Synchronicity – Texas Wine Online (Tales from the world of wine social networking)
Its the opening of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association meeting in Richardson, Texas. Denise Fraser (part of the TateAustinHahn (www.tateaustinhahn.com) who manages the PR campaign for TDA’s Wine Marketing Program; www.www.gotexanwine.org), Jeff Siegel (www.winecurmudgeon.com and www.drinklocalwine.com) and I spent the majority of the day presenting, discussing and wine tasting on social online media. We boiled it down to three basics elements: Blogs, Facebook and Twitter and how to utilize these in a coherent way to craft a media relationship for Texas wineries, vineyards with Texas wine consumers. When these three elements work together can be pure Synchronicity (the experience of two or more events that are causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner).
The panel members focused on the basics in the first two sessions: How to set up an account, dos and don’ts, and most of all, how to utilize online social media to promote the message of Texas wines. This is important as Texas wineries sell most of their wines within the state of Texas. Texas may be the fifth largest wine producing state, but Texas is also the fourth largest wine consuming state. Therefore, not much of the good juice gets out to markets far afield (i.e. outside Texas). Therefore, no ad revenues flow to the major wine magazines and consequently….no serious consideration for Texas wines and no reviews. Jeff Siegel said it best when he pointed to the Texas winemakers and grape growers in attendance and said, “Nobody is interested in Texas wines as much as Texans”. Who to better craft the message about Texas wines that the people in Texans themselves (the consumers in consort with wineries and vineyards).
When asked why and where to use the three tools (Blog, Facebook and Twitter) my contribution was to respond, “If you have a manifesto and want o to convey your “philosophy”, get a blog; if you have or want to build a VIP or friends program, get onto Facebook; if you want to create buzz about what’s going on in your winery or vineyard, its time to Tweet”. The three tools need to be used in consort and when they work together, it can be pure synchronicity. Each aspect of social networking brings a different element to the situation often creating unexpected and beneficial outcomes.
Twitter is a massive ongoing and worldwide conversation that can be overwhelming as to its depth and breadth. The trick is to focus it by following and being followed in areas specific to your interest. The best way to do this is to bring people with a common message together. With respect to Texas wine, I have tried to do this by incorporating the following few letters (#tag) into my Tweets: #TXWine. This allows people interested in Texas wines to easily find the buzz on Texas wines by searching on this hashtag on www.twitter.com and you can set things up to following these tweets as well using platforms such as www.tweetdeck.com. The more that that pile on, the more massive the buzz about Texas wine.
We also held a quick Twitter Tasting of three Texas wines: Brennan Vineyards (www.brennanvineyards.com) Viognier (Viognier is becoming one of Texas’ signature grapes), Becker Vineyards (www.beckervineyards.com) Malbec from Tallant Vineyard (this is new varietal wine for Texas, but the growers says that it does as well here as in the Argentine Mendoza) and Haak Vineyards (www.haakwine.com) Blanc Du Bois (This is definitely a Texas specialty that can be grown anywhere in the state, even on the Gulf Coast and Rio Grande Valley). Chcck out the Twitter feed for the tasting notes and more information from Texas wineries, vineyards and consumers on #TXWine by searching on www.twitter.com using “TXWine”.
For the forseeable future, Texans will have to create their own brand identity, coalesce a following, and build the buzz all through the online social network. Unfortunately, the main stream media is just not on our side yet.
Join the buzz about Texas wine!