For Wine Industry Social Media Success…You Need a Blog

BlogThe winery or wine related business that adopts social media as part of its marketing strategy, but doesn't include a blog in that strategy, is probably wasting a good deal of time and, down the road, will likely be disappointed with the results of its social media strategy.

That's a fact. And here is why.

The first rule of business, is to do business. The point of any marketing communication effort is to draw the attention of your prospective customer or current customer or former customer to your business—your product or service. We do this primarily today digitally, via email, our websites, Twitter, Facebook.

Social Media communication through tools like Facebook and Twitter ask the target reader to pay attention. "Pay attetnion to my thoughts, ideas and observations"  -  "Hey, pay attention and look at this neat picture of my dog."  -  "Goodness, click here and look at this great article."  -  "Look over there at this comment I really like."

At some point, you better be telling your customers and prospects to pay attention to your OWN product or service, and not just something that someone else said or wrote. That's where the long-form blog comes in. And if you don't have a format through which you can log and update fresh, long-form information about your brand, product, service or business philosophy, then your social media efforts will end up being an island of signs directing people to points on the globe where you do not reside.

The business value of a social media strategy that points people to things, people and places you don't control or sell is limited.

You could forgo the traditional blog and build a website around your business and service that is easily updated with freshly published information about your product, service or business philosophy. But let's face it, that's a traditional business blog format, isn't it.

The fact is, 99% of folks build their business website, populate it with basic, self reverential information about their product and service, throw in some contact info, and call it a day. I'd argue that this approach to building an on-line outpost for your business is critical if only because that's what people expect and want: easy-to-access, stationary, consistent background on your product or service.

But you can only use social media tools like Twitter and Facebook to point them back to this never-changing information for so long before your twitter posts start to look like this:

"I still haven't changed my winemaker's bio because we still have the same winemaker. Please read again."

The blog is the remedy.

Once you start regularly adding new, self-published content on a digital platform you control, you create real, useful, marketing materials that give your followers and friends (customers and prospects) reason to return to where you live and breath…and sell.

I'm seeing a huge number of wine related business using Twitter and Facebook to promote everything but themselves. I see them pointing people to articles by bloggers and wine publications and journals and magazines. I see them thanking others for following them on Twitter. I see them riffing on the weather. I see them, often in 140 characters, trying to explain why they are happy to be at work…because they love their work.

What I don't see often enough from wine-related businesses on social media platforms is the link back to a new, self-published missive on where to stay when visiting their wine region, how they chose to change their chardonnay style,  a fun couple that landed in their tasting room, the reason for a roll out of newly created product or service, or even the new kittens birthed by the winery cat.

Getting customers and prospects to pay attention to fresh, inward pointing, useful (or just interesting) self published (and hence, self controlled) content that helps define your brand must be a primary goal of wine industry social media efforts.


6 Responses

  1. Andrea - June 26, 2012

    AMEN–Tom. If only certain people would listen … 😉

  2. Alana Gentry - June 26, 2012

    I agree. Well written and timely for a website & blog that I’m building right now! Fortunately the owner gets it so I think he’ll be a big success. PS: I just discovered that you graduated from HSU. I was there at the same time. 🙂 Small world.

  3. SUAMW - June 26, 2012

    Blogging is dead, dontchaknow?
    Many wineries have blogs. Not many know how to use them to engage [which?] customers or what to expect from the blogs. I would be curious to see how you can tie time spent blogging and amount published to sales.
    Blogs will not create many new customers. Those customers who have kids and are in your wine club probably don’t have time to read blogs. Baby boomer empty nesters are probably not big on social media and blogs. That leaves gen-y/millennials. Curious if it can be demonstrated how many of this demographic can be captured as steady/return customers….

  4. Tom Wark - June 26, 2012

    Certainly the blog and social media alone is an iffy marketing strategy to begin with. However, it is not too difficult to engage your customers (whether winery, service or other product marketer in the industry) through savvy content marketing. But to do that, you need changing content.
    As for the vaunted millennials, unless you are a winery producing fairly inexpensive wines and a lot of them, I’m not sure how smart is is to go after sales among this generation of Americans. They buy far less than the Boomers and GenXers. They won’t pay as much either.
    On the other hand, GenXers and Boomers do still tend to read in the long form more often than youngsters.
    This blog is read primarily by folks 35 years and older. It serves as a wonderful marketing tool for me and Wark Communications. And this blog is quite often promoted via social media.

  5. Mike Meisner - June 27, 2012

    Double AMEN.
    I am still amazed at the lack of interest that most wineries have towards blogging. They seem to think of their website as a place to host large images, with hardly any copy to distract visitors.
    I routinely explain to clients that a blog allows them to write about anything – wine club events, new releases, interviews with the winemaker, vineyard updates…it’s a great way to build up site content, which also helps with SEO and brings more exposure to their brand.
    Keep pushing the message. It’s important for the industry to wake up to New Marketing, especially basic strategies like this.

  6. Fiddlehead wine - August 6, 2012

    your blog is too much good because your view are interested and this the fact that all are doing business in market now days and all thinking about only gain so this is not a good thing from my view

Leave a Reply