Posts Tagged ‘Open Wine Consortium’

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

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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.

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Family, Love, Wine Blog: What a Year It’s Been

WBCridesharers

Diane Letulle, Remy Charest, Robbin Gheesling and I at Wine Bloggers Conference

As a girl with a dream to bring together my passions for learning about the wine industry, its people and places and social media, I’m celebrating the one-year anniversary of my first blog post. One year ago, I didn’t know a soul in the wine business. I started devouring wine blogs and publications and most-importantly, joined the Open Wine Consortium on the recommendation of blogger and wine PR guru Tom Wark. It has been a year of wine events, tastings, classes, projects, obstacles and friendship. I have learned much, thanks to many of you who have stuck by me, rallied for me and advised me. I have grown to admire many of the thought leaders in this industry and the business world. See “Thought Leaders I Follow and Admire” in the sidebar.

And if this last year is any indication of how much fun, how challenging and rewarding this business is, I foresee pursuing it until I can no longer take a breath or communicate with you in some way (I wonder what the medium of choice will be by then!)

Thank you for returning to this blog, for telling me your stories and helping me to find my passion in life outside of my family and friends. I am happy and grateful to be a part of the wine community.

A slideshow of the highlights of my first year blogging and doing business. Cheers 🙂

Winery Marketing: It May Be Time to Create a Plan B

After reading an email update about New York Governor Paterson’s proposed 2009-2010 budget plan that would eliminate the budget of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, I sat back and thought about what that would mean for my friends here in the Finger Lakes wine industry. It certainly would make promoting the region more challenging with a smaller pool of capital to work with. So during this time when funding from NYW&GF is uncertain and cannot be counted on, it may be time to create a plan B for 2009.

A good place to start is with an assessment of your current marketing position. Which strategies have been most successful for you to date? Are there low-cost ways to continue to spread the word about your winery and the region? Who are your core customers and where do they spend time consuming information and doing research? Do you have a charismatic, inviting spokesperson who can actively promote your winery brand? What have you tried that hasn’t worked?

Next, dig in and do some research, look to your current best customers and ask them what keeps them coming back to you. Explore your options for actively pursuing new customers/visitors with a marketing-savvy friend, colleague or consultant. And certainly don’t forget to take special care of your current customers and keep up communication with them. Social media platforms provide a low-cost way to actively engage with your customers and prospective new customers. Explore social media platforms such as Open Wine Consortium, Facebook and Twitter and seriously consider introducing them into your marketing mix if you haven’t already.  There’s a group on Open Wine Consortium for wineries to interact with each other and the discussions in the general forum of the OWC contain valuable insights from the thought-leaders in our industry that may help you.

Plan for the worst-case scenario in regards to funding from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. That way, you’ll have a bare-bones plan in place that can be put into motion without losing a beat. There is strength in collaborating with others in the industry both here and in other wine regions. In my experience, those in the wine industry are passionate, friendly and helpful and you may discover a new idea that may be the one that makes a difference in your bottom line.  Don’t be afraid to contact me or comment here if you would like to continue the discussion.

Cheers! From Melissa’s Desk

The Vista from Atwater Estate Vineyards

The Vista from Atwater Estate Vineyards

For Week of 10/6/08:

  • This week, freelance writer Patricia Savoie featured The Finger Lakes in a seven-page spread in Sommelier Journal. The publication has carved out a niche as “the only magazine specifically targeting restaurant wine professionals. Wine retailers, importers and distributors, winemakers, and serious wine consumers will all be strong secondary markets. In fact, anyone who is serious about wine will be interested in this magazine.” There is also a forum post about the article beginning a discussion debating whether or not one of the reasons that the Finger Lakes wine industry has not been able to break out into the mainstream is due to lack of production. Thus far, only Bob Madill of Sheldrake Point Vineyard and Finger Lakes Wine Alliance has responded with his views. If you have a moment, and would like to provide your insight into the wine industry in the Finger Lakes, go to the forum and set up a profile so that your views can be heard. These types of forums are valuable, free educational and marketing vehicles that can create two-way conversations and drive further understanding and awareness to the region as well as to you and your winery as a source of information and quality wine.  And it shows that you’re plugged in and interested in supporting the efforts of your fellow winery owners.
  • Looking for further insight into how social media can help you?  See a recent post by Judd Wallenbrock, Owner & Founder, Humanitas Winery; President/GM, Michel-Schlumberger Wine Estate, and check out the comments section to decide for yourself.  Judd explores how blogs and other social media platforms allow for the return of two-way conversation in the wine world.
  • The Wine Bloggers Conference is just over a week away with over 150 wine bloggers from across the U. S. expected to attend and participate.  Lenn Thompson at LENNDEVOURS blog was the driving force behind creating an opportunity for an informal tasting of New York wines during the conference.  See Lenn’s post and thoughts on the upcoming conference here.  Lenn and I are both planning on representing and educating attendees about the wines of New York within casual conversations as well as during the tastings.  Many of the attendees originally connected via a social network called Open Wine Consortium.   I highly recommend visiting the site, poking through the content, forums, groups and members and setting up a profile for yourself.  This site attracts the thought leaders in the industry, those who are pushing the envelope and embracing new technologies because of the power these strategies have for wineries and wine businesses.  If you haven’t participated in social networks much, I recommend setting up a profile, filling it out completely including links to your website and a clear description of who you are and what your business is.  Then you may want to “lurk” for a bit, or just look around at the conversations taking place, utilize the search function and look for content relevant to your wine business, AVA or related subjects and once you feel comfortable, start by joining into a discussion and posting your views.  Avoid pitching yourself/your business or using marketing speak in your posts as these types of posts will be seen as self-promoting and will turn off members.  The purpose is to collaborate, educate and add to the conversation rather than push your wares.  There is a strong sense of community among members of OWC which is now being taken offline and to the Wine Bloggers Conference.

Cheers to you until next week and thank you to all of my wine friends who have been extremely supportive and helpful in introducing me to their wine friends…it is very much appreciated!

Melissa