For social media success, do what the wine industry does
by CraigColgan, Performer
- Created: December 1, 2009, 10:15 am
Producers, distributors, marketers,
equipment manufacturers, and representatives from just about every area of the
domestic wine industry have embraced social media strategies with plenty of
enthusiasm. What have been the results of this emergence in such accessible
technology that is still new but clearly powerful? And what does it mean for
the rest of us?
Here are five ways you can benefit
from what the online wine world has accomplished. In short, do what they do:
1. Boost your involvement in a trade
group. What could be more
thrilling! Hey, whatever the field, we all love schlepping to annual national
association conferences and trade shows, right? (Is it in Vegas this year?
Then, no. We don't.) But what if the new paradigm for what is too often less than
thrilling suddenly seemed engaging and fun? Would you go more often, make
more contacts throughout your field or industry, or at least find more
motivation to participate in face-to-face events? Users of social media are
transforming that experience, in many fields.
A great example is the second annual
in New York City a couple weeks ago, where more than 1,000 people connected
around all manner of new ideas and digital sales strategies for the wine
industry. And just had a good time, apparently. But more trade groups of all
types are making use of Web social networking technology to boost participation
in and value of live events. When you can easily connect with an active community
online throughout the year, showing up in person seems easier and, well, even
2. Find your community online. Wine groups online, formal and otherwise, are multiplying
fast. They mix consumers with industry people, experts with amateurs, serious
and silly. One of those is TasteLive!,* which describes itself as 'a direct link between
consumers and winemakers, no filter, no middle man. Never before have consumers
had the ability to directly interact with the producers making wine and beer no
matter where they are in the world.' Think about that: Never before.
3. Can't find an online community
that suits you? Create your own.
Facebook and Twitter are among the few leading first-generation social Web
tools that have drawn such wide participation because of not only their vast
reach but for their capacity to quickly build small communities as well. One
example is Twitter's new high-end tool with the fancy name: 'Lists.'
Twitter wine-focused lists are everywhere. Connect to one or two or 10 that
have already been created, or start your own. A couple searches, and there you
are. Then just like that you can interact with those passionate about what you
are passionate about. In seconds.
4. Become an instant expert. This is one I have been critical of, since the Web makes it
so astonishingly easy to create the image, real and otherwise, that you are a
noted force on your subject, field, industry, business, whatever. But made use
of in a way that is, well, sane, the power of this characteristic of the social
Web cannot be denied. Many wine-oriented sites are gorgeous, smart, engaging.
One of our favorites is Vinography,* which has deservedly won a slew of awards. Not a great
touter of your brilliance? Then get good at sharing what you are learning. That
tactic alone, using any social tool out there, will earn you followers and
friends and commenters. And the value of all this is simple: Socializing and
networking and connecting brings value to you when there is a big value-add to
the world. So get blogging on what you know. Check out this post from the Small Business Matters blog on getting started.
5. Be an informer. Not a meformer. The Miami Herald reports* on a new study that reveals the two types of Twitter
users: 'The majority, or 80 percent, were what the researchers called
'meformers' -- Twitter users who sent out messages that revolved around
themselves, updating others about their activities or sharing thoughts and
feelings. The other 20 percent are 'informers' -- people who were actually
sharing information. Not surprisingly, the informers tended to have larger
social networks and be more interactive.' Online wine lovers, regardless
of the type of site they are using, love to share and share and share. Links,
gossip, news, knowledge, opinions, tips, advice. Be an informer. And you'll
benefit big from social media use.
Craig Colgan is a writer and blogger covering technology and
media based in Washington, D.C. Find him on the web at CraigColgan.com. Follow
him on Twitter: @ccwriter. His email address is craigcolgan (at) ymail.com.
link is to a non-government site.
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