Early last year in an article on the news website Techcrunch, contributor Tom Goodwin penned the now very popular statement “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles.
Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. This begs the question, “How is the wine industry doing in social media?”
In general, the wine industry has very positive sales experiences when social media is engaged correctly.
A great pairing — wine and social media
Wine and food are products we consume and, more importantly, experience. I am sure you have seen many amazing photos of dishes filling your social media feed from time to time, showing what folks are experiencing. This is the people-to-people interaction. Indeed, images of people enjoying wine on social media have prompted many requests for me to source wines.
How many of you “follow” your favourite wine or spirits brand on any platform? I ‘follow’ most of the major wine producers in order to see how they engage with the market and their consumers; it is a really great way to get to know the producer. If done right, it can produce really great social and financial results. Take the well-documented example in 2008, of the successful campaign launched by the South African winery Stormhoeck. The winery contacted wine bloggers over 21 years of age and with at least three months of blogging experience and asked if they wanted to receive a bottle of wine to taste. There was no requirement that the bloggers had to write about the wine. However, six months later, over 100 bloggers published tasting notes and mentioned the wine on blogs all over the world. Stormhoeck then hosted a series of wine dinners in the UK, Spain, and the US to encourage personal interaction with the bloggers and prospective customers. The result was that wine sales increased from 50,000 cases a year to 300,000! In addition, Microsoft contracted with Stormhoeck to create a special wine for its 79,000 employees in 102 countries. Many other examples are available online.
Select Brands, Wray & Nephew, and CPJ digitally ahead