Wine Talk

Snooth User: bradleyatmjr

Social Media and Wine Brands - only 47% are on niche sites like Snooth.

Posted by bradleyatmjr, May 29, 2012.

"94% of American wineries surveyed by ABLE Social Media Marketing are on Facebook and 73% are on Twitter. The study, done in December 2011, shows that American wineries are active in social media and that it's producing results. 47% of US wineries said that Facebook helps them generate sales (72% sell wine on their website). "

Interestingly, only about 47% are on Snooth or other wine-specific social media sites (Snooth was tops at 33%, CellarTracker and Vintank come second and third respectively).



Reply by dmcker, May 29, 2012.

Hey there, Bradley. Looks like you're in the branding business over in the midst of mass-manufactured big-business plonk in California's Central Valley. Good to have that perspective, as well, in the Forum.

And interesting statsitics about social media usage by US wineries. Haven't downloaded the full survey results yet, but are those figures for all wineries across the US? Wonder if the percentages would be different in anyway within CA, OR and WA, which have entirely different wine cultures and a different critical mass to the other states. Was there any comparison between social media marketing efforts and those involving oldskool print media and local advertising?

Not surprising that FB and Twitter have such preponderence, considering their overall place in the lives of even the vox populi portion of the digerati, whether they only consume wine or happen to make it. Can't help but wonder if those aren't viewed as somewhat neutral platforms and more no-brainer choices (with wider if less-targeted reach), while the wine-specific sites like Snooth are much closer to the feelings, likes and dislikes of the people making wine and therefore require another decision before the trigger is pulled. Cost may also be an issue, of course. ;-)

Also wonder if any of the wineries are following up demanding metrics regarding the effectiveness of those platforms in building sentiment and creating conversions. Seems like a potentially lucrative niche for someone in your area of business!

Would love to hear more analysis from you on this and any other subject. Welcome to Snooth!

Reply by bradleyatmjr, May 29, 2012.

Hola dmcker! While the Central Valley is certainly known for volume production of wine and is dominated by large producers, I would never use the characteristics of a region to limit the perspective an individual can offer to a forum such as Snooth. 

I have had the luxury of working with clients all over the world, in not just the wine industry, but food and agriculture as well, so perhaps you'll forgive me a broader view :-)

The stats came from a report released in March - a survey of 528 wineries in the US (and including some in France). I do not see any regionalized data, but anecdotal observation on my part points to strong  participation from all the regions you mention. The study was pretty focused, and did not draw comparisons to traditional media utilization.

In reference to your thoughts abouts Twitter and Facebook being the default choices, I completely agree. The infrastructure is familiar, and the potential reach is significant. However, I see a slowly emerging trend to niche social platforms like Snooth, as people tire of broadcasting to the world and instead look to a more focused community. We'll see if that trend continues and helps foster the growth of more options than the standard Twitter/Facebook/Newsletter marketing trio.

Bandwidth is in short supply too - referring to the bandwidth of a winery to participate in more than one or two social spaces -- it takes a great deal of time and consistent effort.  There are ways to manage that time committment, we help clients be efficient and appropriate.

You are correct that wineries are looking to quantify their efforts in social. Ultimately, case sales is the final arbiter, but wine is ultimately an experience shared between the winemaker and the wine lover, so the value of that relationship extends beyond dollars.

Thanks for the opportunity to talk on the topic a bit more, I very much appreciate your response. I look forward to more discussion!

Reply by steve16046, May 31, 2012.

I am someone who is not in the wine business, but utilize social media such as Twitter.  I am not one who regularly tweets anything (who cares what I have to say...ha), but I like to follow Sommeliers, wine blogs, wineries and winemakers on Twitter.  Over the past year, there have been wineries who have started following me on Twitter, many of which I never heard of.  When this happens, I usually look to their website to see who they are, where they are located, wines...etc.  I have found some very interesting and intriguing wineries and I have gone out and purchased some of their wines.  In addition, while travelling Sonoma and Napa last year, we stopped in about a handful of those wineries, purchased wine and even joined some wine clubs.

Just an outsider perspective on the potential effectiveness of Social Media (not that what I said is groundbreaking). 


Reply by bradleyatmjr, May 31, 2012.

Steve16046: The way you use twitter is not uncommon. and you are a perfect example of the power of Twitter's reach. You are also a perfect example of why wineries and brands should not be overly concerned about their follower count -- most people who follow a twitter account do so because they are actually interested in that person and/or what they have to say. Its not about quantity of followers, its about the quality.

Thank you also for demonstrating how people act upon their twitter experiences. I too have made travel and purchase choices from information I hav e gathered from twitter. It is a very powerful medium.


Reply by superab, Jun 6, 2012.

Fascinating thread. I was recently takling to the family who run a family owned, boutique winery in Australia about how to increase their exposure. I'm not sure what is happening in American or elsewhere but in Australia the 2 main supermarket chains have started their own wine chains (Dan Murphys and 1st choice) and are expanding these very rapidly. Not only do they put pressure on the wineries to cut costs, to sell in these chain stores, you have to be able to compete with larger "corporate" wineries who want the same shelf space. This in turn is putting pressure on smaller boutique distributors who cant compete with the big supermarkets, which means a lot of boutique wineries are struggling to find exposure as the small distrubutors go out of business. And its social media that is now the choice to increase their exposure here. The traditional marketing methods arent working as well so wineries are having to find other forms of communication. Using facebook to advertise sales, special events, put up tasting notes etc has become a popular way to enagage potential or existing clients. It means the winery can bring the brand to the potential clientbase on a more regular basis such as through Facebook updates or twitter feeds, instead of them having to come to a winery or to a bottleshop andf see the bottle to be reminded of the brand.


Also with the glut of wine, wineries are finding a large degree of success through wine clubs, mailing lists and Facebook followers to advertise specials. A win-win for everyone involved. Not only does the winery clear old stock and improve cashflow, but its a win for the consumer who is more likely to buy from the winery next time as they dgot a good deal last time (helps develop brand loyalty).


But a lot of wineries (and winemakers) and still entrenched in the old traditional marketing methods and are yet to unlock the power of social media

Reply by Mike Meisner, Jun 27, 2012.

Great insights here, and hopefully some impetus to further wineries to branch into these types of niche sites to build their brand presence and authority online. I'm partnering with eWinery Solutions to deliver a broad range of online marketing services to the wineries. One of the larger parts that I"m focusing on is to build a list of sites like Snooth, and other niche wine directories/social communities/websites where wineries can at least create a profile.

I'm sure as DtC sales continue to climb, and the 7000+ wineries in the US come to realize how important online strategies are, they will adopt new technologies more.

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