, when the majority of your local audience might be still sleeping. Focus on the middle of the day, between 1-6pm. This applies to Facebook and any other social media platform. Stories on IG allow you to be more flexible, since they last for 24 hours and are a great tool for quick and fun content. When it comes to IG posts, be proactive and try to post a few times a week. If you don’t have enough good or relevant content, don’t force yourself – hold off and avoid filling the social media universe with lame stuff.

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9 Spread the love and support
Make sure you share love and support inspiring friends, peers and industry leaders. You can use your platform to share knowledge and information from media platforms that are recognised as authorities. I love the content from MAD (@themadfeed), the global cooking community with a social conscience founded by chef Rene Redzepi, co-founder of Noma; and the innovation from Empirical Spirits (@empiricalph) and the team at Tayer + Elementary (@tayer_elementary) in London is always worth a look.

10 Image quality is key
Post high quality pictures and choose a recognisable style when it comes to filters or layout. IG stories are for a more improvised and natural glimpse of your brand life, so anything fun and relevant will work.

11 Don’t forget hashtags
You can use up to 30 hashtags in a post. Use them wisely – they will determine the efficiency of how your content spreads. But most importantly, use hashtags related to the post you are putting up. You can check the popularity of a hashtag by searching in on IG. You can also create your own hashtag, which can be a great tool to get recognition and give your own “signature” to specific content.

12 You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours
If people give you love, try and give them love back. For example, if a magazine or fellow industry peer shares your content, make sure you help promote them too, where appropriate.

Here are some of my favourite industry peers, bars or organisations who are nailing the social media game; being relevant, innovative and inspirational:

  • Martin Hudak – Maybe Sammy (Sydney)/Mr Black Ambassador @martin_hudak
  • Remy Savage – Le Syndicate (Paris) – @remy_savage_
  • Bannie Kang – MU (Taipei) – @bannie_k
  • Kelsey Ramage – Trash Tiki – @kelseyramage
  • Charmaine Thio – Regional ambassador for Hendrick’s Ambassador SEA – @crazycocktailcat
  • ATLAS (Singapore) – @atlasbarsg
  • The Shady Acres (Hong Kong) – @theshadyacres
  • Ryan Chetiawardana – @mrlyan
  • The Noma Fermentation Lab (Copenhagen) – @nomaferments
  • Camille Vidal – Founder of La Maison Wellness – @madame_cami_vidal

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