If you are still not sure that the path to resolving your winery’s administrative and marketing woes is Technology (with a capital T), then you should be at the Wine Industry Technology Symposium. The two-day gangbuster of what’s new in info tech and social media is finishing up today at the Napa Marriot, so there is still time to get your questions answered. I got one question answered yesterday: what’s the optimal number of Twitters (Tweets?) to do in order to continuously promote your winery. Three. Three a Day.
It’s a full time job to manage a social media function at a winery. Jennifer Rolander is the Direct Sales Manager for Quivara Winery, Healdsburg CA. Her days consist of time at the computer and more time at the computer. She’s pretty creative and has a kind of friendly focus that might have come from her background in clinical psychology. Grinding out Tweets and managing other social media tools for Quivara is mentally challenging. And then there is the immediacy issue.
“Answering a consumer question in two days just doesn’t do it,” Jennifer said. “Customers want answers NOW.”
That is the dirty little secret of social media management. It’s demanding. Someone must be tasked with the responsibility to pay attention to what’s going on with the chatter, every single minute. It is just not a matter of setting up a page on Facebook and encouraging your wine club members to become your followers. That is just the start. It’s called viral marketing because it is like a virus – the news, good OR bad, spreads from person to person. And as “Bos”, aka Andrew Bosworth, a senior engineering manager for Facebook, said in the session on Embracing Social Media and Commerce , you’ve got to take the risk of giving up complete control of your brand.
This is a tall order when a winery has taken time to build a carefully crafted image. Lots of folks in that conference room want to get into the social media game because it is, after all, free. Isn’t it?