Last week, we wrote about the advantages we see in using Social Media Marketing and why it is a central part of our Marketing plan. Thank you to everyone who commented back and shared the blog on their media. We don’t usually like to write long blogs so we ran out of space to write about what have been our important learnings from a couple of years steady work in Social media.
So here is our 6 “top tips” for Wine social media marketing:-
1. Develop a Strategy.
This item is number 1 because it is THE number one item to be considered. We talk a lot about this in our Leadership blogs and we need to talk about it here. We see so many small (wine and other) companies using social media as an extension of their marketing work without a specific plan, getting frustrated with their results and then abandoning their efforts and media in full view of the world.
We cannot stress enough the importance of knowing what you want your business / market to look like and where / how social media will help you achieve that. This should then make you decide:-
- how much time and the frequency you are going to invest
- what social media tools you are going to use
- how you are going to use each tool
- what are your marketing objectives from using social media
2. Get Professional help and advice
It seems intelligent logic that because 1 in every 13 people on this planet is “using” some version of Social Media that you can become part of the excited crowd and you will have happy customers for life! WRONG!!
Most social media are well adapted for general social communication, sharing information, media etc. Making it work for your business is very different. You want to stand out from the crowd, not be part of it! To make this happen and help you develop and use the available tools to achieve the best results, you will need professional help and training. For us we have been fortunate to have the amazing help of Zoe Wyatt of Social Media Short Cut who leads the Social Media Success Squad at The Creative Collective.
Wine producers, when you first started – did you just plant some vines and start fermenting in the first vessel that came to hand? I doubt it (and I hope not!) – you sought help and experience. Social Media Marketing is the same.
3. More dialogue, less broadcast and target
Because much of social media looks like a world of people just broadcasting media to anyone and everyone that might want to listen, it is an error to think that this is the model one should follow. Yes, there is a need to promote one’s material to a wide audience of people in order to attract new customers and partners. But the unique feature of Social Media is that it gives us not only the opportunity to find new friends and customers but also to talk directly to our existing customers in a manner which has never been available before. We can choose to send different media to specific audiences depending on what they want and when they want to hear it! Even better still, we can open up a discussion, obtain service feedback and learn how to improve their experience of our product.
In short, think of ways to have discussions with your current and future clients. Ask them what they think!
4. Choose your tools and focus
Every week, there is a new social media product or tool available. Don’t try to use everything! Once you have your plan organised, decide which tools are going to give you the best leverage of your time. Also work out which media your customers are using, then go and join them there.
Once you have some engagement and dialogue, stay there and maximise the use of those specific media. Also find and use tools such as Hootsuite that give you a good overview of the different media you are using and allow you to optimise your time involvement.
Be careful too not to publish the same material on all media! 140 characters of rich text on Twitter can be very effective but if simultaneously broadcast and “dropped in” to Facebook, it will look awful.
5. Study the feedback
Another big advantage of the Social Media world is that you can always see what is going on. You can get feedback on each post and everything you do. Study your Google analytics, Facebook Insights, etc and learn what your customers liked and didn’t like. Adjust your tactical plans to suit what your market wants. If they like more pictures, give them pictures and build your brand. If they like a full and open dialogue on your blog about your winemaking, talk to them about that.
And if something isn’t working, change it. Try new initiatives. Ask your audience if they want something new. And work out what success looks like.
6. Do not expect overnight success
Building a brand or product position in a market is not a “quick process”. It’s a marathon not a sprint. Your traditional marketing required consistent steady effort. Social media is the same only different in its approach and ability to more closely engage our customers.
We see so many people start all enthusiastic, collect the support of their personal friends and then when the flow of support stops, so do they. You have to push on – that’s when you really learn about your market and customers.
Remember that internet media is very very public! That means that if you start something but don’t continue, what you started is still there and visible t all. An abandoned or poorly used social media tool is still in full public view if you are not looking at. That can send out an even worse message about your brand and products. When your second harvest didn’t go to plan, did you give up and walk away from the vineyard? No, you stayed, you adapted and you made it a success – the same reward process applies to social media marketing.
To conclude, please never think and believe that Social Media is a “silver bullet” that will fix your sales and marketing for ever. It won’t! But with a well thought out plan and consistent sustained effort, it will create a lot of good opportunities, a loyal customer base that can lead you to a better overall business. Good luck….