Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Winery Resource Alert: The State of Wine Industry Social Media

logoVinTank

More than likely, if you’re reading this post, you have an interest in gaining a detailed understanding of social media platforms and those that are most relevant to the health and happiness of your winery’s business. A group of the industry’s top thought leaders at VinTank, Derek Bromley and Tom Wark have compiled the first whitepaper specifically for the wine industry entitled, “The State of Wine Industry Social Media.”

The paper contains some tech-speak that may look a bit scary at first, but hang in there and read through to the end. These guys are in-the-know, have strong relationships in the wine industry with bloggers, traditional media and developers and seek to help you, the winery principal, to navigate and gain an understanding of the social media landscape. Facebook, Twitter, Wine Blogs, Wine Social Networks, Gary V and Wine Library TV are detailed specifically pertaining to their relevance to wineries and wine retailers.

Paul Mabray and team are eager to receive questions or input on the report and can be reached at: ADDRESS: 1250 Main Street Suite #270 Napa, CA 94559 • PHONE: 800.605.8265 • WEB: vintank.com • EMAIL: info@vintank.com
TWITTER: twitter.com/vintank • FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/14R1mf

Or comment on the Tasting Room blog at pressdemocrat.com http://tastingroom.pressdemocrat.com/default.asp?item=2375378

A special thank you to the VinTank team for mentions of myself, my client Andrew Kamphuis at Vin65 and senior strategist and wine blogger friend, Michael Wangbickler, on their thank you page.

UPDATE (5/12/09)

If you would like to listen to Paul Mabray discuss some of the key findings of the report, check this out http://www.newwineconsumer.com/2009/05/vintank/

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.

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.

Using Twitter for PR Campaigns

I love the Klondike Contest using Twitter mentioned in this piece and wanted to share it with you. A fun new way to engage your audience!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Using Twitter for PR Campaigns“, posted with vodpod

 

 

Wine 2.0 Is Amazing!

 

Wine 2.0

 I just had to share my excitement about the tremendous opportunities available to those using Wine 2.0 technologies.  If you are in the wine industry, or aspire to be, social networks such as Open Wine Consortium, micro-blogs such as Twitter (I like to describe Twitter as more of a broadcast instant messaging service where one-way and multi-way communication messages are distributed via a network of followers) and participating in forums like the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle’s Conversations on Wine can help you expand your network by exchanging ideas, creating relationships for future collaborations and adding a great deal of value to your brand by creating a presence for your winery or related service in front of key targets. 

In one week, I exchanged ideas with two people that may be interested in collaborating down the road, reconnected with an editor I had previously met at a Manhattan press event and was asked for some advice from a reader of this blog…all via social networks, my blog and Twitter.  The key, in my opinion, is to create value for others.  Educate, share and give some personal insight and you’ll see that opportunities will present themselves, adding an addtional layer to your marketing and branding efforts. 

From my experience, the wine industry is full of passionate, smart, resourceful and helpful people who love to talk about bettering the industry.  I highly recommend spending some time poking around on the sites, creating profiles and getting involved.  Even if you’re not ready to create a blog, these little steps into the social media space will help you to advance your business.   If all of these terms are putting you off or if your head is spinning trying to figure it all out, don’t hesitate to contact me.  I would be happy to walk you through a better understanding in layman’s terms, without all of the “geeky” tech ones!    🙂 

Wine 2.0: Using Twitter to Promote Wine

twitter logo

I recently jumped on the Twitter bandwagon and now follow several thought leaders in the wine industry there.  I’ve found the Twitter posts interesting, insightful and helpful in monitoring what is on the minds of those deep in the industry.  Not all posts are about wine, some of them are personal and allow you to get to know your Twitter friends more intimately i.e. what their favorite sports teams, tv shows and hobbies are. 

Many of my favorite bloggers post a link to their latest blog posts on Twitter as soon as they create and post them to their blogs, providing instant access to their latest thoughts.  This is great!  I love this much more than checking RSS feeds because with plugins such as Twhirl, a popup notification appears in the corner of your computer. 

In addition to bloggers, some winery owners are also starting to Twitter updates, adding their personal thoughts on new releases, events, which wines have been selling well and personal likes and dislikes.   I think that this is a nice way for wineries to build relationships with their customers and prospective customers.  Everyone seems to be thirsty for an inside perspective on wineries they would like to do business with and getting to know the owners in this quick, updated fashion can help to create interest in visiting a winery’s website and tasting room and ultimately to purchase their wine!  I would love to see updates from wine makers and vineyard managers.  I think consumers would respond well to educating themselves about wine and all of the complexities associated with getting a bottle to their tables in this initmate, fun environment.