You’d be forgiven for thinking that the wine trade is quite active on social media – and twitter in particular – and to some extent it is. But I don’t think that the trade is using it as a tool as well as it might, in fact I think generally the trade in general is pretty poor.
There are individuals who do use it well, and those people are the ones who use it to create conversation and discussion – it’s the communicators who do it well. People like Jamie Goode and Tim Atkin engage with their followers, each other and with others in the trade. Whenever I’ve been part of anything remotely useful on Twitter at the heart has been a discussion and more often than not you find a wine communicator at its heart.
But here’s the thing – most companies do it badly – really badly. Twitter has become less about the conversation and more a speaker’s corner. The vast number of corporate tweets (not including retweets) that I see from the wine trade can be summed up in three categories.
1. A shout of ‘BUT THIS – ITS REALLY GOOD’ or LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME NOW!
2. An attempt to increase follower number – please follow me – in fact if you do and RT this tweet we’ll give you the chance to win something nice.
3. Sorry for messing up, we’ll try and fix it for you.
Now unfortunately none of these is actually going to add any real value to your business. Consumers are too savvy to just click on a buy me offer on twitter – unless the offer really is too good to be true – there is no harm in highlighting an offer or event but don’t make it your entire twitter conversation.
Equally do you really think the vast majority of numbers of followers you just picked up by offering a free bottle of Champagne are going to actually be loyal followers, care what you have to say or indeed ever buy anything from you? No they want to win something – and there is a whole raft of prize hunters out there who’ll follow anyone (even temporarily) if it gives them a chance to win something.
Now the third style is useful, you are engaging your customer and do have a real opportunity to do something about it in the public eye – but do you really want the majority of your useful engaging tweets to be apologies for letting down a customer? Thought not.
So here’s what we’ll do – I have some ideas to put forward over the coming days / weeks months – but rather than write more now (this post is long enough) we’ll cover each one one post at a time.