Stop Making POUR Decisions and Start Leveraging Social Media in the WINE Industry

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Social media has taken off in recent years, providing new ways for companies to advertise and market their products and services. There is an uncapped potential for companies who efficiently and effectively use social media to their advantage.

Wine is categorized as an “experience” good because consumers generally need to experience, or taste, the wine before knowing their preferences towards a particular selection. With over 10,000 labels to choose from, consumers are faced with a daunting task when selecting their favorites. In past years the average wine consumer looked towards experts and friends to help make their decision. Now, however, social media is becoming increasingly relevant in the decision making process.

Wine consumption is growing on a global level and its social media presence is expanding at a rapid rate. There are over 7,000 wine tweets per day and over 300 iPhone apps for wine. Google analytics found wine related content to be the third most popular content on Pinterest. Bloggers are also increasing audience size in the wine market. With this being the case, it is imperative that wine companies understand and take advantage of this new way to engage and attract customers.

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One company with great success in the social media space is Pacific Rim Winery. Pacific Rim invested $10,000 in a social media campaign a few years back. The goal of this project was to educate millennials about Riesling. Consumers were given a free copy of the “Riesling Rules Book” after liking the Pacific Rim Facebook page. This generated over 10,000 “likes” in the first few weeks and about 300 comments. A follow-up campaign was then started to further engage millennial consumers. This involved a contest asking millennials what they loved most about Riesling. The contest resulted in an additional 15,000 “likes” on Facebook. The campaign increased website traffic (to the Pacific Rim domain) by 7,000% and the company saw a 15% increase in revenue.

While Pacific Rim seems to understand the nuances of social media, not all wineries are effectively leveraging their online presence. E & J Gallo Winery is a prime example of a company moving in the right direction. They have accounts across multiple social media platforms, but are not seeing the market penetration one would expect based on their sales volume.

E & J Gallo has a Facebook page with over 5,000 “likes”. Their twitter account has over 600 followers, yet their recent posts have two “likes” and a single “retweet.” One example would be their most recent post just four days ago. “#Gallo wishes you a happy #PinotNoirDay! #Cheers”. Rather than posting a closed statement, Gallo could ask followers how they are celebrating and to show the world by posting a picture with their favorite wine. This will engage the consumers which is key in making brand loyal customers who will contribute to your revenue for years to come.

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This post was created as part of the Global Luxury Management Program at the NC State Poole School of Management. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #Luxemarketing #NCStateGLM

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