If you have ever heard of Twitter, whether you have joined or not, you’ll probably recognise the truth and comedy in this (click on the image to go to original site and make it larger):
Twitter is really a waste of time because it is full of people with nothing better or more interesting to do than tell you what they had for breakfast.
TRUE! and FALSE!
Yes, there are a lot of people who are talking about what they are doing, what they like, dislike and want information on. Some of it is trivial, some of it is not. But, and this is a BIG BUT, you would be wrong to assume it isn’t valuable.
First, consider that we are all preening social animals, so what we project on twitter says something about us and how we want to be seen. It is important to someone.
Second, it is a shared activity that builds networks of friends and contacts who might then go on and do what you might consider “interesting”, so there is always a benefit in it
Third, let’s put an entrepreneurial hat on for a moment. If there are around 3-4m twitter users (recent estimate) telling you what they are buying, eating and drinking for breakfast, is this not UNBELIEVABLY useful for breakfast providers: coffee brands, cereal brands, diet snake-oil-salesmen, media companies and more?
In fact, I’d go so far as saying that breakfast tweets (and their like) are the most monetisable elements of twitter. No joke.
If you are a wine producer you should already be searching and monitoring the Twitterverse for mentions of your wines or even your direct competitors’. If they are doing it with breakfast, they are probably also doing it with lunch (#lunchtweet) and dinner … including what they drank (the audience is definitely skewed towards a wine drinking profile, see some stats here)
If they mention your wine, the users are doing your word of mouth marketing, FREE. They are also potentially spreading bad reviews (maybe because of corked bottles or poor retail experiences) or misunderstandings about your product or brand. You can easily address these by responding in a timely way. You don’t even need to spend much time on twitter for this benefit, just set up an alert and you’re done. The information comes to you. This is a fantastic opportunity.
If they are not talking about your wine, why not?
The full benefit of Twitter comes from getting involved and becoming part of the many informal networks. There are wine bloggers, wine merchants, journalists, collectors, wine makers and wine consumers already there. They exchange information, link, reviews, suggestions and advice. There are plenty of opportunities to contribute, for example participating in online chats, online wine tastings, or maybe offering a unique view of your wine region. Could you not afford a little time to contribute and therefore also share the benefits? If you do, please link to me (@thirstfowine) and send me a tweet
Twitter is only a tool, still with a limited reach, but a potentially very useful one.
Things to do NOW:
- Search for your brands and key terms on Twitter
- Check out some wine twitterers (or visit my page and link off to others that you find interesting)
- Sign up for an account – OWN YOUR NAME!
- Respond to customers in a positive way – but don’t preach or ‘sell’ (not until you have twitter street cred)
- Join the fun. Follow some people and get to see how it works first hand
- Spread the word and get other interesting people involved
Image above borrowed from Where’s My Jetpack - check it out!