Tag Archives: twitter

Nice Work Jelly Screen

Making a wine jelly

Have you tried Jelly? I don’t mean the wobbly fruit flavoured stuff, but the new app from the founder of Twitter, Biz Stone.

Now, before we go any further, remember that no-one saw the point of twitter at the beginning either!

Jelly question and answer

A Jelly question and answer

In simple terms, Jelly is a question & answer social network. Anyone can post a question, WITH AN IMAGE, and this can then be answered by any other network member. On the surface it looks similar to Quora, but while Quora is trying to create a database of ‘best answers to any question you can think of’, Jelly is more about the immediate, quick-fire, impermanent .. like twitter.

answering questions is … about giving participants a chance to flex their generosity muscles

One important note is that Biz Stone is actually playing up the altuism angle – answering questions is not about fixing the problem, but about giving participants a chance to flex their generosity muscles, encouraging behaviour aimed at helping others. In fact you can’t rate questions, you can only thank those that answer. Idealistic, but touching.

In terms of wine, it is potentially exciting because it is MUCH easier to take a photo of a label than it is to extract the relevant information to ask a question about a particular bottle.

Confused consumers can now post a simple image and get advice from lots of people, immediately, even at the point of purchase. This is new because Facebook is generally too slow and cumbersome for this, and twitter restricts you to only asking known networks of people. This is closer to ‘crowdsourcing’ of knowledge. However, we have a long way to go before this would work in practice.

Overall Jelly is more of a fun activity than a tool at this stage. It seems most people on there at this stage are trying to invent questions to ask, so it is not that useful. However, I can see how, once (and if) it gains some traction, the idea of having a large audience online ready to answer any question could be attractive.

Things I like:

  • Serendipity of being able to answer random questions from strangers
  • It is really mobile-first – a tool that is truly based on the needs and experiences of mobile communications
  • The concept of linking an image from your phone or archives to a question, and being able to reply by including jottings over that image – and being able to access Google Images to be able to do this if necessary
  • The “it is just a collective stream of consciousness” approach rather than an archive of ‘worthy’ questions and answers


Jelly Activity

Network of activity

However, there are some major issues at this stage:

  • There is no way, at this stage, to apply any expertise you have to answering questions. It seems unfortunate that there is no way of linking questions more intelligently with those Jelly users who might be able to answer them. The randomness factor only accentuates the game / gamification aspect.
  • The lack of any threading or response mechanism means that you could ask a question, get a partial, teasing response and have no way to resolve it. On the other hand it encourages the conversation to move on to twitter … but I can’t really believe that this is what the developers want to happen
  • There is no way for specific communities to emerge that I can see. This is fine in times of low volumes of posts (like now), but what about when volume is high? It isn’t much fun dismissing 100 cards to find something you find interesting or can reasonably answer. I can see that there could be many different ways to use Jelly – for wine buying for example, but this would be very different from, say, getting design feedback on a logo. It ought to be possible to create some form of community around ways of using the app that would then encourage users to share more content and attract more users.
  • I find the friendship / relationship details with the person asking or answer questions, an interesting idea. However, if you have lots of followers, and if you happen to follow certain key influencers (nodes in the ‘degrees of separation’) the audience suddenly becomes incredibly large and you always see the same faces. There really ought to be a way to toggle between just seeing first-degree links and a more open second-degree view.

Jelly is a good example of how new technologies could emerge that could be adapted to help consumers interact with wine.

Do you know of any other emerging apps or networks that might be interesting to watch?

Nice Work Jelly Screen

Feeling good!

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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 WIWT.com, 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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How to improve the use of social media in the wine business?

Social WineIntroduction: For over 3 years, we have worked closely with the Burgundy School of Business both as a company – hiring interns to work with the EWBC, and as a research engine – helping us conduct field studies on various subjects. This year, Aymeric Dehont conducted a host of research for us, which eventually inspired him to create a paper on the fragile relationship between wine and social media. We appreciate Aymeric’s hard work putting together his thoughts and trust you will share your feedback with him. Keep in mind this is from a very European perspective. 

How to improve the use of social media in the wine business?


As a Masters student in Wine Business in Dijon, the regional capital of Burgundy, I’ve continuously questioned myself on many issues within the wine and spirits sector. Yet, one of the most debated subjects has been the apparent effectiveness of social media. After attending the EWBC – Digital Wine Communications Conference, I have come to under that the wine & spirits industry, in general, hasn’t succeeded in its use of these new tools. Therefore, I wanted to get a better understanding on how to improve digital communication and what would be the ideal online strategy to follow.

This paper will provide a brief analysis of how social media is currently affecting the wine industry based on articles, marketing analysis and knowledge.

Social media and the impact on marketing

It is true that social media has attracted an inordinate amount of people over the last two decades and currently, almost everyone is using at least one of its platforms. In large part, this is because interaction between each other, and the community, has always been a basic need for humans, referring to the very famous Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid.

As observed in the Nielsen Social Media Report 2012, social media is mainly used when watching TV in order to interact and function as ‘social care’ for customer service. Approximately, 47% of social media users were actively involved in social care. In 2011, more than 80% of the Fortune 500 companies were using some form of social media to connect with consumers.

Companies that are using these tools efficiently are not advertising, but instead creating bonds between themselves and the consumer; thereby establishing loyalty. The customer isn’t considered as an asset anymore, but as a person to interact with and to satisfy. Bear in mind that social media is made to connect remotely between humans, and being “connected” means interacting with each other. Advertizing is not an effective means to create a relationship with people, but rather a means to provide a straightforward message to the consumer without receiving direct feedback. 30% of consumers found advertising on social media annoying and only 25% are willing to pay attention to it, which proves that the use of social media is totally different from regular advertizing campaigns.

Moreover, the Nielsen report tells us how social media has impacted modern marketing. Indeed, consumers are now hyper-informed on many products; they continuously need to know more about the product or service they intend to purchase and want feedback from other purchasers through word of mouth. Social media limits uncertainty before purchase, and increases transparency of companies because the consumer gets involved and can have access to the company, thanks to direct contact with employees.

“Social media is word of mouth on steroids” said Amanda Hite, founder of Talent Revolution; Word of mouth is a major communication tool for the wine industry. Indeed, 80% of online shoppers are guided by reviews from other consumers. This is logical considering that shopping remains a social activity where people can interact with each other and share opinions on products. When you buy online, companies want to recreate this interaction between buyers through a digital experience by keeping that community feeling alive. Moreover social media helps to engage customers with brands and companies to change their advertising techniques. In other words, this is what we call Web 2.0, a place to SHARE and INTERACT with each other.

The internet user becomes the one who can tell the stories. For instance, France 24 opened a website, The Observers, where everyone can share daily news content. The pictures they took, the videos they recorded and, moreover, the events they have lived, can be shared on this platform and remain present well into the future. This is a great example of how people directly share experiences and opinions digitally using social media.

What about in the wine and spirits sector?

During the EWBC, I realized that social media hasn’t within the wine industry simply because they aren’t listening to the consumer. The industry believes that it is the consumer who must be better informed and more actively involved, not the company itself. For instance, in this advertisement from the Center For Wine Origins, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUePmgc5HJQ, you quickly notice that they tell the consumer to “understand the terroir”. In other words, they are teaching consumers how to enjoy wine, as opposed to providing information that the consumer wants. Result: 74 views after 1 year!

So how do we improve the use of social media in the wine and spirit sector?

The wine industry, mainly in the US, provides us with several great examples of efficient strategies to follow. Let’s focus on some of them:

I really enjoyed the story of Barefoot Wines because it shows how small wineries can compete with big groups, thanks to online communication strategies and social media. Indeed, Barefoot Wines now has 4 times more followers than Jacob’s Creek with 370,000 likes on Facebook (135,000 for Jacob’s Creek) and more than 10,000 followers on Twitter (2,000 for Jacob’s Creek). Why the huge difference? Only because there is someone at Barefoot Wines who is constantly behind his computer interacting with people on several social media platforms.

Engagement is crucial to create a real relationship with people. Gary Vaynerchuck, founder of VaynerMedia, said he can spend 4 to 5 hours a day on Twitter to answer each tweet he receives. Nowadays, he has nearly one million followers. This is a great example of how to succeed in attracting people’s attention using social media.

Another interesting story is the one of the Pacific Rim winery, which invested around $10,000 in a social media campaign, in cooperation with two social media agencies: Grow Creative and Anvil Media. Their objective was to digitally educate consumers to gain market share with the retailers with an active communications campaign. To do so, they both created a website, rieslingrules.com and released a book “Riesling Rules Book” (65,000 books sold at this date), to be the leading voices om Riesling wines. The use of social media came later when people started to share their increasing passion for those wines and interact with each other and the winery itself. More than 30,000 people liked the Facebook page. Up until now, Pacific Rim succeeded in creating brand awareness and a fan base online.

Social media in the wine industry creates the opportunity for consumers to rate wines based on what they like. The use of applications on smart phones, commonly called “apps”, is extremely valuable for the wine industry because it allows consumers can say what they like, not based on “expert” opinion, but rather on their personal preferences.

In the end, wine is just a drink, but one which links people to each other, and social media is a tool to recreate that interaction online. With Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr, people can share their experiences related to wine and companies can help people connect with each other. A winery available, listening and interacting online with the consumer is a winery which is increasing its brand awareness.

In conclusion

We see that social media in the wine industry is generally being used more frequently and effectively in new world countries. The old world wine countries are still conservative, waiting for the new generation to come up and change the trends.

Social media also creates jobs, as community managers have become more attractive to companies to ensure a successful online presence and use of social media. The objective is to be customer oriented, able to be connected, listening and understanding the consumer’s needs. A simple and basic rule of marketing which the wine industry often forgets …


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When is a Twitter Trend not a Trend?

When is a Twitter Trend NOT a Twitter Trend at all? The answer is “When it is a Tailored Trend”

Many of us are now Twitter users, and we’ve come to understand terms such as “follower”, “retweet”, “followfriday” and even “hashtag”. One term we think we understand is that of “Twitter Trends“. Trends are algorithm-generated insights into what is currently popular on twitter.


In years past, it was possible for a group of enthusiastic wine twitterers to ‘trend’ by getting together and sharing a hashtag for the evening over a bottle or two of interesting wines. As the volume of twitter traffic has increased, it has become harder and harder to get noticed in the noise of Justin Bieber fever, US elections and amusing spoof celebrity accounts like @Queen_UK

Trends, however, are seemingly quite important to Twitter – witness their prominent position on the user’s homepage.

It was a shock recently, to see that one of our events, the EWBC, managed to “trend” for users in the UK, USA and Turkey – as many reported on twitter at the time. I’ve also seen other users mention how they’re “trending” recently.

However, on closer examination it seems that Twitter has changed the interface to create ‘tailored trends’ as announced in June 2012:

“Trends help you discover the emerging topics people are talking about on Twitter. You can see these topics as a worldwide list, or select one of more than 150 locations. In order to show emerging topics that matter more to you, today we’re improving our algorithms to tailor Trends based on your location and who you follow on Twitter.”

In other words, the trends you see (unless you have changed your settings) are not what is popular on twitter, but what is popular amongst the people you already follow on twitter.


This is a classic  example of the “Filter Bubble“, where the content we see, and therefore interact with, is increasingly limited to that which is “popular” with the people we already follow. It means we exist in echo chambers where we are always speaking to the same people and seeing content we agree with and like. It makes life easier, less challenging, but also less varied and less interesting.

So, the next time you see your favourite wine, brand or event trending on twitter it might be a lot less exciting than it first appears.

I encourage you all to change your settings to make them more general and open to discoveries where possible.

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Age Verification Comes to Twitter

It is a common occurrence to be barred from entering a wine related website until you have confirmed your birthdate, or at least confirmed you are of legal drinking age in your country.

On Facebook it is already possible to stop under-age members from seeing certain content.

However, until now this could not be done on Twitter and the only way to conform to the letter of the law in certain countries, was to post ineffective notes on your profile such as “By following you confirm you’re of legal drinking age”, or worse, annoy real and legal followers with messages threatening to block them if they did not confirm their ages (as was explored here in November after an experience with Beaulieu Vineyards)

Twitter, in partnership with BuddyMedia (a social marketing suite of tools for large brands), have now launched and integrated an age verification service as part of the Twitter experience. From today brands can sign up to for Age Verification via https://age.twitter.com/ which will enforce rules that they describe as “consistent with standard industry practices”.

Expect to be sent a Direct Message (DM) if you decide to follow a wine brand that will direct you to a site where you will have to enter your date of birth before being approved. If you happen to fail it (because you are underage, under-attentive or under the influence) you will be forever blocked by that account. However, assuming you do pass, the good news is that you will not have to go through the process again for other Age Verified accounts. [more details from The Next Web]

What is not clear what happens if you make a mistake and need to correct the age associated with your twitter account.

These “standard industry practices” may be completely ineffective, and misguided, but until law-makers see sense this is here to stay and expect this to spread quite quickly amongst the brands owned by large multinational drinks companies keen to prove their ‘Responsibility’ credentials.

It will also probably not be long until the age verification process includes some external auditing and confirmation (from Facebook, or other online resources) which will increase its accuracy but raise many privacy issues.

Why not consider creating an alternative age verification system – it may be more likely to be effective.

Oh, and for the record, if you are under 18 in the UK, or 21 in the USA, you should not have read any of this in case you should be encouraged to drink excessively simply through discovering that alcohol brands exist.

Please drink and market responsibly!

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