Starting at the 4 minute, 17 second mark of this video interview:
You may want to watch the whole 7 minutes or so, or visit Seth's blog.
Regardless of whether you're currently making use of texting as a winery marketing tool, take a look.
And remember, Twitter = broadcast text messaging, i.e. a single text goes to lots of people ("followers" in Twitter parlance).
Here's the secret.
Hey, what did you expect?
Having just attended the Direct To Consumer Symposium (DTCS) on Tuesday, I can say that everyone wants to know how to forecast the ROI for social media. It seems pretty clear that it's hard to measure (although there are definitely things you can measure, it's not easy to equate them with hard dollars in your bank account).
The big issue for wineries, large and small, is that Twitter (and other social media venues) takes time, which means a person. And that person costs money. And that has to get paid for, somehow. Which brings us back to ROI.
Fundamentally, you either have to believe in social media, or you have to be big enough to afford the experiment.
I tend towards the view that social media has value, but it's primarily the sort of value associated with having a pleasant, competent person answering your phones.
On the other hand, Rick Bakas of St. Supery gave a case study of using Twitter (plus a landing page) to sell 250+ cases of their 2003 Merlot (at $150 a case, including shipping, it was a terrific deal). Of course, he also pointed out that two subsequent offers didn't garner as strong a result. It appears that offers need to be spaced out to avoid "offer fatigue."
(Disclaimer: I bought one of those cases.)
So, how are you trying to make $$$$ with Twitter?
This post from StartupNation.com has several useful ideas for wineries trying to market via Twitter:
I truly believe social media is the future for small business marketing and I hope you can find at least one of these ideas helpful in your efforts to engage online. Always be on the lookout for innovative new ideas to reach your customers and don’t be shy. A sincere, heartfelt, and playful “hello” to your customers will be appreciated more times than not. Just make sure you have the infrastructure in place to monitor, measure, and manage all those new customer interactions.
If your winery is active on Twitter (and even if it's not), take a look.
(And as long as you're at it, please take my 2010 Winery Sales survey. Results will be summarized in a future post.)
Guy Kawasaki, on American Express's OPEN small-business site, interviews Dan Zarella, the author of The Social Media Marketing Book:
In this interview I try to pin him down and tell me when to use specific social media platforms, services and practices to run a business.
If you're trying to decide between Twitter, Facebook, or a blog, take a look at this post.
If you've used Twitter, you've probably seen a hashtag. That is, a hash sign (#) followed by a sequence of characters, e.g. #wine. There's no built-in meaning to hashtags. It's just a textual convention which has become an accepted part of using Twitter. When people use the same hashtag to categorize their tweets, it becomes useful.
For example, Paul Mabray of VinTank has been know to include the hashtag #atomicfireball in his tweets. Who knows what it means? On the other hand, the #redsox hashtag has a pretty obvious meaning, and is used by enough people to break into the "Trending Topics" list you'll see on the right-hand side of your Twitter home page.
If you're curious about ways to use these cryptic constructs to promote your winery more effectively via Twitter, here's a useful and informative article: How to Use Twitter Hashtags for Business
As with all social media forms, Twitter hashtags require an investment of time (and thought) to pay off. The article contains links to some tools and sites which can help.
The University of Washington taught a course this summer entitled Beyond The Fail Whale: How Twitter Is Changing Organizations.
A pretty cool example of how, when social media words, it *really* works.
Twitter Search is the best way to keep tabs on what's being said about your winery/wines on Twitter. You'd be surprised.
Here's a quick introduction from the nice folks at CommonCraft:
Each Twitter Search has its own RSS feed, which means you can keep tabs on lots of distinct searches using your blog reader (e.g. Bloglines.com)
If you've got some additional Twitter Search tricks, please leave a comment.
If you do a Twitter search, you may find that people are talking about your wine:
If they have a hashtag in their tweet (e.g. #smithmadrone), then you can add that hash tag to a tweet of your own, so that it will "group" with those tweets. Presumably, if they tagged it, they're following results.
You can follow them, and hope they follow you back, at which point you can address their question. If your twitter name is "SmithMadrone", it's likely they will follow you (in this case).
And, of course, you can visit their profile and see if you can locate an e-mail or blog address. Time-consuming, though...
Dell Computer makes exclusive offers to people following them on Twitter, makes $1 million.
If you have a Twitter account, under the "Account" tab of your Settings you'll find place to enter a More Info URL. Now most people just enter the URL of their Web site address or their blog. For example, Covered Bridge Cellars Twitter profile links to their blog, as does El Jefe. On the other hand, Sol Rouge links to their winery's home page.