Whitehall Lane, a 20-year-old Napa Valley winery run by the Leonardini family, has hit on a winning social media formula that pays dividends in both increased sales and brand loyalty.
Wineries face special challenges in promoting their business on social media. The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, known as the TTB, considers social media “advertising,” and regulates what wineries can do.
The regulations primarily affect Whitehall Lane in two different ways. They cannot run contests that give away wine, and they must monitor user-generated content for anything that might promote irresponsible drinking.
“We don’t fool around with the TTB regulations,” said Katie Leonardini, direct sales manager for Whitehall Lane. But that hasn’t stopped them from successfully using social media to grow a loyal fan base outside the tasting room. This in turn has increased both wine club membership and direct sales. Here’s how they do it.
Do some of them have to do with reaching out to and interacting with your social media fans and blog readers?
If so, then you’re officially or unofficially performing the role of an online community manager.
If you’re doing it right, then it’s probably one of the most enjoyable jobs ever. You get to network with interesting people, make new friends, offer guidance, answer questions and so on.
But it’s not all sunshine and roses. At times you’re required to set and enforce the rules, issue warnings, deal with negative people and even ban members (when things get out of hand!).
In her book, Online Community Management for Dummies, Deb Ng shares her own extensive experience on how the different roles of a community manager work—especially as a customer advocate and brand loyalist.
Do you realize that “digital Darwinism” (when society and technology evolve faster than a company’s ability to adapt) is a threat to each and every business (including yours)?
Whether you’re a marketer, a business professional or an entrepreneur, it is your job to figure out why consumers connect and how their social conversations influence your brand.
In his book, The End of Business as Usual, Brian Solis cautions that businesses that embrace and adapt to the revolution will survive the perpetual threat of digital Darwinism—and those that do not will die!
Keep reading to discover how.
Should Your Site Be Social-Enabled?
There’s no doubt that social media is a powerful marketing and communication tool for businesses and non-profits that have embraced it.