Social media has become ubiquitous in every industry, and the rewards and necessity of leveraging social media have not gone unnoticed by most wineries. There is an entire culture, online and otherwise, built around wine. People are passionate about wine and they love sharing their experiences and stories on social media. In an industry where 94% of American wineries are on Facebook and 73% are on Twitter, it’s tough for wineries to cut through all the buzz and get noticed. These companies are facing a market that is incredibly saturated, making it increasingly challenging to develop any kind of brand loyalty with their consumers.
Here are 4 tips to help your winery cut through the buzz with social media:
Tell Your Winery’s Story
Wine lovers want more than just a label indicating your wine’s varietal and region, they want a story to engage with. Entice your community and humanize your brand by telling them the story of your winery and products. With over 130,000 new wines launched every year, and most of them actively promoted on social media – you need to cut through the buzz, and create content that will delight and resonate with your community.
On their website, Grgich Hills Estate Winery tells a fascinating story of the history of their winery – dating back to 1923. They also include a timeline celebrating the founder’s life and accomplishments. They recently celebrated Mike Grgich’s 90th birthday with their social media community by sharing new and old photos and stories.
Create a Virtual Vineyard
Visiting a vineyard is an exciting and memorable experience for wine lovers. Create that experience in your social media channels – where the experience is also your brand’s message. Social media gives marketers the tools to help consumers create or revisit that experience, through engaging Facebook and Twitter posts, or beautiful and interesting videos and photographs – and keeps the conversation and the experience going, as well as keeping your brand front of mind.
Argento Wine makes a huge effort to enhance almost all their Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest posts with rich media – YouTube videos, Flickr images, etc. By using this socially curated content, the quality of their posts are enhanced to create a vivid social media experience for their community, and more trafﬁc is driven to the blog via direct social engagement with content originators.
Encourage Feedback & Generate Buzz Around your Winery
Professional critics and connoisseurs are no longer the end all, be all to a wine’s reputation – wine review sites like CellarTracker, allow people to share their post-purchase experiences with other consumers. Encourage customer reviews! This may seem a bit frightening, it’s always tough hearing criticism – but the end result will be worth it – you’ll generate more buzz around your winery, and by listening to your consumer reviews, you can use that information to create a better product.
Become a Wine Industry Thought leader
Become a credible source on everything-to-do-with-wine for your community. Show your thought leadership through sharing helpful content around your industry. Share thoughtful (non-salesy) information on pairing wines with food, recipes, or maybe interesting information about different varietals and regions. By listening to your community, you’ll find out what they’re talking about, and what they’re interested in learning. Sharing useful industry information will put your brand front of mind and build your brand’s credibility within your industry and beyond.
Pacific Rim winery paired up with Grow Creative and Anvil Media to educate consumers on Reisling wines with a website, rieslingrules.com and a book, the “Riesling Rules Book”, in order to build thought leadership around Riesling wines. They have extended the conversation to their facebook group to provide their community with frequent posts and updates on Riesling wines and much more – it has over 30,000 likes.
Is the social media community talking about your winery? What are you doing to jump start the conversation?