There was a young tweeter from Thailand
I got those low-down, mean old social media blues. Can’t get ‘em outta my head. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook — what’s it all mean? Everybody’s talkin’ about it but who’s walkin’ the walk? Why am I leaving off my “g’s”? Why did the chicken cross the road? As you can see I’ve taken leave of my senses.
Let’s start with blogs. My Gallo post from yesterday resulted in a wave of responses, mostly along the lines of “What are they waiting for?” It’s true. If you think you want to blog (whether you’re a winery or a weinerschnitzel), you can’t think about it forever, you can’t have meetings and develop flow charts and strategies, you can’t predict ROI, you just have to sit down and do it! It’s like being in high school and going to a dance in the gym. If you stand around the sidelines instead of asking someone to dance, you’ll just be, well, standing around the sidelines. Not where the action is. Not prudent. On the other hand, if you ask that pretty lad or lassie (? where did the Scottish stuff come from?) to dance, you might get a big, fat Rejection, but you might not, and hey, what’s life without a little rejection once in a while. It happens. Get used to it. So here’s Steve’s one-word piece of advice to wineries: BLOG. Just do it! Build your numbers slowly. It’s like starting out at the gym. You have to work your way up to the heavy numbers.
So at least two people have forwarded me the Wine Business.com story from yesterday on “Do Wine Blogs Impact Your Brand?” One was a winery owner/consulting winemaker and the other was a wine industry P.R. professional. I didn’t think there was anything particularly new in the study, which came out of Sonoma State University. But the fact that winemakers and P.R. people are fascinated by blogs is what’s really interesting.
Okay, then we move up the feeding chain (or is it down?) to Facebook. Facebook, I get. It’s easy, comprehensible and fun, and you don’t have to be a TIJ (Total Internet Junkie) to play in the FB sandbox, which is maybe why an older generation has gravitated there, present company included. There are some pretty heavyweight wine names who’ve moved onto FB lately (find ‘em yourself, I’m not naming names) and you can always tell a newbie, they’re tentative and exploratory in their comments, perhaps a little afraid to let it all hang out. Well, here’s Steve’s five-word piece of advice for FB: let it all hang out. Be yourself. You have a personality, no? You know, that “you” inside yourself that feels like “you” and which you know so well? Let it out. The best FB posts express strong feelings and emotions: humor, wit, eagerness, enthusiasm, a love of liquor and food, family, fun and a celebration of life. Also the occasional rant. Which brings us, alas, to Twitter.
To be truthful, I FB’d yesterday that I don’t get Twitter. I don’t. Lord knows I’ve tried, but it’s just not working out. I mean, I kind of liked Twitter from the minute I laid eyes on it. We did the flirty-flirty thing and began dating for a while. But the more we went out, the more I realized I didn’t really know who Twitter was. Maybe we just aren’t compatible, I don’t know. When I said that on FB I got replies that were largely sympathetic. I can see why a winery professional would be reluctant to jump into the Twitter whirlpool. It’s not that I don’t understand the conceptual basis behind Twitter: let’s all of us be in touch all the time so we can form new friendships and connections. That, I get. What I don’t get is the difficulty involved in mastering Twitter. Google Twitter, and you get 741,000,000 hits. There’s a YouTube you can download that professes to teach you how to Twitter. You don’t have to watch a video to learn how to blog or Facebook. Then there’s this hit, which is the ninth on the Google search: “This module provides API integration with the Twitter microblogging service and API-compatible alternatives like Identi.ca.” WTF? I don’t have the time. Which, I guess, is what makes Twitter so attractive to those who love it. Maybe they figure, if someone’s not smart enough to figure out Twitter, then that dummy shouldn’t be in Twitter anyway. In that respect, Twitter reminds of of those cliques in high school from which I usually felt excluded.
Anyway, blogs – Facebook – Twitter. Got ‘em in my head and they won’t go away.
Oh, the headline about Thailand? More to come.