Archive for the ‘Social Media Quick Tips’ Category

Social Media Quick Tip: Introduce Your Twitter Team

Cork'd Twitter Team Page Showcases Each Member as "Who's Talking?"

As you know, social media engagement is all about personal touches.  Remember this when thinking through your social media presence, including Twitter.  As much as possible, introduce and humanize your Twitter team.  Here are a couple of great examples of  brands who have added special touches to their Twitter strategies, going beyond a standard Twitter presence to introduce and promote their Twitter teams.

The Capital Grille

A simple, dedicated Twitter page for The Capital Grille’s Master Sommelier, George Miliotes invites web visitors to engage with George on Twitter.  The Capital Grille’s main navigation bar also includes a button linking to George’s twitter profile.

Cork’d

The team at Cork’d, an unpretentious wine consumer review site, designed a Twitter background that shows “Who’s Talking” from their company’s Twitter profile @Corkd (see above).  Each Cork’d team member signs their initials at the end of their tweets to let followers know which of the four of them tweeted.  I liked this so much that I recommended it to my clients at Vin65 and we implemented it onto our new @vin65team Twitter page.

It excites me to see brands embracing the opportunity to engage with their customers and clients on Twitter by adding these types of personal touches to their marketing strategies.  Have you seen any others that you like or have you implemented some into your branding?

Social Media Quick Tip: Tag Your Favorite Wine Brands on Facebook

This is old news for some, but if you haven’t explored the status tagging feature (similar to photo tagging) on Facebook, take a few minutes and check it out.

Status tagging can help your winery’s Facebook fan page to become more engaging and vibrant.  Facebook users can type the “@” symbol before a Facebook fan page name that they’re a fan of along with the first few letters of the fan page right after the @ sign, and Facebook begins to populate your friends names and fan pages for you to click on, creating a direct link to the page (or personal profile) and also appearing on that fan page or profile.

For example, you work for a winery.  Your personal profile oftentimes has updates about your day at the winery, but those updates don’t make it over to your winery’s fan page because you’re running short on time.  Here’s what you can do to save time and get your fan page updated more easily.

1. Go to your personal profile.

2. Type your update text into the “What’s On Your Mind” box and be sure to type @xyzwinery within your update text.  You’ll see choices pop up after you type the @ symbol.  (ie Just finished bottling  2008 @xyzwinery Cabernet Franc with barely a bottle broken!)

3. Click on the appropriate fan page link after the @ symbol and finish your update.

The update will now appear on both your personal profile page and the winery’s fan page if they allow links from fans to show on their wall.  If your winery doesn’t allow links from fans, I highly recommend that you do so by adjusting your fan page settings.  Organic content from fans is the lifeblood of a successful fan page.

I bet you have some Facebook-savvy customers who will follow your lead and tag their updates about you and their wine experiences with you.  Let’s help each other out and tag other wineries and businesses on Facebook when we’ve visited them.   (I don’t seem to have the ability to status tag from my blackberry’s Twitterberry app just yet)

Photo credit: respres flickr photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/respres

Social Media Quick Tip: Post Quality Content on Twitter

photo courtesy of Heron Hill Winery

photo courtesy of Heron Hill Winery

If you’re a winery public relations and marketing person or owner who wears this hat, your head may be swirling with questions about how social interactions on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are changing the way we “pitch” bloggers and writers and land coverage.  I know that it’s at the top of my list of things to pay attention to and I’ll continue to share what I discover with you here.

This social media quick tip demonstrates a very simple example of how a local winery’s public relations person posted content onto Twitter and had it picked up by a local wine blogger, landing a photo featured in his blog post within an hour of their exchange on Twitter.

The winery PR person is Kitty Oliver at Heron Hill Winery, who has consistently been one of the region’s most forward-thinking public relations and marketing representatives.  The blogger who picked up the photo and got permission to use it via Twitter is Evan Dawson, Finger Lakes Editor at the New York Cork Report. (Disclosure: I have contributed posts to The New York Cork Report for the Finger Lakes)

The exchange occurred last Friday morning with Kitty posting photos of the snowfall at Heron Hill Winery to Twitter.  Evan spotted the photos, liked one and found it relevant to his post about the effect that unseasonably low temperatures followed by predicted Indian Summer conditions will have on the vines and grape development here in the Finger Lakes. Within a few minutes and via Twitter post, Evan secured permission from Kitty to use the photo for his post.

Kitty shares tips from her experience with using Twitter to engage with wine writers, bloggers and enthusiasts for Heron Hill:

“Twitter has been a great tool for Heron Hill Winery as far as getting information out quickly. We’re connecting directly, if a media person or consumer  needs more information we go from there. Posting pictures has been helpful too, I can show people what I’m talking about, especially when it comes to harvest. People want to SEE the grapes, SEE the crush pad and SEE the people behind the wine. You have to be yourself on Twitter because people can sense sincerity and relate to it. It requires a personal touch and you have to be ready to engage, learn and share what’s really going on. Your relationships will be better for it. It takes time to learn the Twitter ropes, but once you get it, it’s a lot of fun and a great tool.”

Evan’s advice for those venturing into social media:

“Social media starts with being social. Profound, I know. Seriously, though – you’re not going to develop a strong and loyal readership through social media unless you show people you care about them. You read their stuff. You react to their posts. You answer their questions. You show some personality. Over time, we’ve been able to develop a strong following that responds when we have questions or need help. In this case, we didn’t have to ask Heron Hill for photos — they were savvy enough to post them. But had we simply tweeted about a need for harvest photos, I have no doubt we’d have a virtual pile of them within minutes. And that only makes our blog better.”

There’s still some work to be done in my observation.  Some Twitter peeps are showing up just when they need something and to promote their own interests and then disappear without really interacting or helping anyone else.  Although that may provide a bit of benefit, showing up consistently and following Kitty and Evan’s tips lead to much more robust engagement and benefits for you and your brand.

Social Media Quick Tip: Follow 1000+ Wine Industry Tweeps with a Few Clicks

wht_joel-300x300

One of the benefits of the social media revolution is the ability to connect with the many smart, good-hearted people in the wine industry who are visionary and push forward to create better communities that are of value to us as participants.

Last week, Joel Vincent founder of the Open Wine Consortium, a social media platform for wine industry members, VinTank and Joel’s Tech Adventures blog created a list of over 1000 members of the OWC who are also on Twitter via an application called TweetML.  There are 11 groups of around 100 members listed and by clicking each of the links after entering your Twitter account login info, you can easily begin following other wine loving members of the Open Wine Consortium instead of having to manually search them out.

By doing so, your Twitter community becomes vastly larger to meet and mingle and I noticed a lot of chatter on Twitter about the quick increase in wine followers that came after Joel posted the links.  Sure there will be more tweets to scan through but we’ll get used to that and that’s a small price to pay for the opportunity to connect and stay connected with new friends who love to hear us talk about wine, life and our passion for the industry.

Social Media Quick Tip: Add Social Media Info to Signage

july 2009, wbc, personal 055

I bet a bunch of you are already all over this one.  I spotted this signage from Faust Winery in Napa Valley during the Grand Tasting of Napa Wines at Quintessa during the recent Wine Bloggers Conference.

This is a simple, low-cost branding strategy to promote your social media efforts.  Once you get your customers there, you know what happens eventually: they’ll start talking to you and hopefully providing valuable information on their likes and dislikes, preferences and experiences with your wine brand.

Although this sign was on a table at a tasting, you can also create signage that is representative of your brand’s look and feel and post them in your tasting room, create postcards, add your social media info to your business cards, print out pages and include in the bottom of customer shopping bags, include in your shipment boxes.

If you’re a winery who is already promoting your pages this way, I would love to have you upload your photos to the fan photos section of my Facebook fan page.  That way we can see each other’s signage and use the photos for info on how to fan each other’s pages.

And it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a smiling staff member to promote the info either.

july 2009, wbc, personal 054

Social Media Quick Tips: Do a “Gut Check” Before Posting

I just saw this article as a “retweet” on Twitter from Gabriella Opaz, fellow wine blogger and wine marketing consultant at Catavino.net. (A retweet is when one individual copies a tweet from someone in their network and shares it with their network, according to Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester Research.)

It’s important. For those who attended the recent Social Media Basics Workshop earlier this month, it reiterates one of the key takeaways of the workshop: the goal of social media interactions for wineries and small businesses is to build relationships. Transparency, authenticity, credibility and being real are all necessary to be successful on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Do it right and a social media presence can continue to build the bond with customers that was established in the tasting room.

Phil Jr., Assistant winemaker at Damiani Wine Cellars

Phil Jr., Assistant winemaker at Damiani Wine Cellars

This is a natural fit for small wineries and their staffs. What I’ve found most appealing about my experiences in local tasting rooms is the good natured, welcoming personalities behind the wine. Upload pictures from events, winemaking tasks, your customers, funny stuff that happens during your day, your staff interacting, etc. to your Facebook public profile and on TwitPic. Keep your customers interested by showcasing your winery’s personality.

Set aside a chunk of time each day to interact and update your status, share pictures and join the conversations that are taking place on these networks. If you’re questioning whether or not to put something out there, do a gut check. Ask yourself, “Is this appropriate? Am I being overly promotional and blatant in pushing my business?” Remember that although social networks welcome a much more casual voice, each post and update adds to the layer that is your personal brand and that personal brand reflects on your winery and business brand. Don’t forget to interact and respond to comments. You know, show that there are faces and real people behind your winery’s brand.

Amy Hoffman and staff of Rooster Hill Vineyards

Amy Hoffman and staff of Rooster Hill Vineyards

Social Media Quick Tips: Navigating Twitter

Twitter Blog Birds

During the recent Social Media Workshop presented to small businesses in Finger Lakes Wine Country, one of the interactive segments involved having attendees who had brought their laptops set up a new Twitter account and profile. I wanted to share a few quick tips on getting started and getting the most out of your Twitter interactions based on my experiences.

Carefully craft your bio

Use key words within your bio that will lead others with like interests or within your industry to find you during a Twitter search. Oftentimes, this bio will be the key factor in whether or not a Twitter user will opt in to follow your tweets. For example, my bio reads “Melissa Dobson PR & Marketing- Wine publicist by day, foodie in-training by night. Lover of the NY locavore/locapour movement & all things social media.” And definitely include your website or blog link.

Poke around

One of the great ways to get started or to enhance your experience on Twitter is by taking some time to look around. Search for a few of your colleagues or thought leaders in your industry and click through the profiles of those people that they’re following. Follow those that are of interest and sometimes those people will follow you back. They’ll be privy to your updates and streams of thought and vice versa. Another nice feature of Twitter is that for those that follow you back, you have the ability to direct message or dm them which works as a private message sent to the person similar to a private instant message. Just be careful to double check before you hit update to be sure that you have a “d ” in front of the recipient’s username in order to be sure that your message remains private.  There’s an envelope icon on each person’s avatar that you can click for a direct message.

You can also use the “Find People” feature that allows you to search and invite people to follow you who you have been in touch with on email platforms such as Gmail and Yahoo mail.

Twhirl and Tweetdeck

I realize that all of the updates and the fast pace of Twitter can be overwhelming at first.  I’m a fan of using desktop platforms to manage Twitter.

Twhirl is a desktop application that pops up on your desktop and will also provide a notification sound when someone either tweets you or includes you in a tweet.  You can customize the features to your liking.

Tweetdeck is another desktop application that allow you to set up customized columns to browse tweets by category, direct messages to you and replies to you from within the last 48 hours.

Each of these takes a few minutes to set up, but I find them to be very helpful in managing Twitter activity.  Check them out and I think you’ll enjoy Twitter more than you thought you would.  Join in a conversation that you’re interested in, click retweet to pass along another user’s tweet when you find something relevant and interesting.  I just set up an appointment to meet with a local winery based on my interactions with the winery’s twitter user.  Social media can definitely benefit you and help you to stand out from the many other wineries in your region if you engage regularly and authentically.