There are millions and millions of blogs. And there are some really cracking wine ones. Same with Twitter. Gazillions of users. Some great content and also lots of white noise. Its harder and harder to get noticed if that’s your thing. I was chatting recently with some people and they were asking me why I use social media for my business. I gave them a simple answer. It works for me.
I am not the most prolific of bloggers. Its down to time really. I travel a lot and being a small company, its all hands to the wheel as they say. But I try to interact with my retail customers as much as possible as I find its good for the relationship. It’s a great way of keeping in touch with stuff that’s going on with them and with the market in general. I try to support my customers as much as possible and re-tweet lots of information in relation to them. A lot of my customers initial meetings came about through social media. Believe me, it’s a lot easier meeting with a potential customer for the first time when you have been corresponding beforehand through social media. It breaks down a lot of barriers.
The blog is a handy way to have all my product information available for customers too. People can download images and tasting notes. I like to write blogs about my customers and suppliers and wine in general and to generally get across what I am trying to achieve with my company.
I’m not the best at tracking who is looking at what on the blog and I don’t get caught up in the race to have one million followers on Twitter. I am looking for quality interaction. Its nice when I’m somewhere and someone will mention about a blog post they liked. A lot of people are lurkers, like myself. People who read online content but maybe not always comment. I am making more of an effort to leave comments !
I find social media is fantastic for suppliers too. I have started working with a number of suppliers and initial contact would again have been through social media. When we speak on the phone for the first time, they virtually always say that they were on my blog so they can see what I am trying to do and can see the type of wines that work for me. Something they saw there prompted them to get in touch. Existing suppliers can see the interaction with my customer base online so they can see what I am doing in the market too. That’s always good.
Social media has made the world a very small place. And you can sometimes interact with people that otherwise you might never encounter. I have been fortunate enough to interact with wine giants like Jancis Robinson, James Suckling, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jasper Morris and many other wine writers around the world. I always get a kick out of that.
Social media. Its fun. And it works