What Texas Wineries Need to Know About Social Media: More is More

by Leanne Holley, Editor, Texas Wine and Trail

Texas wineries may be gaining steam but their social media impact is stalling out, and a few active wineries and bloggers can not carry the weight of promoting an entire industry. Winery owners wear many hats, but one that can not be discarded is your social media cap. Now I’m going to make a statement that might intimidate a number of you:

You must stay active and on top of your social media streams every day.

That is, if you want to stay relevant and convey the important message that your winery is entertaining. I know you probably have guest speakers come to your winery that try to hammer in the value of social media. And you may think sending a tweet once a day, or posting a weekly facebook message is reaching your followers, but you would be very sadly mistaken. If you need me to sum up social media, it’s these two words: organic reach and engagement. Learning these terms and how they directly affect your postings will hopefully give you that “ah ha” moment, and from there you or whichever employee is responsible for managing your social media, will finally get it!

tweet activity


Social Media Term 1: ORGANIC REACH

So you think your tweets and facebook posts are reaching most of your followers? Not event close. In 2014, Twitter begrudgingly released a new tool that allowed all users access to their analytic data. How do you find it? Go to your profile page where all of your tweets are showing. Each tweet will have a little bar graph icon below them that says View Tweet activity. This allows you to see the activity and engagement for each individual tweet. Sounds great, right? Upon release of this tool Twitter enthusiasts were crushed to realize that each tweet only reaches about 3.6 percent of their followers if it receives no RT or shares. So if you have 2000 followers, each tweet finds its way to 72 of them. (Starting to understand the importance of an RT?) Now what do you do? You tweet often and make it count! In fact, you should have a social media goal for your winery. Here’s a basic prescription using the top three social media platforms, to cure your social media slump:

  • (Pinterest) 5 board minimum, 2 new pins a day to each board. I’m starting with Pinterest because it is so valued by your market and so under utilized by most Texas wineries. Pinterest = wine lovers. Pinterest has also become an enormous competitor of Google. GOOGLE! And a large swath of Texas wineries aren’t even on it. Or are pinning an image so rarely that they might as well not be. Do not underestimate this avenue for exposure. Pinners consider Pinterest as an outlet for relaxation, inspiration and humor, and they completely submerge themself in that world. Pinners are your market, all day and night, and its image based. That’s what you’ve spent thousands of $$ on photographers for – so pin away! Pinterest just released their suggestions on how to increase your engagement by 30%, which can be read here.
  • (Twitter) 5 entertaining tweets a day telling the world why your awesome, a new wine or an old wine, what you’re pairing a wine with, an award you received, an article you were mentioned in, or who’s playing on your patio tomorrow or even the NEXT HOUR. Remember, twitter is real time and people have short attention spans so you have to be creative. And don’t forget to add #txwine to every tweet so others can find them later when searching. Take a clue from Messina Hof’s twitter stream, because between their business stream and their owners’ streams, they are a model for all Texas wineries to follow. Jim Johnson’s feed, Owner of Alamosa Wine Cellars, reflects how a winery’s owner can compliment their winery’s stream and be just as engaging and entertaining.
  • (Twitter) 5 retweets a day, but try to keep it relevant! Promote a festival your attending, an app you like or a recent article/blog entry about the industry. RT your local news sources to help reach others in your general area, and RT the Texas travelers that share their stops. Russ Kane, @VintageTexas is great model to follow for engaging tweets and solid RTs.
  • (Facebook) 2 facebook posts a day. Every day. Facebook is real time, and it isn’t. I might see your post within the first 5 minutes or it might scroll across my timeline the following afternoon. Remember that fact when your trying to get people to your happy hour with live music, and you’re posting only 30min before it starts. The organic reach for facebook is still low unless you pay to promote your posts, thus the sharp need for likes and shares. Tip: facebookers want to see people, that’s why they are there. It’s like people watching without having to put pants on. Grabbing a stock photo of a wine glass from Google images and adding a generic message does not make for good facebook post. Ask your customers if you can take and share their picture on your facebook wall, and then post it. Try to get your logo or bottle worked into the shot somehow. William + Chris Vineyards even has a life size picture frame art installation with their vines as a backdrop where visitors can take a picture to share with their envious friends. Genius. Make sure to remind your tasting room visitors to tag your winery when they share their picture so you get the added engagement – which brings us to our next term.

Photo by Jeff Cope, TXWineLover

Social Media Term 2: ENGAGEMENT

Social media engagement is a simple concept that people tend to complicate. Its all about participation. Are your posts getting liked, shared or commented on? Are you commenting back? Do people regularly post on your wall or tag you in stories and pictures? Engagement is not a what, its a HOW. How can my winery’s social media contributions receive more attention, like a conversation?

The question to ask yourself is, are you looking for more followers, or are you wanting your current followers to be more responsive? The answer is both. And the way to achieve new genuine followers is to engage your current social media community. If you keep looking at the horizon, you’ll miss what is standing right beside you. Direct your posts to your current group and they will respond in kind. This is what leads to real new likes and followers, who will likely be just as engaging. That’s not to say every platform was created equal. Each network has its own personality which means its own requirements to stimulate engagement. Twitter is fast, facebook is like an extended family (with a few embarrassing uncles thrown in), while Pinterest is intimate and image driven. Post accordingly. Don’t expect your facebook posts to make an impact on Twitter (or even make sense in some cases).

The best thing about social media is its FREE and you can turn your game around this very minute. Log in, Sign up, get creative and watch your social community grow into an excellent support system. As already stated, think about the platform and post accordingly but above all be a genuine reflection of your winery.

The post What Texas Wineries Need to Know About Social Media: More is More appeared first on Texas Wine and Trail Magazine.