The wine industry has been one of the slowest to adopt internet-based technologies and social media platforms with the majority of wineries having small or non-existent social-media profiles.
Wineries can no longer afford to ignore social media as a platform to communicate to their consumers. It presents a priceless opportunity for wineries is to build relationships directly with their consumers, a connection these same consumers desire.
As am sure you are aware, social media marketing is the building of relationships through a social network of fans, followers and connections using relevant and interesting content that allows wineries to reach and engage with more people, build their brand and to drive sales. Today, consumers expect more than the mere product, they want stories and they want engagement.
While wine writers have some influence over wine consumption, their influence is reducing in popularity. The number one reason people purchase a wine is from a recommendation. Social media offers an opportunity for consumers to make and receive peer recommendations of wine through their social networks.
The Winemakers Federation of Australia agrees that “it’s important to remember that engaging through social media isn’t the same as making online sales. You aren’t dealing with people who have specifically come to you to buy something; you’re simply making conversation and building relationships.”
Social media relationships, like any, are not built overnight. Expect a period of six to 12 months to see an impact on sales. Allow time to grow your network, build credibility (social currency) and loyalty. Respond quickly to messages to be a trusted source. If you receive any negative messages, take the responses off-line to a more private forum and seek satisfaction and delight in the resolution.
There are many options available to wineries to build their social platform. We do not recommend you go out and learn all of them and start marketing your brand across many platforms all at once. In reality wineries only need to focus on one or two. Initially make a decision on which platform or platforms to use based on what is right for your winery and which consumers you wish to attract. Lastly, when you decide to start be sure to you stay consistent and regular. This will generate the best results in the short and long term.