Wine is the original social media. For centuries, wine has been used as the liquid medium for seasoning social connections in order to commune, discuss, and discover.
Perhaps the roots go even deeper.
It turns out that the process vintners go through to produce a quality bottle of wine also serves as an appropriate model for how a business should approach social media.
I’ve broken the process down into a three-part series:
- The Foundation: 3 steps required before any actual social media work is done
- The Grapes: Planting and growing the social media program
- The Juice: Developing the complexities required for a social media program with great character
In this post, The Foundation, we look at three critical, but often forgotten, steps required before any actual social media work is started that will set the business up to maximize its social media success.
Let’s start making that great wine!
Before vintners plant grapes, harvest or produce their wines, they have to decide what they are going to produce. They set goals for the wine. Are they seeking a big, tannic Cab at a premium price, a crisp Pinot Gris to drink by the pool or a soft red blend that appeals to a wider audience at an everyday price? The answers to these questions will guide the entire rest of the process. In the same way, marketers have to decide what they are looking to get out of social media and then set appropriate goals that align with overall business objectives. Are they looking to build wider brand awareness, connect with current customers, or provide an additional channel for customer service? Just as a winemaker doesn’t jump right into planting grapes, social media practitioners shouldn’t jump right into posting without a solid grasp of their goals and expectations.
Terra Firma Factors
For winemakers, the ground is critical to the end result. Having the right soil, mineral content, and other terra firma factors are important foundations to provide the nourishment and ripening that can deliver the desired results in the wine. Similarly, having the right business foundation is critical to the level of success social media can provide in building the brand. At its core, social media doesn’t change a business, it amplifies what a business is already. If the business produces a quality product and provides good service, then social media can efficiently amplify those qualities. However, if a business cuts corners, alienates customers or is deceptive in its practice, then those are the dynamics that social media will most likely amplify.
The Importance of Climate
Complementary to the soil in a wine’s terroir, the climate in which the grapes are grown also plays a large role in the proper growth of the selected grapes. In a business, it is equally as important to the nourishment of social media marketing’s effectiveness to have the right climate, or culture, in place. To work most effectively, the business requires buy-in from the team and heavy collaboration and participation from all parts of the business in order to source and produce the content required in social media marketing. Without the right climate, there is a good chance that at some point the social media efforts will freeze.