How Flat Top Hills Optimizes its Instagram Presence

Flat Top Hills Winery this month is deviating from the typical virtual wine-oriented content often shared on social media channels in December, eschewing talks about terroir and tasting notes in favor of seasonal topics like gift wrapping, gift giving and party planning.

Pam Novak, marketing director for C. Mondavi’s lifestyle brands, said the approachable  Instagram content — called the “Go Flat Out for the Holidays” series — was intended to be relatable and down to earth.

“Flat Top Hills is positioned as an approachable, youthful line of wines that’s focused on quality and celebrating the simple, special moments every day,” Novak told Vintner Magazine. “When we feature particular wines and vineyards, we want to share the broader story of why that matters. We are constantly testing new content and watching how our ads or social feeds perform, and our ‘Go Flat Out for the Holidays’ series deepens the way we connect with our fans.”

Novak said the series helps Flat Top Hills stand out from “the sea of wineries talking about pairings.” Lifestyle expert, and founder of The Kachet Life, Kachet Jackson-Henderson hosts the series, interviewing guests that range from the Mondavi family, members of the Flat Top Hills team and other lifestyle experts.

“By providing a timely reason to tune in, and practical answers to seasonal questions, we’re inviting our circle to have a richer relationship with the brand, and allowing our consulting winemaker, Angelina Mondavi, to talk about the wines in the larger context of the holidays,” Novak said. “Keeping our wines top-of-mind helps convert to sales when they are at the retail shelf. Of course we also include tasting notes and information on where to purchase with each series.”

Novak said maintaining a robust Instagram program gives Flat Top Hills another way to share the brand with on- and off-premise partners, influencers and press.

“We support the series with a national news release and social advertising, and share it with our sales team,” she said. “When we engage partners, we are also able to leverage their networks, expanding our total audience.”

Like many wineries, the company’s social media presence evolved during the pandemic, and mindfully occupying that space has allowed it to expand its product placement and partnerships.

In April of 2020 they kicked off its first IG Lives, a weekly series of tastings with winemakers that ran throughout the spring and summer months, Novak said. 

“Since then, we’ve refined our style, and introduced these kinds of conversational events that allow us to bring in a wider range of voices, from chefs to influencers to nonprofits,” she said. “Wine can bring people together, and that’s the approach we’ve taken with our IG Lives as well.”

Earlier this year, they had a series all about sushi, and were able to partner with a rice company, seafood purveyor and local sushi restaurant. 

“In addition to creating great social content, we were also able to turn these relationships into placements — a case stack at a local market, and a special happy hour feature at the restaurant,” Novak said.“That program was even the beginning of what will be an in-store partnership in 2022.”

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