Wine and Social Media…Cheers

Let me pose a little scenario for you…it’s a warm April Friday in Boston (suspend your disbelief) and you have just left work. You and the missus got grandma to watch the kids for the night which can only mean one thing, date night. Times have been tough though, so you know you can’t afford an overpriced meal at Grill 23. Being that your culinary knowledge doesn’t extend past the microwave, the ol’ ball and chain has you on wine patrol. You stop by Reservoir Wine & Spirits to check out their vast selection and suddenly you are overwhelmed. Do I go with a dry Cab? A buttery Chardonnay? A blend of some sort? How do I pick the perfect wine for the occasion? The answer to this age old question: Social Media.

Wine is more than a drink; it is an experience. Due to the sheer variety of wine labels, it is almost impossible to tell on your own whether you are about to partake in a great experience and set the mood, or have a night to forget. Rather than taking a chance on that $20 bottle of red with a cool label, consumers are looking to what their friends and experts have to say about wine recommendations. Though this isn’t anything new, the average consumer has always known they are no sommelier, what has changed is the channel and scope of these recommendations. A consumer, who once looked in magazines, books, or newsletters for wine reviews of a bottle that may or may not be bought at their local store, is now scanning bar codes and labels to see what experts have to say about their bottle in hand. Rather than trying to remember if their friend who drinks a lot of wine recommended the 2008 or 2009 Beringer, they can now go on twitter and see what other people in their network have to say.

“700,000 people view wine-related videos every month, there are over 7,000 wine tweets per day and more than 300 iPhone apps for wine. It is estimated that 90% of wine drinkers use Facebook 6.2 hours per week, and Google Analytics shows that wineries are the third most popular subject on Pinterest.” *

(Disclaimer: Those 6.2 hours are probably over-inflated by the over-50 mothers demographic who only go on Facebook after their second glass of wine).

So knowing that more and more consumers are going to social media platforms to gain information how has the market adapted?

One company that had a lot of success is Stormhoek Winery. They decided to create a word-of-blog campaign in the mid-late 2000’s where any wine blogger that asked for a bottle of their wine would receive it for free. Over a period of six months, 100 bloggers posted about their wine and then to further interact with their consumers, Stormhoek representatives put on “geek dinners” that attracted readers of the blogs as well as other bloggers who had not yet participated in their campaign. The results of this social media campaign were a staggering success as Stormhoek sales jumped from 50,000 cases annually to over 300,000 cases.

 

As someone who has recently become an avid wine drinker, I have started going down the path of wine apps. One app in particular that is quite useful for a college student on a budget is Vivino. It allows you to scan a bottle of wine to see the prices and available locations as well as give you updates on special offers. If I’m out to dinner with my parents and really enjoy a certain bottle, I can catalog it and then pull it up the next time I try to impress a girl at Barcelona over tapas.

 

If anyone has any recommendations for me please let me know in the comments!

 

10 comments

  1. Great post. I think the Stormhoek Winery is an excellent example of a company spotting social media trends and taking advantage of this. As we all know, social media and word of mouth is an excellent marketing tool and Stormhoek Winery seems to have taken advantage of this with their campaign. The extent of my wine knowledge is that in undergrad we used to drink boxed wine before we went out on Thursdays. I have since upgraded to $10 bottles of Pinot Noir, but will definitely give the Vivino app a try next time.

  2. Nice post. The Stormhoek Winery is a great example and it also shows the power of communities online. People usually get together online depending on a common interest. A lot of people actually enjoy drinking wine so no wonder those communities prosper. This article might interest you: http://socialvignerons.com/2016/01/06/2016-top-20-wine-influencers-who-to-follow-on-social-media/ You can find all the top 20 wine influencers worldwide on social media. Great people to follow if you’re interested in knowing more on wines

  3. Great blog! I would have never considered that there are Apps for wine, but I suppose there are apps for everything these days. This topic shows how social media has really permeated all industries. Additionally, this is yet another example of how some industries and companies are greatly benefiting from online reviews and sharing. There have been many times I’ve been at the liquor store, trying to find an impressive wine to give as a gift, and have been totally clueless. I am glad to know there is somewhere I can go for help next time (besides calling my mom). I think smaller, lesser known companies will especially benefit from these Apps and platforms. Someone who does not know much about wine might just choose a bottle because the name or label is familiar. If they are able to access information and reviews about lesser known companies, they may be more likely to purchase something new.

  4. Interesting post! I have actually noticed an increase in physical wine tasting stores popping up in and around Boston, and they all are trying to have a social media presence with Instagram and Pinterest. At a past internship, the company I worked for represented one of these wine tasting stores and they were very committed to staying active on social media–mostly by posting anything relevant to wine, wine pairings, etc. Having an app like Vivino could be an interesting opportunity for physical locations to partner with them and run deals. Given the popularity of food/wine blogs, I’m sure that wineries will only continue to benefit from word-of-blog.

  5. Really nice blog! And you have a great writing style too! Apps like Vivino are a great solution to a very common problem of not knowing which bottle of wine to buy. I think people often look at the price and use that as their indicator of how good a bottle of wine is, rather than looking at its description or how many points it has, and this leads many people to make wrong decisions about their wine. Even an industry as old and traditional could do with a little help from technology. What will be interesting to see is how old established wine companies manage to keep their brand image while also embracing a modern technology.

  6. I do like Vivino. It’s really helpful for navigating a market where style is often so much more than substance. I’ve had very good wine, and I’ve had very bad wine, but the research shows that these two things are only loosely correlated with price. SM helps cut through that stuff.

  7. Awesomely useful post, thanks for letting me know about Vivino! My girlfriend and I love wine, and when we really like a bottle we’ll take a picture of it, but those can get lost in your Camera Roll oh-so easily.. (and just as easily forgotten). I really like the Stormhoek example you used, and I wanted to add that I’ve seen wine and liquor stores use social media effectively as well, by promoting wine and cheese tasting events through facebook; even our very own Reservoir Wines and Spirits posts about events like these and they can definitely help business!

  8. I absolutely love your blog post! I am a wine connoisseur as well and have been researching different types of wine and social media apps. I agree, it is very difficult to know what you are trying before you buy it. There is only so much wine tasting and vineyard tours you can do because those wines are not always sold in stores or are very expensive. I have started using ClubW and I love it. It is not that expensive and they send you a few bottles of quality wine a month. They also provide you with what types of foods the wine would taste best with. It is a convenient way to get trust worthy wine that is picked out for you, without leaving your couch. Definitely give it a try, and I really enjoyed learning about social media and wine. Great and interesting topic choice!

  9. I enjoyed your creative introduction to this post! Since wine is more of a luxurious experience, it makes sense that people would take the time to research online and on social media before buying. Also, using social media seems like a good strategy for small wineries that are trying to expand by word of mouth. It’s really interesting to note how much wine is searched and discussed online, and how many apps there are related to the subject. My mom uses an app called Hello Vino that helps users find a wine for a specific occasion, or pairs a wine that best suits what you are eating/cooking. After studying abroad in Florence, Italy last semester, I have a new interest for learning more about wine, and definitely prefer to make choices based on recommendations and reviews. I know there are similar apps related to beer, and I am curious to find out if they are as successful or as popular as apps for wine.

  10. Interesting, i wonder if there is a way they could incorporate some sort of point system. Trying different wines and getting different quantities earn you different points. This would create some sort of hierarchy , and would give different weight to the opinions of different users? million dollar idea?

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