3 Thoughts on How to Rock Your Social Media (Wine) Presence

Here I am, this is me…as Bryan Adams sing.

This is the first article in my new Wine&Social series on my blog where I will write about how to use social media in the wine world. However, this is not at all going to be about me, but about YOU.

The idea of creating a Wine&Social section came to me during the past year when I have been so lucky as to be able to travel around and visit wineries and wine events in many parts of Italy, and meet a lot of people. I realized that I wanted to share the things I have learned and my experiences with using social media in connection to wine. I am very grateful for all those fantastic mentors, such as Kelly Hungerford, Robert Moore, and Bryan Kramer, who have helped me and shared their knowledge with me during the last years. Thus, I feel that I want to do the same here. I will publish an article on the first Thursday of every month. Every week I will furthermore try and do at least one short Periscope or Facebook Live where I will discuss wine and social media from different perspectives. The Italian translation of the article will be up and ready tomorrow.

This first article will be a bit ’philosophical’ in order to better explain my ideas and thoughts. In the future, I will give more hands-on suggestions and tips.

Wine in Italy

Wine is, indeed, serious or let us say one of the most important Made in Italy businesses today. The statistics from 2015, has told us that Italy is the number one producer of wine in the world with 49 million hectolitres, which corresponds to 18% of the world production. (See the blog, I Numeri Del Vino). According to Silvana Ballotta from Business Strategies in the article Sfide e percorsi della promozione del vino italiano nel mondo, the export of Italian wineries is still not fully reaching its potential. She stresses that the problem often tends to be language barriers and a lack of linguistic preparation and cultural know-how from the Italian side. Though language and cultural know-how might only be a small part of the final sealing of the deal, I still believe it has an important impact on how your brand ultimately is viewed. With this in mind, I will continue below with three different areas that can seem to not link much together but that for me are important to talk about in my first Wine&Social article.

1. Creating a Social Grape

”Can Grapes Be Social?” is the question I asked in a post on Instagram the other day. Of course, you might think it is a weird question as grapes are grapes and not a human creature. However, the point I wanted to arrive at is that it is all a matter of perspective, i.e. how you instrumentalize the grape or the wine in the story you are telling. Grapes are not social per sé, but they can be personalized and used in order to tell a story about, for example, a winery. Here I am not further going to talk in-depth about narrative theory, however, if we use grapes as a sort of character in a story it will also be interesting further on to talk about different narrative structures for our storytelling.

We have thus concluded that grapes, vines, barrels, wine, etc. can be used in storytelling and, in fact, it could be a very interesting way for wine producers to create a sort of ‘the other’ narrative. Are you with me? Now, I am not claiming the ‘other’ here to be on a level with the ‘East’ (as coined by Edward W. Said) and neither to have as negative connotations, but rather on a more simple level and with a very positive influence. In this context, the ‘other’ can be seen as a way to move away from the dominating ‘me’ (or ‘selfie’) perspective and try to alternate with a more subtle narrative about the things going on at the core of a winery or a wine business. Everything ought to be created with the reader, or the fan/client, in mind. Where do we start…?

2. Creating a Social Media (Wine) Strategy

…well, we need to start with a strategy. As we are approaching a new year, we all start reviewing and thinking about updating our goals and strategies. Even to create one from scratch, the steps are more or less the same, even though it might be a bit more of work. A strategy is a must also in the wine business in order to have good content and to be consistent in giving value. To create a strategy, the steps below are important.

  • Define your goals
  • Analyze your current social media presence (all channels)
  • Create a content plan

Ultimately, as you start posting and engaging according to your content plan you can continuously measure and adjust your strategy. Nothing is written in stone. We all make mistakes, discover what works and what does not work, we all evolve and learn more. Therefore, it is very important to try new things and to adjust yourself to what your audience, or your tribe, wants.

3. Creating your Millesimato Tribe (or perhaps your Mosto Fiore Tribe)

So social media should be thought of as a tool to reach a business goal, and as mentioned before you need to have thought through and defined your primary goals. One of those goals could be to reach old and new fans or customers, to build trust with them and cherish them so they become your tribe who engage with you and support you. Mark Schaefer, an American Author and Social Media Strategy Consultant, says in his book The Content Code that “Trust is the launch code for the Alpha Audience rocket.” So here you have it; to build trust is fundamental to build your, so-called, Millesimato Tribe. The most precious people to you. This takes a lot of work and is not always easy. “How do I do this?”, you might think… I am not going to reveal all the steps and goodies today, though. I will only briefly mention that to build a Millesimato Tribe you need to Be You and give of yourself. Furthermore, it takes patience, strategy, social listening, sharing and supporting your tribe, giving value, sharing experiences, having continuous conversations, and so forth.

To Conclude…

The structure in this first article can seem a bit scattered. My point is that I wanted to highlight a couple of important theories or concepts to start with when talking about a social media (wine) presence. So I hope you enjoyed the reading and in the next article we will get into more practical tips and tricks.

Written by Katarina Andersson.

Originally published at www.grapevineadventures.com on December 1, 2016.

PhD, Wine Writer, Sommelier, Social Media Strategist for Wineries, Translator, founder of #WinesOfItaly #LiveStream-every Wedn 19.00CET/10amPT-Football fan

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