Some Industries are Tailor-Made for Social Media. Wine Tops the List.
BY MEG HOUSTON MAKER, CSW
ine is social. Sure, you can
drink it solo, but it’s best en-
joyed with friends, food and
conversation. Selling wine is
social, too. Canny wine mar-
keters know this in their bones. The job
isn’t about moving a bottle of wine across
a counter. That’s just the transaction. The
job is about great service, gonzo enthusi-
asm and killer personality.
They approach a customer, ask the
right questions, listen carefully, suggest
wisely. If the customer goes away smiling
and the wine is a hit, the customer will
come back. And next time, bring friends.
If any industry is tailored for social
media, it’s wine. The proof is in the data.
According to VinTank, a social media
software company for the wine business,
14 million people have mentioned wine
online at some point, a number that
grows by 450,000 people every month.
And they’re talking a lot, having 1.5 mil-
lion conversations about wine online—
every single day.
The bulk of this chatter happens on
mainstream social networks like Face-
book, Twitter, and Instagram, plus wine-
centric apps like CellarTracker and De-
lectable. People post tasting notes, bottle
shots, and ratings from 88 points to Yuck
to Wow! They tag their friends, who share
it too. Think of social media as the breed-
ing ground for digital word of mouth.
Now, producers, retailers, restaura-
teurs and buyers have joined the conver-
sation. Getting up to speed in social me-
dia means learning a new technology, but
that’s not so different from learning a new
point-of-sale system (and arguably a little
easier). Happily, many wine pros find that
success online requires the same kind of
sensitivity and savoir-faire their jobs de-
mand in real life.
“Customers are going to talk whether
you’re listening or not,” says VinTank’s
CEO, Paul Mabray. “You’d answer the
phone if they called you. You’d answer an
Social Media for a