Category: Wine 2.0 Consulting Services


I’ve said it two years ago, repeated it last year and, at the risk of being redundant, feel compelled to say it again. Oh hold it – Alder Yarrow just said it on his wonderful Vinography blog post and why fuss with perfection. If your eyeballs have yet to stick to his ‘Social Media and the Wine Industry – A New Era’ post, it’s a must read:

[ brain activate finger - click here - and get ready to focus ]

My point, and his shared view, is fundamentally simple: if you’re not using social media to market and sell your wine you simply won’t market as well or sell as much as those who are. What’s not so simple however is how to do it right and, if you can’t get it right, you’re spinning your wheels.

If you don’t get social media and you don’t get how to integrate it into your strategic marketing plan and you don’t get how to leverage its power and reach, hire someone who does. There’s plenty of people out there who specialize in helping wineries figure it all out. Make sure however that they know how to repurpose the content you’ve already developed for your more traditional channels for the web so you can do more with less. The longer you wait to not only embrace it but figure out how to really do it right, the more money you’re leaving on the table for your competitors to slurp up.

The most efficient and the most cost effective way to build brand awareness, consideration and demand is to smartly execute social media in an integrated and systematic fashion. But, please do look before you jump. For optimal results, you need a rock-solid social media strategy that dovetails with and feeds into your content marketing and organic SEO strategies.

Don’t set up yet another social media profile — yes, I can hear you thinking ‘oh what’s this Pinterest thing?’ —  without first putting on your thinking cap. Good news is it’s not rocket science but it does require a considerable amount of strategic thinking. If you’re more of a doer than a thinker, consider hiring someone who is left brained to work with you.

My next blog posts will explore the key building blocks in constructing a rock-solid online marketing foundation for your brand. In the interim, if you’re an impatient type, I invite you to visit our partner site, Building a Sound Foundation and lay your eyeballs on  the ‘You Need a Strategy Dammit not Another Social Media Profile’ blog post.

In the words of a mighty smart fella, Abraham Lincoln, if you give me 6 hours to chop down a tree, I will spend 4 hours sharpening the axe. Let the sharpening begin.

 

“For a civilization to flourish, man must plant trees under whose shade he will never sit.” ~ ancient Greek proverb

To successfully build an online community of adoring fans for your brand, you must not only plant seeds in social media — whether it be commenting on Facebook customer posts, responding to a tweet about your brand, or engaging with your prospects and customers by posting original compelling and magnetic content that is not self-promoting — but you must also adopt practices that generate good karma.  Too often I see wineries making a fatal blunder on their Facebook pages, posting only content about their brands, wine scores, upcoming events, etc. and not responding to comments and posts made by others, whether prospects or existing customers.  Is this because wineries are understaffed and too busy or is it because they just don’t get the entire concept of online engagement?  Regardless of the answer, by neglecting to engage wineries are leaving money on the table and not leveraging the true power of social media to extend their customer reach and retention.

So how does one go about getting good karma, you know that give a little, get a little concept of what goes around comes around?  The good news is the answer is very simple: you seek to make a difference by giving back and helping others.

A personal story best illustrates this point.  A few weeks ago, I saw a Facebook post a friend had shared on MyWineWords, a social media forum for winos like myself.  Intrigued, I checked out the website, loved the fluid integration with social media platforms, and signed up as a member using my Facebook credentials (all of this is free btw).  I was anxious to share this great site with my other wino buds, so I tried to send them an invite using MyWineWord’s “invite your friends” functionality.  Not sure if it was me or the fact that I was drinking tad too much good Buttonwood Cab Franc that night, but I ran into trouble inviting folks so I sent MyWineWord’s founder, Allie Merrick, a ‘help’ email at 9 p.m. She immediately responded — even though on east coast — with instructions for my ole soggy brain on how to use invite and invite I did!  But the story doesn’t end there.

Being a woman business owner, I tend to gravitate to helping others who are in my same boat.  I also dig the creative process developing 1st-to-market innovative ideas that have landing gears as well as wings.  Allie and I struck up a virtual conversation about ways in which she could build out her mywinewords.com site and I gave her my 2 cents regarding a vision I had for building online Wine Lounges for wine club members to sip, savor and share. Long story short — albeit may be bit late for that! — Allie and I have now struck up not only a collaborative business partnership but also a virtual friendship.  And I attribute this newly discovered opportunity to good karma, as I planted a tree at MyWineWords even though, at the time, I was not envisioning sitting under its shade.

In a recent article in Fast Company’s new column, Life in Beta, author Anya Kamenetz provocatively writes on the case for generosity and the Internet’s potential to unlock our natural impulse to share goals and on a new global economy built on the kindness of strangers.  She describes how the Internet and social media are changing human relationships and maybe even human nature but not in a bad way, rather in a positive one.  I agree with her that the Internet can indeed unleash acts of generosity and true connection. And, the truth that anyone who goes online takes advantage of the kindness of strangers.

Sociologists attribute the desire to contribute to online communities to a ‘reputation economy’ in which people gain self-esteem and standing by giving away their time and opinion.  Indeed, information is the thing people will share most readily, followed by time, followed by goods.  A slew of new innovative websites are being cultivated to facilitate the giving away of goods and services, with these hubs translating the principles of sharing from the virtual to the real world.  See for example couchsurfing.org, giftflow.org, ourgoods.org, sparked.com, thredup.com, blog.p2pfoundation.net and collaborativeconsumption.com.

Today it’s easier that ever to give away something that’s of little value to you but perhaps of considerable value to someone else wherever in the world that person might be and thereby generate good karma! For me, just knowing that this is possible because I have lived it makes me more likely to dive into the reputation economy, to continue giving back and to really make a difference. Isn’t that what life is all about?

Without a doubt!  I received the post below from Hubspot today, my fav inbound marketing company, and I wanted to elaborate on this topic and also bring their blog to your busy eyeballs. I’ve been doing research on this because a few of my clients have been asking for help with search engine optimization (SEO).  The goal of SEO has always been that we have to place high in keyword search.  Now, it seems that Google has changed its algorithm (albeit I hold no grudges because, as is evident in past blogs and on my website, IMHO Google Apps is a no-brainer IT solution and those not leveraging Google are spending too much time and $ on IT but I digress …).

Here’s the big news:  Google announced yesterday that is has upgraded its search engine to include social results for users signed into their Google accounts. This means that people will start seeing search results from their friends on Twitter, Blogger, Flickr, LinkedIn, etc.  Ironic that this all comes on the heels of Facebook also rolling out a major upgrade.

Anyhoo, this is going to be really really big.  I’ve already seen Facebook pages rank high in organic search results for my clients and not only on Google but also Yahoo and Bing and I’ve managed to sneak smaller fish into the big pond because we’ve nabbed a keyword and used that in our Facebook user-friendly URL.  BTW, if you haven’t already gotten a user-friendly Facebook URL (e.g., www.facebook.com/NextGenVITConsulting) you should jump on this ASAP and – FREE SEO HINT HEREuse your targeted keyword in your URL before your competition does.  Note you need 25 LIKES on your page before this option becomes available in your Facebook account manager.

And here’s Hubspot’s 2 cents:

Rank Doesn’t Matter Anymore
With this latest update from Google, rank officially died as a metric for businesses to obsess over. It now doesn’t matter if you rank in the top slot for a certain keyword, because Google is quickly scaling personalized and social search. This means that everyone who searches will see a different page of results, based on their location, search history and their connections across the social web.

Marketing Takeaway
Stop obsessing over rank and keyword stuffing. Instead, focus your time and effort on creating amazing blog content and distributing it through social media. Develop strategies and prioritize engagement on each social platform to help build reach that brings organic search traffic to your website.

For a full understanding of these new changes, watch the new video explaining social search improvements from Google on the link below.

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/9778/Google-Launches-A-More-Social-Search.aspx#ixzz1EKOal0Pe

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