Wine Social Media and the End of Average

Social ConnectToday in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman writes about the era of "average" being over: 

"Being average just won’t earn you what it used to. It can’t when so many more employers have so much more access to so much more above average cheap foreign labor, cheap robotics, cheap software, cheap automation and cheap genius."

He's correct, it seems to me. Looking just at the amazing tools now available to wine marketers that are ALSO FREE and you get a sense that everyone does have to work harder. But working harder in wine marketing also means using those amazing tools that are available to all.

Any wine marketer ought to know by now that they can make substantial progress with customers by working with these free tools:


They cost nothing and by dedicating a half hour a day to their use, the winery, retailer and even Business to Business company can gain substantial access to their customers. But what takes LOTS of time is not tweeting or updating a Facebook page or responding to customers on Facebook and Twitter. What takes time is MONITORING your brand on social media.

Enter VinTank's Social Connect.

I've used this service since it was branded as Cruvee upwards of three or four years ago. I've used it to monitor the social media-related activity of clients of Wark Communications, to monitor wine industry trends running through the social media world and to monitor my own brand in the social media milieu. But with Social Connect's recent upgrade, what I, and the rest of the wine industry, now have is a truly robust tool for monitoring wine-specific social media events that impact your brand and niche.

And it's free!

At its most basic, Social Connect gives users the ability to view their social media exposure in the aggregate, while also digging deep into details of folks that are talking about your brand on-line. For now, Social Connect gives wineries and wine business a window into how their brand is being discussed on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, in wine blogs and discussion boards, CellarTracker and other online media where one's brand might be in play.

In addition, one can monitor how exposure of one's brand has increased, decreased and developed over time with handy time-based graphs. I know where my clients are being discussed, what time of day they are most likely to be discussed, what day of the week they are most often discussed and who is discussing them.

In its most robust use, Social Connect is allowing me to identify the degree to which social media discussion of my clients is positive and negative, again showing trends over time.

Much of the Social Connect tools is based on providing a set of keywords that relate to your brand. The setting of these keywords is given a deep dimension by asking users to identify just how much a relationship the words need to have to "wine" in order to deliver results. It's a very flexible tool.

This brief rundown of Social Connect is just that…brief. As I said before it's a very robust tool.

But I want to emphasize that its FREE. There was a time when the best tools business had at their disposal were often only put into use by the larger companies that had the financial resources to utilize them. This advantage is largely gone not just in the wine industry, but in the whole of most business sectors. The playing field continues to be flattened as more free or inexpensive tools that offer extraordinarily robust results.

In the earlier days of the Internet, I used to be known as being very good at ferreting out information buried deeply in the bowels of the Internet. It had to do with a certain intuitiveness I possessed for how certain ideas were talked and written about. I could put search engines to use like nobodies business. This talent brought me work. I no longer have this advantage. Tools like Social Connect have taken that skill and provided it to the masses in my industry without regard to my interests. But that's OK…Social Connect does it far better than I could and makes me a better provider of public relation and media relation services.


13 Responses

  1. Rich Reader - January 25, 2012

    I, too, use VinTank Social Connect to help my winery clients identify matches between visitor intentions (of people planning to come to wine country) with the programs and resources that hospitality directors have at their command that can provide the best visitor experiences and relationship development. Much work remains to be done in scaling the volume and speed of opportunity identification and follow-through, which we can get to by all working together.

  2. Paul Mabray - January 26, 2012

    Thanks so much Tom, we are working hard every day to make the platform easier and more valuable to wineries. It is our passion and we strive to help wineries use the system to help them combine social and digital into their everyday business activities.

  3. Fredric Koeppel - January 26, 2012

    I may have mentioned this before, but after reluctantly going on Twitter and Facebook within a year traffic to my blog had doubled. Used judiciously (in other words, don’t get obsessed), Twitter and Facebook are great marketing tools.

  4. Tim McDonald - January 26, 2012

    I really love the VinTank Social Connect although I know we are only scratching the surface. An extreme tool!!!
    Thanks Paul and team Vin Tank

  5. Tari Donohue - January 26, 2012

    Thanks so much for sharing this resource. I’ll be sharing it with attendees at my Digital Marketing Workshop for Winemakers in Oregon in March
    All you’ve spoken about with regard to carefully planned social media and digital marketing is spot on and urgently essential with the growth in the wine industry-at-large.

  6. Evan Cover - January 26, 2012

    Tari- Thanks for sharing this to your attendees and please let me or the team at VinTank know if we can provide you with any further information and content for your workshop. I can be reached at [email protected]

  7. Kris Chislett - January 26, 2012

    Thanks Tom! I just started using it yesterday based on your article.

  8. Tom Wark - January 26, 2012

    Hang with it. As I said, it’s a pretty dense system that requires use over time and experimentation. But once you have it humming, it provides enlightenment.

  9. Catherine Monahan - January 29, 2012

    Hi there = thanks for this – interesting. Only problem is that they can’t identify any of our many wineries and also we have created bespoke wine brands globally and for the UK and as such are not viewed as a winery – e.g. Le Beast is one of our brands with 3000 twitter followers but we can’t analyse it without having a winery attached called Le Beast. How do you recommend solving these issues?

  10. Paul Mabray - February 2, 2012

    Catherine – can you send an email to [email protected] and [email protected] and we’ll take care of it ASAP.

  11. Javino Tinto - February 9, 2012

    Pretty awesome!!! Thanks for that info I have create my account. Lets see the results. Thanks

  12. Colgan Smith - March 7, 2012

    Very interesting,post.

  13. Cheap wine - April 23, 2012

    I agree with you. Social Media (SM)can separate you from the other winery store. SM can boost your wines visibility to various customers.

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