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Getting on board the social media train

2009 June 30

Earlier, I wrote about why wineries should use social media. Now I want to discuss how you get started.

If you aren’t already onboard the social media train, well, you better climb on and find a seat, otherwise, by the time you come to your senses, you’ll be left behind. So what do you need to do if you aren’t using SM or even if you’re not quite ready to take that ride. Here are three things that I believe are essential to get started:

  1. Secure your name – remember in the 90’s when people were scrambling to get a good domain name? Hopefully, you got the name you wanted. However, it’s happening all over again in the social media world. The longer you wait, the greater the chance that your brand can be claimed already. If your winery has a unique name, you probably won’t have as many problems securing the name you want. However, if your name is common, don’t believe you’ll easily get the name you want on popular platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. Even if you’re not planning on being active in the very near future, park on your name now to ensure you’ll have it later.
  2. Manage your brand – You need to know what is being said online about you and your winery. Comments, good or bad, can spread like wildfire and you need to stay on top of anything that will affect your brand. To monitor Twitter, you could use Twitter Search, but unless you’re aware of something specific happening, I’m sure you don’t want to run a search every few hours. Instead, use Twilert and set up a keyword alert that sends you an email daily, weekly or (yikes) monthly. To monitor blog and other platforms, set up a Google Alert to email you daily, weekly or as it happens.
  3. Have a plan – You probably didn’t go into business without some sort of plan and you can’t start a social media campaign without one either. Since creating a SM plan is a significant undertaking, it would be difficult to go into all the details, but basically, having a plan will help define your goals, determine your voice and message, help measure your effectiveness, and keep you on track. If you’re sharing your SM responsibility with others, it will help everyone stay consistent in their messaging. Create your plan before you start generating content or participating on various platforms.

This is just the start. There’s a lot more you can do, but I’ll save that for a later post.

Are you a winery already actively involved in social media? What worked for you? Any tips you care to share? Leave a comment.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. July 24, 2009

    I think the most important thing is to take your time as well. Social media takes time, expecting overnight results from any marketing campaign doesn’t make sense.

    Use social media like a cold call and it could be very successful.

  2. Eric Hwang permalink*
    August 3, 2009

    Social media is something companies should do for long-term results. Its benefits can rarely be measured in revenue or page hits and is often hard to justify to management because of this. Success can sometimes only be measured in the conversations generated and not in dollars. Wineries should be realistic about their expectations and view social media more for brand management than for direct sales results. It’s up to the person in charge of a winery’s social media strategy to manage these expectations.

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