Social Media has been around for a while, but its use and power have really only recently been discovered. Granted, there have been the few smart companies and professionals that have been using these tools since their birth, but for the rest of us, this is all pretty new.
I recently read an article in Harpers Wine & Spirit Trade Review, Wine trade’s use of Twitter is like ‘verbal Prozac,‘ that discussed how Winery’s are using Twitter. According to Burgundy’s School of Business Damien Wilson, many wineries are on twitter, only few are using it successfully. He had conducted research on how wineries are using twitter and his study produced interesting results:
It found that most of the trade’s communication is “a one-way street”, “promoting itself” rather than engaging in conversation with consumers. On the other hand, when consumers tweet about wine they focus on “how wine is part of their lifestyle”.
The key that is missing is the engagement factor. And it is not just wineries, in fact many businesses are missing this key part of twitter (well, really any social media tool). But before I jump onto a soap box, I have decided to do some research to learn a little more about wineries and their relationship with twitter.
Read Write Web wrote an article titled 94% of U.S. Wineries Are On Facebook, 73% on Twitter, that nicely summarized the findings of a study done by ABLE Social Media Marketing regarding winery social media usage. While it showed that wineries are having success from the use of social media tools. To me, the most striking tidbit was what wineries use Facebook and Twitter for:
It’s interesting to see the wine industry using Facebook and Twitter for different reasons. According to the study, Facebook is the superior social media platform for generating sales (48% for Facebook vs. 28% for Twitter). But Twitter is seen as better at capturing media attention (53% for Twitter vs. 32% for Facebook).
Hmm, now this is interesting. Wineries see Twitter as a way to get the attention of a consumer, but not to take it any further – more of a tease. And while this has been a successful tactic for the short-term, I can see that it is not sustainable. (It also gives me more insight into the many articles I have ready by other journalists and bloggers encouraging social media usage for wineries.)
But why fix (er change) something that is not broken. For starters, it is social media, with emphasis on the word ‘social’. When it comes to the Twitter users, these are people who are looking to get information, to share and to engage with others. Twitter is not a one way street for a company to push out its product, but an opportunity to interact with customers. So, while using Twitter to get attention may have grabbed followers at first, if a winery (or any business) is not providing anything of value, then there is no reason for a consumer to stick around. And unfortunately with Twitter, “unfollow” is just as easy as “follow”, one click and the consumer is gone and off to follow someone else.
When a winery commits to any social media tool, it is important to have the mind-set of “go big or go home”. This takes time, some thought and a little planning. And don’t forget commitment.
So, I am going to continue my research and get a good idea of what is going on with wineries in the twitter-verse. In my next post, I am going to look into successful twitter usage by wineries and room for improvement.