Posts Tagged ‘“social media workshop”’

Winery Resource Alert: Facebook Marketing Solutions

I need to apologize for my recent gap in posts.  A combination of family needs and taking a deep breath by diving into more webinars, workshops and round tables pulled me away from posting here, but I’ve found some new information for you that will be helpful.  Thanks for your patience during my absence!

During the recent Social Media Workshop in Finger Lakes Wine Country, I encouraged attendees to engage in the social media space to keep up with thought leaders in the wine industry.  Over the past year, I have paid special attention to several, one of whom is Paul Mabray, Chief Strategy Officer at VinTank.

Last night, I pulled up my Facebook News Feed and noticed a notification in the Highlights section that Paul had become a fan of a page called “Facebook Marketing Solutions.”  This page is written by the team at Facebook and advises businesses and brands on the best way to engage with their fans and gain more fans via friends of existing fans without being too noisy or pushy.

facebook-benjerrys21The information found there will answer many of the questions you may have about getting started on Facebook and continuing a conversation with your fans.  A good place to start is a note called “Make The Most of Your New Page for Brands.” For event promotion, this note walks you through the benefits of creating an event via Facebook.  Although the notes oftentimes reference the benefits of incorporating a strategy that includes purchasing a Facebook ad, the key takeaways are helpful and I have heard some positive things about the ability to target a niche audience with these ads.

A Facebook Marketing Solutions wall post that I found compelling and relevant to the wine industry reads,

“Vin Diesel added almost 0.5MM fans yesterday and 1MM fans this week on the heels of Fast & Furious and some great “insider” content on his Page. As a good practice, are you providing interesting behind-the-scenes content for your fans? (guess that goes for FB Marketing Solutions too… ok – coming soon!)”

Personally, I LOVE the insider stuff that is posted by Facebook friends who are winery owners, winemakers and principals at businesses in the wine industry.  Vin Diesel took his fans behind the scenes at the Latin Billboard Awards.  What types of things capture the interest of your winery’s fans?  Look at your calendar and plan out posts to your fan page that include some insider stuff.  Keep the content simple, illustrate with photos and video.  Take the time to include a caption for photos and video that adds to the story and explains who, what, when, where and why.  Let your personality show through.

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 (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.