With today’s technology, one single post on an app can find itself on the screens of millions of users worldwide.
The cocktail world has seen significant growth and popularity through various platforms because of this capability. Among the bartending community, there are mixed views concerning what is considered “healthy” posting and exploitation of the craft. Chilled spoke with Josue Romero, aka The Garnish Guy, Karl Steuck, @SpiritandSpoon, and Lucas Huff, The Bartender’s Fable about the bartending world’s use of social media.
Posting cocktails: the purist versus the novice.
Food and beverage posts are big among every social media user these days, professional or not. Posts containing cocktails and how to make them are abundant. “There is a growing number of IG cocktail accounts (some successful) with zero bartending experience, acting as if they do,” says Karl Steuck, founder of SpiritandSpoon.
While I do appreciate some of their work, the floodgates have opened, making the IG cocktail platforms less genuine and more contrived overtime.” For Steuck, he is untroubled by these posts, using them instead as motivation to help educate and shine a positive light on the craft cocktail community.
Users can post at any given moment, yet moderation is an important ideal to consider.
Social media is a demanding machine, requiring users to post in a manner that allows their relevancy to persist. Some may feel compelled to drown their audience in content in an attempt at further exposure and popularity. However, Josue Romero, founder of the Garnish Guy, has a different standard that prevents an overwhelmed audience. He says for a full-time “drinkstagramer” (or a drink-maker who uses Instagram), a balanced amount to shoot for is posting once a day, five days a week.
Steuck told us about his similar routine, posting once a day, for three to four days out of the week. He also suggests the use of a “story” that enables creators to disperse their excess content. For those who are unaware, Instagram’s “story” feature serves as a secondary outlet for posting.
The user must physically prompt it to be viewed, as opposed to a “main” post, which by default, forces its way onto the follower’s timeline. With this option, viewers who desire large amounts of content have the opportunity to tap into it, while average viewers can view the main posts at their usual moderate pace.
The potential for growth, exposure, and innovation lies within online media.
Lucas Huff, artisan mixologist and founder of The Bartender’s Fable, sums up his beliefs of media intertwining within the spirits industry. “Every time I see a new recipe or photo that interests me, I begin to think of how I would put my own spin on it,” he admits.
“A lot of mixologists are purists, which is awesome because it keeps a tradition true in the industry, but when it comes to others, social media is an excellent vehicle to gain exposure to obscure ingredients and combinations.” It seems even the experts are affected by media’s “innovation fever.” Huff appreciates social media’s maintenance of originality along with the consistent opportunity for everyone to learn something new on a day-to-day basis.
Protocol to take while dealing with negative feedback.
Any single person can respond to posts in whatever manner they please, which provides a platform for infinite forms of criticism, or even hate. We asked both Romero and Steuck about how they handle this factor. Romero is one step ahead of the game, and he understands that even “bad publicity is still publicity.” Many media outlets have algorithms where the more comments (positive or negative) a post gets, the more exposure it is granted. In other words, the negativity could be supplementary to the future growth of the business.
Therefore, Romero doesn’t mind any hate sent his way—it could actually help him to an extent. Describing his approach to poor feedback, Steuck adds, “Never measure yourself by likes. I’ve been super fortunate (knock on wood) and haven’t received much negative feedback. I don’t let people project hate and anger on me (especially without merit). Haters gonna hate, reply to them with kindness, and it confuses them.”
As part of their continued wellness advocacy initiatives, The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley sponsors this series on maintaining life balance in the bartending industry. Bartenders may request a complimentary sampling of their premium fruit purées, concentrates and blends at PerfectPuree.com/ChilledSample.