As social media continues to grow as a valuable marketing tool bringing customers and companies closer, I decided to learn how to navigate more websites dedicated to social media. Being fluent in Facebook, it felt awkward leaving that comfort zone for the likes of Twitter, but I decided to revisit my idle Twitter account. I dove right in and participated in a Tweetup. This is an online conversation centered on a chosen topic. Last week's topic was Washington Merlot hosted by another blogger. The idea is to have everyone tweeting while drinking a Washington Merlot, talking about wine through updating one's status. The tasting was set to start at 5pm and last till 7pm. This was definitely overwhelming at first. It was stressful following up to 100 tweets in under 30 seconds, trying to respond to some individuals and remembering to add #WAMerlot to your status in order to be added on the conversation string. There were some complaints of not being able to keep comments to under 140 characters as Twitter is setup. But I say, if you need more than 140 characters to describe a wine then you aren't drink enough. Stop thinking, start tasting. Once I learned to navigate the process it was an amazing experience that lasted longer than the 2 hours.
Here is a run down of the event. People from at least 5 different countries participated including; China, New Zealand, France, Mexico and the USA. There were over 500 people posting 2000 tweets and 3000 bottles of Washington Merlot being tasted. In addition, there were over 80 wineries, hotels and wine bars hosting events involving vertical and barrel tastings.
This is phenomenal in my mind. Social media is affecting the way we drink and taste wine from our living rooms to our wine bars. Think about the opportunities these virtual tastings have. Wineries could host virtual tastings for customers across the country and around the world. This is also a powerful tool for staying connected with wine club members. For example, club members who live on the other side of the country could set up a time with a winery to taste through the wines of their last shipment together. Social media is also changing the way we run our tasting rooms. The possibilities seem endless and are really going to help change the face of the wine industry for the better.
Social Media is not only changing how we interact with customers but also the way we taste and talk about wine. I look forward to more Tweetups and seeing just how the industry will change from open conversations between customers, producers and all wine lovers.