There has been a very long tradition in the wine industry of helping those less fortunate. One of the oldest and most well known is the Hospices de Beaune established in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin and his wife, then chancellor to the Duke of Burgundy (Phillipe le Bon). The elderly, disabled, the sick, and orphans were given refuge following 100 years of war. The giving continues to this day when each November there is a charity wine auction held in the great hall.
There are countless other efforts by individual wineries such as Humanitas Winery, B.R. Cohn, Charity Wines, Tolosa Winery, Clos La Chance, Gargiulo Vineyards, DeLoach Vineyards, to name only a few. There are dozens more out there helping the less fortunate every day. The recipient charities are often local or national efforts supported by sales and events of one or multiple wineries.
I applaud all of these efforts, but today I wanted to focus on a new global effort soon underway to help children in Laos (Lao Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc.). So what is the WorldWine Tour 2010?
Two people (George Janssens, from Merced, California and Anja Cheriakova, living in Utrecht, The Netherlands) will travel to 17 countries and over300 wineries starting in January 2010 asking them to donate a small number of their top bottlings, which subsequently will be shipped and auctioned off at the Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa Valley with 100% of the proceeds going to the Lao Rehabilitation Foundation to help rebuild after the devastation of massive flooding of the Mekong River in 2008.
This actually is a continuation of an idea conceived in 2003 called ‘Vignes sans Frontieres’ (Vines without Borders) by a young French couple who completed their tour in 2004.
In each subsequent year a different traveling pair interpreted the concept in a way that incorporated their own views on life.
In 2010 Georges and Anja have set an objective to raise $150,000 for the Lao Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc. , an organization dedicated to providing medical services to Laotian citizens, such as the building of health care clinics, the diagnosing and treating of hundreds of patients, and general improvement of sanitation conditions, all with a strong emphasis on children.
To follow their wine journey in 2010, become a sponsor (see current sponsors to the left), or donate a bottling, visit the World Wine Tour 2010 website or simply contact Georges or Anja (contact details below).
I wish Anja and Georges a safe and successful journey and over the course of the next several months, I will update this blog as that journey unfolds.
Anja Cheriakova : firstname.lastname@example.org
Georges Janssens : email@example.com
50 Top Wineries on Twitter
UPDATE: The initial results were posted on 7 August 2009. Shortly thereafter, additional wineries completed the survey taking it from 62% to 68% response rate. All of the numbers in the survey have been updated as well as those in the slides. Please feel free to download the new set of slides.
For the most part, the additional surveys simply reenforced the initial results.
As with the earlier Facebook Survey, let me first take a moment to thank all of the wineries that took the time to respond to the 50 top Wineries on Twitter Survey.
I am happy to report that 68% of the wineries participated… a very high percentage for any survey! (Note: If more surveys are completed I will update this post)
Its one thing to gather data, but it is another to gain insight. As I continue to experience it, people in the wine industry are passionate about what they produce and the customers they produce it for, and equally generous with their peers in sharing information and experience.
So … a very gracious Thank You! to those that took time out of their very busy schedules to complete the survey (glad I didn’t try this during harvest!).
Please note the following:
- The survey contained 10 questions aimed at gaining a better understanding of Twitter as a social media tool for wineries, the result of each is provided below.
- Many questions allowed multiple answers. In these cases, the numbers will not add up to 100.
- Several questions included the ability to “write in” an answer. These are identified below.
- There is a link at the end of this article that can be used to download a presentation with the results.
Question #1: How long has the winery had a presence on Twitter?
The majority have had a presence more than six months but less than a year (38.2%). Only one winery has had a presence more than 2 years. 14.7% had a presence more than one year and less than two. Another 26.5% have been on Twitter more than three months but less than six months, and finally 17.6% have only been on Twitter for less than three months!
Question #2: Who is responsible for tweets and/or responding to messages?
Over 78% of the respondents answered that there was a single person responsible and a single person normally tweets and responds. Another 9% said a single person is responsible but multiple people tweet and respond, with an additional 12% having multiple people responsible who also tweet and respond. None of the wineries had a presence without establishing ownership. In one case a winery had multiple accounts (again single person responsible), and in another although there is a primary person responsible, tweeting is shared with this person, the winemaker, and innkeeper.
Question #3: Is your Twitter account part of your overall marketing plan?
The question is really whether or not the wineries view Twitter as an independent activity where “tweets” are done on an ad hoc basis based on what the winery might feel would be of interest to its followers, or is it more planned out in conjunction with their overall marketing objectives or plan. Here the response was primarily split between work ad hoc (50%) and work to a plan but also tweet ad hoc (38.2%). The remaining 11.8% work to a marketing plan.
Question #4: How often do you tweet?
As you may recall, the initial data collected on Twitter suggested that in terms of activity where more than 25 tweets in 24 hours = high, more than 15 but less than 25 = med, less than 10 = low , and 0 = none, there were 5 high, 4 med, 22 low, 19 none. We took this one step further in the survey and here are the results:
- More than 25 times a day = 6.3%
- More than 10 but less than 25 times a day = 15.6%
- More than 1 but less than 10 times a day= 56.3%
- Less than 1 time per day =9.4%
- Less than 5 times a week = 12.5%
One winery said they “tweet in spurts based on the activity at the winery”.
Question #5: What do you normally tweet about?
This is one of those questions that included multiple answers so … here goes:
- Winery News = Top choice at 97.1%
- New Product releases = 67.6%
- Awards = 50%
- Questions of the Day = 11.8%
- New varietals = 26.5%
- Harvest news = 61.8%
- Tasting Notes = 47.1%
- Wine Industry News = 58.8%
- Blog = 47.1%
- Other = 44.1%
In terms of other, here are the “write ins”:
- Weather, personnel quirks likes/dislikes
- Tweets that engage, RT’s, reply to mentions, questions
- Life as a winemaker
- Misc. of Interest, Personal, Food & Wine, Food Photos
- pictures from around the winery
- everyday hapenings
- general musings, obervations, rants
- Personal stuff
- WBC (Wine Blogger’s Conference)
- Real estate opportunities and wedding events
- Music, politics, general news, Facebook events, TV, other items of interest
Question #6: What tools do you use to help you tweet and manage your presence on Twitter?
Again, a multiple choice question with the ability to add other non-specified tools. The choices and distribution were as follows:
- TweetLater = 14.8%
- TweetDeck = 92.6% (Top Choice)
- Twhirl = 0%
- Twitterfox = 0%
- Twitterfeed = 18.5%
- WeFollow = 48.1%
- Tweetscan = 0%
- Tweetstats = 3.7%
- Tweetbeep = 0%
- Twellow = 3.7%
- Twitterback = 3.7%
- Hashtag = 11.1%
Although not listed, these Twitter tools were identified as also being used by the top 50 wineries:
- Twitter search
- Twitter Karma
Question #7: In your opinion, has your presence on Twitter been beneficial to the winery?
Obviously a very important question. The results are very telling:
- 82.4% said “Yes”
- 0% said “No”
- 17.6% said “Not Sure”
Questions #8: If you answered “Yes” to the previous question, how has your presence on Twitter helped your business?
The answer to Question #7 was important, but only when combined with Question #8 that attempts to identify what the benefit is. Again, I asked the wineries to check all that apply (in question #9 I asked them to indentify the top benefit only).
Here are the responses with percentages:
- It has helped to manage the winery’s online reputation = 67.9%
- It has driven more business to our website = 64.3%
- It has driven new fans to our Facebook fan page = 50%
- It has driven new followers / fans / interest to other social media sites that we have built or participate in = 60.7%
- It has helped us engage more with our customers = 96.4%
- It has helped us to hone our business to the needs of our customers = 10.7%
- It has helped to drive incremental sales of our products in our tasting room = 35.7%
- It has helped to drive incremental sales of our products in retail outlets and/or restaurants = 46.4%
- It has increased participation in our wine club = 10.7%
As in previous questions, I provided a space for wineries to write in a benefit if not listed. Here is their input:
- Wine Blogger reviews, recomendations
- Created brand awareness for our new start-up, boutique winery
- It has helped me meet key industry contacts and media
- Helped us connect with other wine industry people outside our area in California. Also, connected helped us develop a relationship with wine blogger and writers
- We have people ‘pop’ in the winery all the time now saying ‘I found you on Twitter’!
- Has helped us gain media coverage (print mostly)
- Mailing list sign-ups
Question #9: Looking at the answers selected in the previous question, what one benefit do you feel has been most important to the winery regarding your presence on Twitter?
- It has helped to manage the winery’s online reputation = 14.3%
- It has driven more business to our website = 7.1%
- It has driven new followers / fans / interest to other social media sites that we have built or participate in = 3.6%
- It has helped us engage more with our customers = 57.1%
- It has helped to drive incremental sales of our products in our tasting room = 14.3%
- It has helped to drive incremental sales of our products in retail outlets and/or restaurants = 3.6%
In addition to the answers above, two wineries added that “Networking with others in the wine industry” and “Has brought more people to us” as being among the top benefits.
Question #10: Which other social media/networking sites do you participate in?
This again was a multiple answer question where the percentages will not add up to 100 as follows:
- Facebook = 93.5%
- Linkedin =45.2%
- Wine2.0 = 41.9%
- Open Wine Consortium = 38.7%
- Snooth = 32.3%
- Your own Social Media/Networking site = 16.1%
- Winery Blog = 61.3
Lastly, there were some comments indicating Ning and MySpace as other sites where the wineries participated.
Summary & Comments:
As noted in my earlier post Wineries on Twitter? How Tweet it is!, none of the 50 top wineries on Facebook were in the top 50 wineries on Twitter even though over 80% did have a presence on Twitter, and vice versa even though there was a 93% overlap. In a recent Mashable post there was a large number of comments regarding when to use Twitter versus Facebook. Based on those comments, for many individuals the common denominator seems to be Private(family/friends): Facebook – Public:Twitter.
However, for a business (in this case a winery), this doesn’t necessarily work since in order to be successful, the family and friends of a business need to expand over time to find new friends (called sales!). From what I can see, either platform seems to be beneficial to wineries in that although there was no direct correlation between the top 5o on either platform, in the subsequent survey with both groups the top benefit was essentially the same – “It has helped us engage / connect more with our customers”. With that said, I did see slightly more saying that increased business was a benefit on the Twitter side, but that could be somewhat skewed since a higher percentage of the top wineries on Twitter participated in the survey than the top 50 wineries on Facebook (68% versus 26%).
- Things happen quickly in social media / networking. So it was not surprising to see that 82% of the top 50 wineries on Twitter have not had a presence for more than a year, with only 1 winery having a presence over two years.
- As with the survey of the top 50 wineries on Facebook, all of the top wineries on Twitter have a person(s) assigned to tweet and respond. None of the wineries leave this to chance.
- Again not surprising that 88% responded that ad hoc tweets are used since Twitter is a microblog that thrives on relatively short (max 140 characters) messages. However, the more interesting news is that almost half consider the activity part of the overall marketing plan and strategy.
- Does a higher number of tweets ensure success? From the survey, it certainly doesn’t hurt, but its not imperative since 56% tweet less than 10 times a day.
- So if you are going to tweet, what should you tweet about? It seems the top billing ( 97% of the top 50 wineries on Twitter) tweet about winery news. Not surprising. What might be more interesting is that 44% of the wineries also tweeted about non winery news… information, insights, personal musings, conferences, etc. that they thought would be of interest to their followers.
- Those that are new to Twitter may find it odd that there are so many tools / applications that have built up around the social networking site. TweetDeck (downloaded on the desktop) took the top billing followed by WeFollow.
- I see this question asked over and over again – Is investment in Social Media / Networking beneficial? Although the jury is still out across the board, for the top 50 wineries on Twitter the overwhelming answer was YES (82%). Further, based on the type of benefits listed it would seem that there was ROII - a combination of Return on investment as well as Return on Influence.
- See comments above
- See comments above
- As with the Facebook study, a very high percentage of the top 50 wineries on Twitter (96%) had a presence on Facebook and vice versa (+80%). Why the individual wineries chose Twitter versus Facebook is unknown (see comments above). Over time it will be interesting to see whether one or the other platform becomes the primary focus of wineries and/or whether one or the other results in more benefits. In either case, leveraging of these and other social media/networking platforms is making a positive difference for wineries that are willing and able to make the investment.
If you wish you may download a copy of the presentation 50 Top Wineries on Twitter Download the updated presentation here.
Finally, a big THANK YOU again to those wineries that took the time to participate in the survey!
Wineries on Twitter
After researching and reporting about wineries on Facebook recently, I thought it would be interesting to do the same for Twitter. And as I suspected … yes… many wineries are taking the opportunity to get their message out on Twitter as well as Facebook (not surprising since a very high percentage of the top Facebook wineries indicated they are on Twitter as well).
Anyone care? Well, on July 30 over 100,000 Twitter followers did!
That’s the number of followers that have signed up to “listen to” over 170 wineries that are currently tweeting.
Note: Regarding Wineries on Twitter
- As with the research on Facebook, it is only possible to gather data in a “moment in time”. Unlike other mediums, 24 hours can make a big difference in the numbers (case in point, EaglesNestWinery increased their followers by 128 in the last 24 hours!). With that in mind, the numbers below reflect the data as of July 29,2009.
- The numbers on Twitter and WeFollow did not match exactly, but were always relatively close and did not seem to skew the placement
- In some cases WeFollow listed companies that were wine related (such as tour companies, etc.) but were not wineries. These were not included.
- Listings on WeFollow are based on tags. Both the tag “winery” and “wineries” were used to identify the listings.
- As with the previous study, the research focuses on the top 50 wineries, with specific details and recognition for the top 5
Top5 Wineries on Twitter
#1 EaglesNestWinery (CA, USA) takes the top honors with 6772 followers. Their ratio is .92 (followers divided by follows), with 1113 tweets.
#2 In the number two slot is Teusner Wine (Barossa, Australia) with 4828 followers, a ratio of .91, and 1536 tweets
#3 Carpozzi Winery (pinotblogger) is #3 (CA, USA) with 3408 followers, a ratio of .99, and 3790 tweets
#4 In the #4 slot is Tassel Ridge Wines (Iowa, USA) with 3004 followers, a ratio of .91, and 1317 tweets
#5 Finishing up the top 5, Mouton Noir Wines (NYC, USA) with 2648 followers, a ratio of 1.08, and 1589 tweets
Regarding the top 50 wineries:
Click here to download the full list of the top 50 Wineries on Twitter as of July 28, 2009
- Total followers = 70,229 (average = 141405, median = 1019)
- Total follows = 76,377 (average = 1528, median = 1166)
- Total Tweets = 51882 (average = 1038, median = 477)
- Average ratio (followers/following) = .97, Median = .9
- All but 5 had custom themes
- Location: 1 Australia, 3 Canada, 1 Germany, 5 New Zealand, 1 Spain, 36 USA
- (In USA: 25 California, 1 Georgia,1 Illinois, 1 Iowa, 1 Massachusetts, 1 Miami, 2 New York, 1 Ohio, 3 Oregon)
- In terms of activity where more than 25 tweets in 24 hours = high, more than 15 but less than 25 = med, less than 10 = low , and 0 = none, there were 5 high, 4 med, 22 low, 19 none
- Tags are used to help find the accounts on Twitter. The top tag was “winery” used 40times and the second was “wine” used 37 times (39 if counting other language use – vino/wein). The location of the winery was used by 13 of the top 50, while varietals were tagged by 4. Other tags used included “winemaker” (12), “vineyard” (5), “wineblogger” (3), “winemakers” (2), “wineries” (2) and “wineblogger” (2). Other terms used once only included “sustainability”, “sustainable”, “sommelier”, “tourism”, “farm”, “education”, “tasting”, “tastingroom”, “vlogger”, “blogger”, “fun”, “foodie”, “family”, and “agritourism”.
- Wineries are actively using Twitter to connect with current and/or potential customers
- Its never too early to start .. Carpozzi is #2 waiting on the first vintage!
- None of the top 50 wineries on Twitter match up with the top 50 wineries on Facebook. Why? My opinion is that Twitter and Facebook although both social networking sites, are basically very different, and as a result participation on one or both likely takes on a different priority for the individual wineries. According to a recent post on Mashup - ”While on the surface many social networks look the same, there are significant differences, both in their structure and what they emphasize, but also in the attitude that users bring. The more we understand these, the more we can know which social networks to use for what purposes.” As an example, whereas one may use Twitter as a primary communications vehicle (microblog), others may see Twitter as a secondary vehicle to drive more activity on their website, blog, or Facebook page.
- The “volume” of tweets is much less important than the “quality” of tweets in terms of finding followers. In other words, it is much more important to understand and tweet about things of interest to your target audience than simply tweeting for the sake of it.
- For the most part, the top 50 have a close ratio of follows to followers indicating a balance that may be simply a result of “follow those that follow you”, or it may mean the wineries are doing a good job of attracting their target audience (real mutual interest).
- Tags are instrumental in helping to identify the wineries. A vast majority (48/50) of the top wineries used the term “winery” versus ”wineries”. Those thinking of setting up an account should take care in the tags used to identify themselves.
(NOTE: I will be updating this post within the next few days with the results of a survey of the top 50 wineries on Twitter, which should provide a great deal more insight as to the approach and benefit realized to date – stay tuned!)
Does Social Media Payoff?
I came across a new study (July 2009) yesterday prepared by WetPaint and Altimeter entitled ENGAGEMENT:db. The study tracks and ranks the top most valuable brands and how they are engaging in social media.
The study included rankings in the Retail, Leisure, Consumer Electronics and Products, Business Services, Food & Beverage, Financial, Apparel, Manufacturing, Auto, Media and Technology industries.
Specifically, they focused on the:
- Depth of engagement – How many channels and how many individuals in the company are engaged in Social Media (Starbucks got the top score of 127 engaging in 11 different channels.
- Engagement Profile – The study defined four profiles:
- Mavens – Engaged in +7 channels w/above average activity (Starbucks and Dell in this category)
- Butterflies – Engaged in +7 channels but with below average activity (American Express and Hyundai here)
- Selectives – Engaged in 6 or less channels w/above average activity (H&M and Philips in this category)
- Wallflowers – Engaged in 6 or less channels but below average activity (McDonalds and BP here)
- Financial Performance – Focusing on a financial correlation between those deeply engaged and those that outperform their peers.
The conclusi0n: Heavy engagement and focus on social media does pay off. The Mavens ended up on top and outperformed the other groups in revenue growth (18%) as well as gross (15%) and net margin growth (4%). As you might expect, the Butterflies came next, followed by the Selectives (although the higher activity kept this group closer to the numbers of the group above), and finally the Wallflowers fell in negative territory.
Although ranking the top 100 brands, the study provided additional insight into four brands including some best practices:
- Starbucks: Deputize people throughout the organization, Understand how each channel provides a different dimension of engagement, Central coordination, Find champions who can explain and mitigate risk
- Toyota: Be in it for the long haul, Pick channels carefully, Spread engagement to employees beyond the Social Media Team
- SAP: Open the platform to everyone and anyone, Encourage employees to tap into Social Media to get work done, Engage in new channels where people already are, Support engagement as an extension of the company culture
- Dell: Be conversational from the start, Make Social Media part of the job, just like email, Modularize and synchronize content across channels
- Engagement via social media is important – and it can be quantified
- What’s in it for me? There does seem to be a correlation between social media engagement and financial performance metrics – revenue / profit
- Emphasize quality, not quantity – fresh relevant content and engagement is king
- To scale engagement, make social media everyone’s job
- Doing it all may not be for you, but do something - ignoring social media risks falling behind
- Find your sweet spot – better to be consistent in fewer channels.
OK … so how does this correlate to the wine industry? There aren’t many wineries with the size and resources of the companies listed above. In fact, many wineries may not even have a marketing person at all let alone a Social Media team available to engage as suggested by the study. Oftentimes the winemaker is also the farmer, owner, chief administrator, spokesperson, tasting room manager, and/or top sales person, not to mention various other potential assignments.
Does that mean there are no lessons to be learned or takeaways for wineries to think about? Not at all.
Manyof these best practises outlined above are already being used successfully by wineries. I can assure you that some of these are in play by the top 50 wineries on Facebook.
So what are the wineries doing:
- Seeking out current and prospective customers
- Engaging them based on their interests and concerns with relevant, consistent and timely content
- Building a dialogue with them in order to better understand and satisfy them
- Keeping the discussion on-going
Eagles Nest Winery of San Diego is a prime example of a winery that understands the value of social media. Dennis Grimes is the winemaker as well as a blogger, a video producer, taster, and administrator of Eagles Nest’s own social network built on Ning. Eagles Nest has a fan page on Facebook and is the #1 winery on Twitter with over 6000 followers, and was recently featured on another blog – Best practices on Twitter: Wine industry.
Wineries may not be able to do things at the same scale, but the benefits are there and the opportunity is waiting.
I expect that over time there will be more and more evidence of the benefits (in revenue and profits) of engaging in social media and networking.
Earlier this month I posted a blog entitled: Wineries using Facebook? You bet!
This was the result of research done on June 23rd and June 24th, 2009 regarding the over 500 wineries that have a presence on Facebook. The data collected reflected observations and information readily available on the winery fan pages of the top 50 winery pages.
The new survey below provides some additional insights from the wineries themselves.
The survey request was sent to each of the identified wineries shortly before the July 4th Holiday and was kept deliberately brief to encourage participation.
Although it would be optimal to have heard from all 50, I am very happy with the 28% response rate I received, particulary since I have no personal connection with these wineries, and so it was very gracious of them to take the time to respond to the survey.
So first let me say: THANK YOU! to all the wineries that responded. (One reason I love the wine business is because of the passion and sense of sharing I see from so many in this industry! )
Note: In several instances percentages do not add up to 100 since multiple responses were possible.
When did you build your winery page on Facebook?
The two highest percentage categories (35.7%) either built their Facebook winery fan page less than 1 year ago or less than six months ago. Another 21.4% more than a year ago, and finally, 7.1% less than 3 months ago.
This is a very interesting piece of data in that the vast majority (+70%) of the respondents of the top 50 winery fan pages were built less than one year ago, suggesting relatively good acceleration in terms of building a fan base.
What activities were used by the winery to help publicize the new Facebook page?
The top activity (71.4%) was through traditional email or newsletter. The next closest activities tying at 57.1% were the placement of a widget or similar on the winery website and messages sent to Facebook fans by winery employees who have their own account on Facebook. Other activities included PPC on another website (7.1%), PPC on Facebook (7.1%), other (28.6%), and finally, no additional activity (7.1%).
How is the Facebook page supported?
The top answer (57.1%) indicated that a single person manages the page, but multiple people participate.Insome cases, these might include shipping department personnel if a shipping question is asked, or a marketing person if there was a question regarding an event or offer. 28.6% assigned a single person with 14.2% having assigned multiple people. None of the respondents supported the page ad hoc.
Which applications on the page seem to be of most interest to your fans?
In the initial research I indicated the various applications implemented on winery Facebook pages (photos, videos, favorites, links, contests, etc.). However, additional insight is needed in order to better understand the effectiveness of these applications.
The top two activities scored the same at 64.3%. These included events and discussions of new offerings.
The other activities of most interest included photos at 57.1%, videos at 35.7%, favorites at 14.3%, and then lastly all at 7.7% – discussions on awards, discussions on methods or processes, and discussions on “green” (wind/solar/water reclamation).
I do believe that a more thorough vetting needs to be done regarding applications and activities.
Perhaps another survey in the future?
Does your winery participate in or use other social media or networking sites?
92.9% of the respondents indicated that they do participate in or on other social media or networking sites. The remaining respondent indicated it would soon setup a presence on Twitter.
Of the 92.9% that do participate elsewhere, 84.6% do so on Twitter, 38.5% have a separate blog, 30.8% participate on Wine2.0, 23.1% on LinkedIn, and 23.1% on the Open Wine Consortium. 7.7% indicated participation elsewhere (MySpace, Flickr).
What benefits have you achieved from investing in a fan page on Facebook?
Finally, the proverbial question that is often asked regarding whether it is worth the effort for a winery to invest in social media. The top answer at 71.4% was gaining a better understanding of and alignment with customers. Following fairly close behind at 64.3% was an increased interest from customers or prospective customers. The remaining responses were increased stories or acticles on the net (28.6%), increased interest from retailers, distributors or importers (14.3%), incremental members in wine club or similar (14.3%), incremental sales (14.3%), identification of new business partners (7.1%), and finally, no benefit has been realized to date (7.1%).
So …. what are some conclusions I may suggest as a result of the survey (in addition to those from the initial research)?
- Social media investment can build results fairly quickly. Case in point, three quarters of the top 50 respondents have built the most fans after having setup the dialogue with their customers (i.e., built their Facebook fan page) less than one year ago. You noticed, I did not suggest a quick direct payback such as incremental sales. Social media does not by any means guarantee immediate or even short term increased sales revenue. However, increased connection and dialogue with customers is significant and beneficial.
- In order to grow fans on the Facebook page, wineries have resorted to a mix of more traditional (email/newsletter) activities and relatively new social media (widgets on website) actions.
- None of the respondents have left the building and maintenance of the page to chance. All have one or multiple people assigned, and most have assigned the job to one person to manage.
- All use one or more applications to help engage their fans. In some cases the simplest and most obvious work the best (photos, events, discussions of new releases).
- Over 90% have invested beyond Facebook (with over 80% also investing in Twitter)
Finally, all of the respondents have indicated that they feel the investment has a value, although a few have not been able to directly tie the benefit to the investment.
Now for some questions:
- Could a winery build a page and accelerate even faster using more non-traditional means? For instance, using more PPC on Facebook itself to attract new fans.
- Would discussions on “green”, biodynamics, or similar draw more interest if the winery is able to identify and seek out potential fans who have strong interests in these topics?
- Can a winery gain higher participation and integration with its actual location, website, and social media presence by focusing on more integration between the three? As an example, prominantly display its fan page at the tasting room on a system and encourage visitors to input their comments and impressions from the tasting / tasting room experience (to the fan page on Facebook), then posting scrolling updates to comments on the website?
- Have all of these wineries focused as highly as they could on setting social media goals and then measuring and adjusting in order to gain a better understanding of the costs and benefits of the activity? Have they fully leveraged the excitement and enthusiasm of their customers whenever possible through testamonials or similar?
There are many additional questions to be asked..and answered. I am hoping that over time and following interaction and dialogue with wineries that have and will invest in social media, that I will be able to report more details in the future.
My sincere thanks to all the wineries that participated in the survey and congratulations to all that made the top 50!