American wine industry expert, Paul Mabray says that wine makers can no longer afford to ignore social media as a platform to communicate with customers.
Mabray is in Australia to present at the Wine Communicators of Australia’s annual lecture series and having worked in the wine and spirits industry for over 20 years, he says that social media has become an highly important communication channel that enables winemakers to get valuable insights from consumers in real time.
As chief strategy officer of Vintank, a company that specialises in social media measurement software for wineries, Mabray says that social is “one of the most pervasive communications channels in human history."
“First of all it’s free,” Mabray told ABC News. “Second it’s conversational so you are actually communicating with consumers and it’s not just a one to one conversation – it’s a one to many.”
As well as embracing social media as a communication platform, Mabray says that the way the message is presented across the varying platforms is highly important, and that traditional approaches to advertising don’t really work in the social space.
“I always tell wineries that if we answered the phone the way that we market our wines people would hang up immediately – we need to understand that it is a two way conversation, it’s an engagement,” Mabray told ABC News.
Mabray says that creating engaging conversations is far more effective than simply “blasting out your message.”
Another tip that Mabray emphasised was in relation to tailoring messages to each specific social platform.
“Cross posting between all your different social media networks. Each social media platform has its own language. So if I’m posting my tweets to facebook it looks odd and lazy… If you talk to the customer, you will always win.”