As February draws to a close, we start to come out of hibernation and look at the busy spring, summer and harvest seasons. The tourists are coming, and we’re calendaring out programs, promotions and posts.
Social Media marketing, no doubt, is going to be a powerful contributor to your marketing plans. It has grown from a campaign afterthought to a key strategic lever. Depending on your marketing strategy you can use Social Media channels to build your customer database, amplify a promotion or sale, drive traffic to your website or get the word out about events. How are you going to use these channels this year?
When you do, here are some social media marketing changes you could expect this spring.
Although we’re marketing to adults, it is usually the teens that find, and grow, social media channels. While, we cannot ignore the fact that Facebook has 1.18 billion users and continues to grow in many countries, but in the US, Facebook’s growth seems to have reached a pinnacle and the largest group adopting it now is retirees (only 5% of people over 65 use Twitter). Twitter, on the other hand, is still in the growth phase. Why? Teens are joining in large numbers (probably because you can post an update in a few lines with a picture all without their parents knowing about it!) Also, Twitter has strength in mobile, which is in sharp contrast to Facebook. Three quarters of Twitter’s users access the service through a mobile device, accounting for 65 percent of ad revenue.
The implication for you is: don’t ignore Twitter and focus all your time on Facebook. Get a winery Twitter profile if you don’t have one, or pay more attention to this channel if you’re dabbling in it. Don’t just link tweets to your Facebook page. Track it, listen to it, use it!. It is a great platform for customer service and generating leads.
Unless you live under a rock you’ve noticed Google is seriously promoting Google+. (Google+ is already second to Facebook in terms of the number of monthly visitors.) This promotion is important to you since Google is THE search engine and includes “social networking” as an integral element of its rankings. So, (shocker) Google+ recommendations and participation influence search rankings.
Instead of feeling manipulated, use it to your advantage. Since all Google services are being integrated, getting into the Google+ bandwagon could help wineries in many ways – social media, search engine rankings, local listings, etc. Its latest Hummingbird algorithm is a sign that SEO continues to evolve toward Social and conversational content and away from static websites, so marketers will find it highly useful to start talking with customers onto Google+.
The potency of videos and pictures in drawing in potential customers is assisted by the rising popularity of specific image sharing networks such as Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine, Instagram, Snapchat, and of course, YouTube where hundreds of videos get uploaded by the hour. Facebook, which started as a text content platform has been moving quickly toward favoring photos and videos in sharing posts and redesigning pages to accommodate graphics over text. Applications such as Vine (which offers 6-second video marketing opportunities) have even brought video to Twitter. And if these major channels aren’t enough, there are thousands of visually-driven apps to choose from, (Delectable Wine is the Instagram in our wine-world.) This just shows us what we already knew – we are a visual society. Why tell us when you can show us?
But don’t stress – you don’t have to foot the bill for a two-day, $10,000 video shoot anymore. We are a society with a limited attention! Don’t tell us, show us… and show us in 10 seconds or less! Vine only gives a time of six seconds for a video marketing message and Instagram’s video sharing feature allows 3 to 15 seconds for video. Brands are increasingly employing these super short videos to convey their message strongly. These are quick, easy, and mobile (mostly be viewed by potential customers from their smartphones or tablets.) This is quite an effective combination that influences consumers when they’re at retail, or a restaurant making buying decisions. No doubt, micro videos are sure to keep getting more and more popular among businesses and consumers in 2014. Real-time sharing of videos is here to stay and micro videos will be the most popular and effective ones among these.
Allowing consumers and potential customers to post their own content will continue to be popular. We have seen this done by major brands (such as the Doritos You Tube commercial contest in the Superbowl.) In our world, there is a long list of channels that are primarily driven by consumers posting for us – and all we have to do is listen, comment and respond. Channels like Delectable, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Snooth, 4Square and Cellar Tracker create tons of content about our wines and brands, are free, and require much less time and effort to manage. You will see more wineries monitoring and joining in the consumer conversation on these channels in 2014.
The 2014 wine marketing season should be a really exciting year for social media marketing. The ideas discussed above will surely be accompanied by things we never expected. But overall, it is wonderful to see that wineries are looking at Social Media as a crucial way to connect with customers for service, inspiration and education about their wines.