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So much talk about social media; how to use it and how to apply it to your business. And no matter how much we talk about it, I still see that confused expression on so many faces. It seems like they are hearing about it, and that it having a powerful effect on business, but they can't quite make the leap to see exactly how it works, or how to use it themselves. So rather than talk in terms of general use of social media, I thought I'd bring you you some real stories, from real people, about the impact social media has had on their life and/or business.
When Paul Mabray first started using Twitter, 2 years ago, it was simply to test out the newest social technology. Being the early adopter that he was, he read about it on Mashable, signed up and started talking… to the open air. But then, like everyone else’s his audience started to grow. And grow and grow it did, to where he was not only talking with friends and colleagues but forming relationships with people he’d never physically met before.
One such person was Josh Hermsmeyer, a fellow social media guru and local wine maker. Hermsmeyer, also an early adopter, had been using Twitter to connect with acquaintances and friends, while promoting his Pinotblogger site chronicling the life of his Capozzi winery. So in the traditional Twitter way, the two of them met through @replies, tweets and retweets, and realizing they shared a common interest, they became fast followers maintaining daily conversation. Again, it should be noted that the two of them had yet to meet face to face, save for one industry event where they may or may not have brushed shoulders. This could all remain quite tame from here, if it weren’t Mabray’s decision to change professional course.
Having been the founder and CEO of Inertia Beverage Group for nearly 6 years, in December of 2008 Mabray decided to leave the company for different professional pursuits. Being the prolific Tweeter that he was, his Twitter followers became part of his story as he chronicled the formation of his new company, VinTank. In this arena he maintained consistent updates on the new services that VinTank would be offering to the wine and tech world and engaging his followers in his decision making processes.
This is where it gets interesting, during this time, Hermsmeyer was facing a peculiar and particular issue with development of his wine business. Opportunity tweeted him. The very business development expertise and strategic consulting services that VinTank now offered were exactly what he needed. His new Twitter friend could now be his new agency. And without the need for introductions, cold calls, research or referrals Hermsmeyer’s Capozzi winery was pulled on board as the first winery client for Mabray’s VinTank.
All thanks to a virtual relationship started by a 140-character handshake.
Next up, we have Sebastien Gavillet from WineAromas.com:
Ninety five percent of our business comes through our
We are revamping our blog and creating new informational sites for the general public to enjoy. Today our operations span worldwide. We have now clients in Europe, Australia, Asia and Latin America thank to the world wide web. I have to mention that we are not in a traditional market and most of our products and services are much more specialized than that of others in this industry. As professional tasters (noses for hire) and wine educators we build a solid clientele not only teaching or developing training programs but providing our "noses and expertise" to evaluate wines in production and post production. We are involved from vineyard inspection, production and aging to post production distribution. Protecting our clients' interest in their investments and evaluating current production qualities as well.
A great job with little margin for error. I think that one my favorite things in this business is when someone asks me what do you exactly? My response always makes me grin "I taste wine for a living, and travel the world visiting vineyards and wineries."
You see you can't fully assess the effort that went into making a wine if you don't know where it comes from and how itis made.
I also heard from Carin Galletta from InkFoundry, who sent me a story that included me!
Ink Foundry, an on and off line word of mouth marketing agency, was ask by 'Let's Make a Deal' game show, which will air on CBS daytime this fall (Starting Oct 2nd) to help them fulfill on-air travel giveaway. The producer in charge was very interested in a wine country trip for the show’s first episode. At this point, we put our online connections to the test and reached out to many of our hospitality social networks, including a LinkedIn.com group and WineandHospitalityNetwork.com with the offer. Margie, from WineandHospitalityNetwork.com was quickly able to connect the information to Wendy Newman at StaySonoma.com. In less than 24 hours, Let's Make A Deal and StaySonoma.com were able to connect offline through Ink Foundry’s established digital relationships. StaySonoma.com will receive significant on-air television coverage to more than 4 million viewers on one of America’s most beloved television shows.
- Carin Galletta, follow @inkfoundry.com
Just so you know it's not only wine people, here's how Chef Bear Ullman is using social media:
The iphone has changed the way I do business!
I can take pictures of the chef's table course by course and email them to the guests as we go, or post them to FB. I am also a woodturner and post current projects and pieces of art and often have them sold before they are complete, or I make a one off commission and talk it up and sell three more. I have AD/HD and so being able to do things immediately on the spur of the moment is huge!
Being able to have all my calendars on me and check email while I work or when I'm not even here definitely gives us extra bookings and keeps things flowing.
A couple weeks ago I had a travel writer at the chef's table and scanned her blog before she arrived. I saw that it had her
tweets on it... during the dinner I was able to check how we were doing by going to her blog.
- Bear Ullman, Executive Chef
http://www.chefbear.com/" target="_blank">www.chefbear.com<br />
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