These types of additional marketing channels should not be ignored. The list of such channels is continuously getting longer, though the most important ones are still a relatively small number. Facebook
is the most well known, and it more-or-less functions like a website with a temporal dimension to it. It allows you to let your friends and the world know what you are up to at intervals of your own choosing. The potential coverage is enormous. Every fifth person on the planet is on Facebook at least once a month.
With just a few clicks, you can arrange get-togethers and tastings. The information about the newly bottled wine gets to the people extremely quickly. No comparison whatsoever to sending a circular. "Even though Facebook is not suitable as a personal platform for the majority of people, you can still get a quick picture of who someone is", says the communications expert Faye Cardwell, "I have often experienced winemakers and wine-importers coming together on this. In this way, you can save a lot of money on representative events." Twitter
only allows a short message to be written, and seems to be somewhat impractical initially. A lot more professional information is exchanged on this platform, however. Followers are often very interested in what they are following. Whoever follows the right people, gets a lot of valuable input themselves in return. You can filter the flood of information by using hashtags, which are targeted keywords. Google+
is more-or-less equivalent to Facebook in a technical sense, however, it provides less private personal content. Various groups can be kept separate. LinkedIn
is more like a job exchange, and therefore in a far more matter-of-fact style. With at times very exact descriptions written by the person themselves, the communication in this case is predominantly from desk to desk. Free-lancers offer their services - and often land a contract in this way.
The portal Xing
sees itself as a business network in the German-speaking region. Professional contacts and job offers are the focus on this particular portal. With the help of individual networks, members can even see with whom they have common contacts but do not know yet themselves. Instagram
and a number of other platforms allow users to exchange images and videos, and they are becoming ever more important. It sounds a bit over-the-top for a winemaker at first. Pinterest in particular is visited a lot and increases the awareness for the brand. A lot of images are used on other platforms as it is.
It does not matter which network is used or how many, only those who regularly contribute to it will achieve an effect. Whoever visits the platform should be able to recognise what the winemaker is doing. Images of a bountiful harvest are of little interest six months later. The system lives from being completely up-to-date.
All channels together are also an option that can be easily and very quickly achieved. “With images, text or video, you communicate in a personal and effective way”, says Annette Lizotte, who uses the media as export manager of the Friulian company Tenute Tomasella. In addition to that, a lot of information can be acquired and compared. From the best Italian restaurant in the area, where the next wine tasting is taking place, to questions about cellar technology. Open exchange without any petty secretive behaviour is a further aspect of the networks.
It can be a bit confusing at the start. “Many winemakers only see themselves confronted with an unknown universe”, says Faye Cardwell, who advises many large winegrowers associations on social media issues. “It is not even necessary to be active on all channels. They just need to be the right ones.” In other words, there is a choice to make. It is a matter of preference which one you choose. They should ideally be those on which many of your customers are already active. They tend to expect that you will look for them there.