“you’re always able to reach
your guest, and you’re always
reachable. You don’t want peo-
ple to feel unimportant.”
This always-on nature
makes it important to com-
mit first to one or two services,
then add others only as band-
width permits. “I don’t believe
in trying to be everything to
everyone,” says Pia Mara Fin-
kell, director of social media
for the award-winning Vibrant
Rioja campaign. “I’d rather do
a knock-down job on fewer
channels than try to be every-
where and do it poorly.” Face-
book and Twitter are the best
places to start, with Facebook a bit
more effective for consumers, and
Twitter slightly more weighted to-
ward industry.
One advantage of digital is that
it’s easy to measure. Google Ana-
lytics tracking on a company web-
site can show which social media
services drive traffic and sales. Facebook’s
tool called Insights offers stats about
engagement. For Twitter, third-party
services can show growth in followers,
mentions and re-tweets. But be careful
what you measure. Facebook promotes a
sketchy metric called “Reach,” which is
merely a rollup of the number of times
your content has appeared.
True engagement is
better measured by the
“Likes” and “Talking
About This.”
Knowing
what’s
working lets you divert
effort away from what’s
not working, and bal-
ance your communications
mix. Recently, after selling 400 event tick-
ets using only electronic channels, Mos-
kovitz realized that social media is a great
starting point. “I’m more likely to post to
Facebook and Twitter first. I can sell out on
Twitter. That means I can send less email,
and use it more strategically,” she says, add-
ing, “No one wants another email.”
But can social media really sell wine?
Yes, and many stories prove it. Melissa
Sutherland Amado, former marketing
director at 67 Wines in Manhattan, used
analytics to demonstrate that on average,
social media accounted for five to eight
sales per week last year, worth from $250
to $500, and mostly to new customers.
Sue Guerra, di-
rector of marketing
at Gary’s Wine and
Marketplace in New
Jersey, said that with-
in hours of posting a
recipe for homemade Limon-
cello—a slightly counter-
intuitive move, since Gary’s
sells Limoncello—a customer
came in asking for the exact
vodka used in the recipe.
Similarly, Jameson Fink,
of Seattle’s Bottlehouse wine
shop and tasting bar, snapped a
picture of an unusual sparkling
rosé and posted it to Instagram.
Within minutes, a customer
replied he wanted two bottles.
I leaned heavily on Twit-
ter and Facebook when I
headed consumer marketing
for Bonny Doon Vineyard.
Tracking let me identify all
e-commerce sales resulting
from posts by the winemaker,
the corporate account, the
restaurant account, and my
own accounts on social me-
dia. All of them moved wine,
sometimes by the case.
Stats and success stories like these can
help colleagues can get on board with the
effort, which is critical in a business driv-
en by engagement. Still, social media is
primarily about conversation, not con-
version. Sales directly resulting from
tweets and posts are indeed possible, but
they’re not the main point. The value
accrues over time, with persistence, as
the brand and customers get to know
and trust each other.
“Social media is not a tool for mar-
keting. It is a tool for relationships,” says
Shana Ray, a social strategist at Resonate
Digital, which counts wine businesses
among its clients. “We have made it into
a tool for marketing, but at its core, it’s
about relationships.”
In other words, in the old days, com-
merce was based on recommendations
by real people. Nowadays, commerce
is based on recommendations by real
people. The technology has changed,
but story remains the same.
Meg Houston Maker is a wine writer and communication
strategist specializing in online marketing, social com-
merce and web analytics.
SOCIAL MEDIA:
WINE
Kobrand created separate social
media campaigns for separate
brands. Recently, The Seeker used
Facebook to encourage fans to
guess the identity of four new wines
based on clues.
Anfora, a wine bar in Manhattan, has
had great success tweeting about
events featuring specific producers.
Banfi’s $2 million campaign launching
Riunite Sweet Red and White embraced
multiple platforms, including YouTube,
ad buys on internet radio, and original
content on Facebook, Pinterest,
Instagram and Twitter. They featured
not only the new wines, but also
Riunite Lambrusco.
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