The Grapevine

Social Media Strategies for Wine Retailers

September 24th, 2015

Going global may not be your goal for your wine shop. (In fact, it probably shouldn’t be.) But here’s some social media advise that can dramatically expand your reach and engagement. [level-members]

Social media, as much of a time-suck and attention trap as it may be, can also be a valuable business tool. Building a following is worth the effort because of social media’s ability to amplify your other marketing, among other things.

Two-Way Communication
We’ll start with the least obvious. Most people think of social media as a publishing platform of sorts. That is, it’s a way for you to “shout it from the rooftops.” Except, uh, no.

Yes, you can shout your message out to the world, but the world ain’t listening. If, on the other hand, you participate and listen from time to time, the world listens back, particularly if you are thoughtful in what you say, and if what you say is helpful to your target audience.

Listen-Only Mode
In addition to being open to two-way communication, you should also consider the benefits of just listening. Obviously, you’ll be doing this as part of your two-way communications, but making it a stand-alone goal makes it more likely that you will pay attention to what your customers, colleagues, and competitors are talking about. And as you get practiced at filtering out the noise – let’s face it, there’s plenty of noise – you’ll quickly be able to identify trends to stay on top of. (And trends to mock mercilessly …)

Tailor Your Message
With tools like Hootsuite and Buffer, you may be tempted to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to social media. After all, if one social media channel is good, five is going to be great, right? Especially if numbers two through four don’t require any more effort.

It’s not doing social media that’s good. It’s doing social media well. And that’s hard to do if you’re not paying attention to the subtle and not-so-subtle difference between different communities. Use those automation tools when you can, but be mindful of ways in which each community expects something a bit different from its members. Hang around a bit before you jump in. (More listening …)

Have Fun
Social media is a great opportunity to put your personality on parade. That may or may not be your own personality, but it should certainly be the personality of your shop. Social media is no place for corporate speak or the passive voice. Make it personal and make the connections that people seek on social media, even when they are interacting with brands.