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Developing Your Winery’s Social Media Strategy: Goals

2010 February 9

Part 1

As I wrote this article, I realized that it covered a lot of material. A single post would be enormous and too much to read in one sitting. I decided to break this up into a series of six articles on questions you should ask when developing a social media strategy for your winery. This is the first article in this series on questions to ask when setting your goals.

I talk to a lot of wineries outside of the ones I represent for work. As I said in my previous post, Wine Social Media: Do You Have What It Takes?, many smaller wineries are feeling the need to jump into social media. However, social media has a lot of moving parts and taking the time to develop a plan will increase your chances of success. In addition to determining if you have the necessary skills and knowledge to develop a social media strategy, you should be able to answer some of these questions as you, your marketing department or your consultant start to develop that strategy. These aren’t easy questions to answer and may bring up other underlying issues that could be obstacles to your strategy’s success. Honest answers to these questions will help you develop a workable plan and keep you on track as you implement it.

Questions to Ask When Developing a Winery Social Media Strategy:


What are you trying to accomplish?

GoalsOf the following, which outcome is the most important? Which is least?

  • Increased brand awareness
  • More wine sales
  • Increasing wine club membership
  • Improving customer loyalty
  • Educating your distributors and retailers
  • Finding employees or volunteers
  • Achieving cult, rockstar status

Do all the stakeholders realize that social media does not immediately produce quantifiable results? As a winery, you should be used to waiting a long time to see things come to fruition. Some of these goals could take several months to a couple years to see tangible results. (Some are even more elusive.) Can you live with that, but more importantly…

How committed are you to SM?

Are you just jumping on the bandwagon or are you willing to develop a plan? Your commitment will require time, people and money; I’ll have more questions later that address these resource issues. Social media doesn’t happen overnight, but your customers expect it. Can you consistently deliver, especially when things get hectic? Harvest time offers lots of opportunities for interaction with your followers, but it’s also when you may have the least time to devote to them. How will you handle it?

How does SM fit into your overall marketing strategy?

Social Media is one tool to market your wine. It’s just one of many directions that your marketing plans should be taking you, but it should fit within your overall strategy. In other words, are your SM goal and overall goals in alignment? Don’t do SM to the exclusion of other marketing. Despite the demise of many high-profile magazines and newspapers, print publications for wine are not going away soon. Are you still addressing that audience that still reads magazines? Are you still getting the word out using more traditional methods? Social media doesn’t preclude the need for product sheets, shelf-talkers and the other necessary paper-based materials. Is your winemaker using social media? It’s not a substitute for having your winemaker go out and promote the wines.

Is everyone on the same page?

In talking about your wine, either online or in person, what is the one thing that differentiates your wine from all the others? It might make it easier to have a focus to your efforts if you can condense the talking points about your wine to one word or at least a succinct statement. Does everyone represent your wines the same way? It doesn’t matter that you have focus if the message from your winery isn’t consistent. Figure this out before going online, especially if more than one person is responsible for SM. If everyone is saying something different, your brand power is diminished.

What do you think? Are there other questions wineries should be asking when developing their social media goals?

8 Responses leave one →
  1. February 9, 2010

    Seems like some wineries need to ask, “Why aren’t we doing this? What are we afraid of?”

    Great idea for a series, Eric, I’m looking forward to the next post!

  2. Eric Hwang permalink*
    February 10, 2010

    Here’s a great article that talks about just that topic. What are brands afraid of? I hope to let people learn a little from my experiences.

  3. February 10, 2010

    Eric…extremely well written and to the point. You are right on many points…to start with it is too big for one post.

    Those wineries who take the time to read this need to follow all the articles…from an experienced business person this is excellent advice for any business but especially the fragmented wine industry.

    I recently heard from a high level marketing consultant that over 70% of “new” wine drinkers were 31 years old or younger. This is an important market segment that wineries cannot afford to miss.

    There is an old expression… READY – FIRE – AIM….don’t jump into this without a plan…get every aspect of your business aligned…and if you don’t have the right skill set…get help!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Developing Your Winery’s Social Media Strategy: Audience | Bricks of Wine
  2. Developing Your Winery’s Social Media Strategy: Communities | Bricks of Wine
  3. Developing Your Winery’s Social Media Strategy: Control | Bricks of Wine
  4. Developing Your Winery’s Social Media Strategy: Resources | Bricks of Wine
  5. Developing Your Winery’s Social Media Strategy: Metrics | Bricks of Wine

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