Archive - November, 2011

@BVWines protecting minors from the existence of wine, since Nov 18th 2012

1 picture might not be enough in today’s fast paced world

A picture is worth a 1000 words, or so the saying goes. Personally, I’m starting to think this idea is outdated in today’s world and even more so in relation to the photos you post online. Today, with every gadget and gizmo in your pocket having the capability to snap a photo, upload it and share it in real time, we the online surfers of this world, are constantly being assaulted with images that are at times brilliant and often quite forgettable.

I was considering this the other day when staring at a rooftop as I walked to my metro stop. The rooftop was nothing very special, but it created a nice negative space when presented against the deep blue sky. By itself, on a wall in a frame with a nice touch of sepia or black and white, the image might have been perfect to complement a room or become a talking point in a conversation. It was then that I realized that the same image when presented online, might at its best get a retweet or two, or maybe a stray comment on flickr, but would more likely stream past in a flurry like one unique snowflake tumbling to earth lost in the blizzard of others content.

Marketing your brand can be quite similar, and I think that to better understand what it takes to make your snowflake stand out you need to understand how to make that rooftop photo more relevant. What the photo of the rooftop was missing is a story. Something that links one idea to another. 1 photo in a post on a blog is nothing. Most likely you can give me any photo you take and I’ll find 300 just like it. But if you give that 1 photo context, and a relation to an idea you could keep me interested for a longer length of time.

Taking the rooftop photo example, imagine if I created an album of rooftops from around my town of Terrassa? Or images of the building who’s roof caught my attention? Weaving these images with small bursts of focused text in a post begins to give me a reason to stick around and keep reading.

Same thing goes for branding. One mailing, one website(by itself), one Twitter account, these are not going to do anything to further your brand. They provide no value by themselves. It’s only when you link them or use them to create layers, of stories, ideas, or contexts, that the real magic begins. If you havea winery with 200years of history, that is one layer, and while in some cases that layer can have influence it does have a expiration date and it really is not that unique in the world of wine. What about the story of today, or yesterday. What other stories are you forgetting to tell?

Think about what your “slideshow” is in relation to your brand. If you do you’ll be giving the consumer something to talk about.

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Experience – Borrow someone elses

“Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it. - Steven Wright

Never a truer statement spoken. Winemakers live by this motto as they craft their blends, each year learning from the previous year’s mistakes. This is why we have regions tied to single grapes, or styles of winemaking. Without others’ failures and triumphs we would not have Pinot Noir in Burgundy, Sherry in Jerez, and Port in Portugal.

Sadly, however, lack of experience often stops people from trying new things, afraid that the experience they seek is a prerequisite to trying something new. It’s not. There are many ways to gain experience, both by trial and error or from building on the experiments of others.

Surprisingly, today many wineries are still waiting to see if social media works. Ryan O’Connell of O’Vineyards recently heard a press attaché in France tell a group of winemakers the following:

“…you can’t share a story on sites like facebook or twitter. She also highly distrusts blogs and advises winemakers to be skeptical toward them. She assures us that she isn’t on facebook….”(via)

Unbelievable.

It’s time we all move on.  Social media does work. End of story. Blogs are just publishing tools, and bloggers are people that use them. Facebook and Twitter are communities, and at any time in the history of the world, communities can be found building commerce, telling stories and sharing ideas.

If you don’t believe it go out and look at the experience of others, and then join the conversation with the rest of us, using our experience as you see fit.

Ryan

Success Stories (feel free to ask them what they think):

https://www.facebook.com/Outsiders.Languedoc

http://quevedoportwine.com

http://lagramiere.com

http://ovineyards.com

http://www.twistedoak.com/

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Do you speak my language?

I noticed a really interesting new tool on Facebook today, and I’m not often impressed by Facebook at the moment.

Translate This link on Facebook
Before
Translated Facebook Status Update BingAfter

Amusing automatic translation on Facebook

It appears that when a Page (not a User Profile) posts an update to their wall, readers will see an option appearing below offering a translation.

[I'm not entirely sure how it decides this, but presumably it checks the language of the text and compares it to the default on the machine you are using.]

Most importantly ALL Pages have been opted IN automatically (typical Facebook!) so you are using this already if you have a Page active and you should therefore know about it.

When this was launched a month ago it was only for a few languages (Korean, Japanese, Russian, Taiwanese and Chinese-Hong Kong), but as of very recently (today?) it seems to work for Italian, Spanish & Portuguese into English, so I assume a lot more languages are now available.

It even appears to work in the comments to be able to continue the discussion.

Benefits of using a Page

Making your content available to users who may potentially be interested, but who do not speak the language you prefer to write in, means that a great deal of interesting wine content can now spread around the world.

The big question will be the quality. The post I saw this morning was from Spanish to English and was perfectly adequate, but others have reported that the tool (supplied by Bing in this case) is not particularly effective. Interestingly, there is an option for users to install a Translation App which allows you to submit a modified translation. The Page Admin then, presumably, gets the option to approve and select the best translation, however when I tested it this morning, this process seems a bit complex and will need some refining.

I expect the quality of translations will improve over time. Mechanical translations have been available for some time, but often meant browser plugins or copy & pasting text. Now admins can use the tool to publish content quickly, so it could mean a lot more content is suddenly available.

Just one more reason that brands, wineries and businesses should remember to use a Page for their communications and NOT a fake user Profile page. You have been warned!

 

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