Archive - May, 2013

Time really is money, online

Still think that social networks like Twitter aren’t worth your investment of time?

Read this for an example and a couple of tools that might help change your mind (disclosure; Vrazon is reseller for the second)

What I Wore Today (almost)

What I Wore Today (almost)

A post by a friend, Poppy Dinsey (@poppyd) made me think about this issue today. Since I met her, via twitter of course, she has gone on to launch an internet fashion sensation – WIWT (What I Wore Today) and as she says:

I have achieved endless things because of tweeting. Twitter is still one of the largest drivers of traffic to, a business I was only able to set up because of an idea that spread through – yep, you guessed it – Twitter. Twitter has enabled me to market my business, my sense of humour, my opinions, my style and my writing to literally millions of people. I’ve been able to work with brands from teeny tiny boutiques and emerging designers to global giants like Vodafone, Universal Pictures and Unilever, often solely because somebody has found me on Twitter. I’ve never once paid a PR agency, but have appeared in nearly all the mags and papers of this country for something or other…again, often simply because of journos following me on Twitter or someone recommending me via Twitter to a journalist who otherwise would never have found me. I know this isn’t your ‘usual’ Twitter experience, but it’s one I’m massively grateful for and lord knows I’ve put a LOT of time into tweeting to make it happen. I didn’t have ANY contacts in fashion, tech or property when I started in each of these industries…but I made sure I made them using Twitter.

It has been hard work, but she had a goal, and put in the time and effort.

So how might you benefit too?


Lead Generation Sample from Twitter

Lead Generation Sample

Today Twitter announced a new feature that will make it MUCH easier to capture important, and USEFUL, information on your audience: Lead Generation Cards. This new tool will allow businesses to embed a small form in a tweet that users can complete and send back with little or no effort.

This will allow wine businesses; wineries, retailers, journalists selling subscriptions and so on, to get the three most important bits of data for generating a return on investment in twitter; a user’s name, Twitter handle, and email address.

Twitter is great for several things, namely conversations (that you can start, join, or listen-in to), quick questions and answers, and sharing links. However, businesses should have a goal and twitter is not the place for lengthy, detailed explanations, private conversations or selling. Email still is the best way to do this, but if you take them together, you can not only capture people’s email addresses, you can build the kind of relationship that ensures they actually open and read them.


Vrazon has discovered a great tool for getting to know the audience you have painstakingly built up with your time spent on twitter, facebook, linkedin and through email; Nimble.

Nimble Contact

Nimble Contact

Nimble is an online CRM tool that is specifically built to give you a much broader picture of the people you follow by combining all a user’s profiles on each of these social networks into a single place. You can have thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook, and many professional links on LinkedIn, but combining this information is EXTREMELY hard.

They key, of course, is email because it links them all together.

An email address is still the most valuable bit of information, even in the age of the social network.

All of a sudden, time IS money because you can finally convert effort into leads.



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Wine competitions offer spark but no fire

It is that time of year when all sorts of wine competitions take place and announce their annual procession of gold, silver and bronze medal winners.

Countless self-congratulatory press releases, blog posts, status updates and adverts will blast out in a storm of activity that will effectively drown out the benefit of any one win and leave only one certain winner, the competition itself.

All spark, no fire

All spark, no fire (photo by Daniel Dionne)

Not only did the competition receive the fees, and it is the only constant in each and every message. Free branding. Well done! Have a Gold Medal for that!

Judging the ‘best spark’

I’ve been considering the vastness of the wine world and I understand the need to find a way to stand out from that crowd, but I am not at all certain that a wine competition with thousands of entries, and thousands of “winners” really helps.

Judging wines in an annual contest is a bit like judging the ‘best spark’ around a campfire. Millions are produced, some may even be brighter than others, but ultimately they all fade and leave little or nothing behind. What we should be looking for are those that can, and do, light the bloody fire and make something happen!

You’d think that after sitting in the dark, judging the intensity, duration and colour of the sparks flashing before their eyes, the judges themselves might ask themselves, “What’s the point”?

Some competitions may have stricter rules, more numerous categories, or more “qualified” judges, but fundamentally they are all doing the same thing.

What I long for personally is a competition that looks holistically at a wine – maybe at a track-record of quality production, but also at the story, the tradition or innovation, the ability to engage with consumers and more. Awards that are like achieving a masters degree not just aceing a school report.

Measuring the intensity of the fire produced, not the momentary spark.

Who can offer me that? I might then care about the results.

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