Paul Mabray, Chief Strategy Officer at VinTank -a digital media that aims to revolutionize the wine industry through e-business and innovative digital products- will be one of the speakers in the VI Foro Internacional Vitivinícola (6th International Wine Forum). This event will be performed on 2nd September at Ángel Bustelo Auditorium, Mendoza, and Mabray will speak about social networks in the wine industry.
According to Mabray, social networks grant wines the chance to get closer to consumers of other alcoholic beverages. “Every major industry has used the Internet effectively to grow sales, market product and create meaningful customer connections. The wine industry lags behind everyone else. So in that sense, I do think that the future of the wine industry is better use of the web.”
- How should wineries use social networks?
There are two types of social networks that can be leveraged by wineries: broadmarket social networks (Facebook, Twitter, et al) and wine specific social networks (CellarTracker, Corkd, Winelog, et al).
Both types are networks that give wineries the ability to connect with customers, find new customers, and distribute messages and stories about the winery and its products.
The difference is that wine specific social networks are networks where wine consumers self select. The networks range from 100 users to over 250K users. These are places that wineries should make a concerted effort to advertise and promote their products to an interested user base.
- What are the keys to bear in mind before starting to develop a new 2.0 communication plan?
Start by creating a list of key goals. Secondly “listen” to the conversations and methods of communication in these new platforms. Third, get resources to develop the whole plan.
- What are the main mistakes made by social networks?
Not listening, not engaging just projecting their message, not caring. That is the word that Gary Vaynerchuk uses that exemplifies how to be in social media.
- Do you think wine consumers are more influenced by blogs or magazines?
I think there is a strong place for both mediums. Bloggers provide a much needed outlet to support wineries as an additional recommendation engine to help customers try wine. With over 250K products produced a year and only 30k+ being reviewed by professional critics, this leaves a huge deficit in wines needing accolades and recommendation. Thus bloggers provide a key function to help fill that gap even if they only reach a small audience. They catalyze wine sales. All critics do, amateur or professional.
- What are the most efficient social networks that companies should use?
The sites we most recommend wineries leverage: Facebook.com, Twitter.com, Linkedin.com, Youtube.com or Vimeo.com and Scribd.com.
For wine specific social networks we recommend: CellarTracker.com/Grapestories.com, Winelog.net, Corkd.com and Adegga.com. And yourwineyourway.com to get their message spread everywhere else.
We also recommend they use Cruvee.com to monitor all social media conversations.
- Apart from its own website, should a winery have its blog?
A blog has many key advantages as well as some key challenges. The advantages are better SEO (Search Engine Optimization, which means better web positioning), fresh content, and the ability to interact with its customers.
However it requires lots of resources, good content (not infomercial content), connectivity and engagement.