Love this place in the Sydney CBD, stocks loads of great small Aussie producers.
I love wine. And I love sharing good wine with friends and family. So I’ve decided to share the wines I love and hate more often via this blog. No lengthy reviews, no wanking on about minerality, extended maceration, malolactic fermentation or oak regimes. Just a picture, a few words and whether or not I think the wine is worth seeking out. Simple. If you wonder why I’ll also mention the wines I don’t like, this wonderful quote is the reason. It comes from someone who has inspired me, the recently departed art critic Robert Hughes. “You can’t be a critic & not have a harsh side… otherwise you become this total arsehole who thinks every sprig of clover is a rose.”
A version of this article appeared in the Winter 2012 edition of Winescope. Winescope is the official newsletter of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, ‘produced twice a year and distributed in hard copy to all Australian wineries and other stakeholders.’ I thought it would be fun to share a bit of my work life, as Online Communications Advisor for Wine Australia. If you have any questions, comments or criticism chuck them in comments and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
Social media has been creating a great buzz in the wine industry in the last couple of years. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube are rapidly becoming standard tools of the trade for getting key messages to an online audience.
In response, as part of my role with Wine Australia I developed and implemented a corporate social media strategy in early 2011. This strategy was designed to:
- ensure stakeholders are aware of our activities and announcements, both domestically and internationally
- communicate the story of the quality, value and diversity of Australian wine to trade, media, influencers and consumers.
- enable us to monitor general sentiment and “chatter” around Australian wine and gain greater insight into key topics affecting the industry
- provide a platform to collect and analyse data on social media activity relating to the Australian wine industry, including audience demographics and sentiment analysis.
The strategy focused on using appropriate social media platforms to increase engagement and ensure the message reached the appropriate audience. One of the key outcomes of this was the deletion of the Wine Australia ‘branded’ Facebook fan page. This was done as research showed that Facebook isn’t the location that people are searching for industry news and announcements. To complement more traditional communication channels the Wine Australia Twitter account is used for key announcements, updates on market programs/international visitors and to spread positive news about Australian wine from influencers and media. In the coming months, we will also expand Wine Australia’s presence on LinkedIn as this has been identified as a useful tool for networking and sharing knowledge with people within the wine industry.
For our consumer/trade/media directed engagement and communication under the A+ Australian Wine banner, the strategy initially focused on spending an equal amount of time utilising Facebook and Twitter. Over the past year, as a result of the research detailed later, we’ve adjusted our focus to ensure we are using the right platforms for the audience we are targeting. The result is that we have moved our focus to Facebook and YouTube for consumer engagement while utilising Twitter for the majority of our trade, media and influencer engagement.
Another key focus of the strategy is to listen to the online chatter about Australian wine. From a consumer, trade, media and influencer perspective this allows Wine Australia to identify and spread positive messages about Australian wine quickly and efficiently. Examples of this include sharing the recent increase in positive press about Australian wine in North America and the great reaction online to the renewed Australian wine industry presence at Prowein. This message was shared to our audience, many then shared this positive messaging to their audiences.
Listening to online chatter allows Wine Australia to gauge industry and stakeholder reaction to announcements, and this feedback is reviewed and taken on board. Before, during and after the recent changes to the Wine Export Approval Panel process we were able to listen to what was being said and respond to questions or queries as required. Key media, trade and influencers discussing the issues around the changes were identified and directly responded to with correct information about the changes to the process. An example of this was a wine writer in the UK, who initially expressed reservations about the changes. After engaging with him on Twitter and providing with detail he was fully supportive and ended up writing two articles which implored similar organisations in other countries to follow Wine Australia’s lead.
As result of implementing the social media strategy, we’ve learnt a lot about the value and relevance of social media for the wine industry. For Wine Australia social media has become an effective tool for communicating news, engaging with wineries/industry partners/stakeholders, listening to what the wine industry has to say about important issues and spreading positive messages about Australian wine. For the industry generally, we’ve learnt that using the appropriate platform for the appropriate audience can bring great results in engaging with your target audience. These learning’s were supported by research completed over the past twelve months
For Wine Australia, Twitter is the most widely used corporate social media platform. Analysis of the Wine Australia Twitter account shows that followers are mainly confined to industry/Trade/media, with more than half in Australia and the rest in our traditional export markets, the US and the UK.
What did surprise us, however, was that despite efforts to obtain a strong consumer audience with the @apluswines account, the picture is similar. As the chartss below illustrate, while geographic spread is wider for this account, the vast majority of the audience could still be classified as industry/trade/media.
Demographics of the A+ Australian Wine Twitter account
So does this just mean that we are just “talking amongst ourselves” on Twitter in the wine industry? At the very least, it’s impossible to deny that there is an element of this occurring on Twitter, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The research shows that Twitter is a great platform for networking, engaging with wine media/influencers/buyers/suppliers and discussing the pertinent issues for the industry. If that is what you are using Twitter for then it is an elegant, powerful and highly recommended tool.
However, if you are attempting to use Twitter as an online platform to engage and attract new consumers then right now then your efforts may be best directed elsewhere. Facebook offers a larger potential audience of consumers, as well as the tools (video/images/apps) to attract them to your brand/business and engage with them.
So what can we take away from this analysis? Simply, defining your target audience and focusing on how to communicate with that audience is more important than ever.
Many in the industry have achieved great success over many years by using the right tools to get the right message to the right people. Social media is here to help all of us do what we’ve always been doing, albeit in a more targeted, focused and cost effective manner.
Putting together a little mix to put up on Soundcloud, anyone got anything they’s like to add? Theme is a little bit recovery, a little bit pretentious Eastern suburbs cafe with a sprinkling of alternahippy hipster. Let me know via comment or on the tweet @benmoroney if you’d like to see anything included. Cheers!
Here’s a few things that may get thrown into the mix:
Goldie: TImeless [Inner City Life]
Radiohead: Everything in it’s right place
Talvin Singh: Traveller [kid loco remix]
Nitin Sawhney: Homelands
A.R Rahman: Mimbai Theme Tune
Georges Delerue: Camille
Radiohead: Exit Music [from a film]
Portishead: It Could Be Sweet
Underworld: Second Hand
Air: Playground Love
Jimi Hendrix: Little Wing
Angus and Julia Stone: Just a Boy
DJ Shadow: What does your soul look like? [Part 4]
Sabers of Paradise: smoke belch 2
Daft Punk: something about us
Emiliani Torrini: Sunnyroad
Truby Trio: prima Vera
Vim de Santana: Quartet Novo
While the first iteration of Path was confusing and poorly executed, they’ve definitely stumbled on something special with v2.0. Think of it as part Twitter, part Facebook with decent privacy settings, part Instagram and part Fourquare. for your social world. Wait, it’s not that confusing. It’s really two things. It’s a place where you can share important moments with friends (limited to 150, more than enough for anyone using it as intended). I share a different bunch of images and updates due to the more intimate nature of the audience. The interface is intuitive and it has some great features (photos/music/location) that borrow from other apps you may be more familiar with (Instagram image filters being the most easily recognisable).
But it also does something else really well. My favourite feature of Path however is the ability to easily share my posts on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Foursquare. Take a photo, decide who you want to share it with and it’s done. Share a post with just your Path friends. or your Facebook friends, or your Twitter followers, or all of them. It’s quickly become my social hub, the place from which the majority of my personal [non-work] social communication originates. I’m a music tragic, so having the ability to share what I’m listening to is a freaking great feature. Apologies to my friends and followers if I’ve been abusing this feature! But in terms of connecting with like minded people (which for me is a lot of what social is about) music reduces the barriers to true connection faster than posts, photos and check ins.
Anyways, if you love Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Foursquare, I think you’ll enjoy Path. it’s available via https://path.com/
How to be Black by Baratunde Thurston:
You may be thinking, “What a strange book title.” Agreed, it is a strange title, but it’s a brilliant book. Why? Because it talks about important issues in a way that removes all of the bullshit and pretence. It allows you to discover your true opinions about race. Sometimes you’ll pat yourself on the back for being so open-minded and progressive. Other times you’ll be lulled into a false security before being slammed in the face with the reality that we could all be a little more accepting. Not just accepting of different races, but accepting of differences. For me, it bought into stark relief my often cruel and completely unecessary disrespect of those without basic wine knowledge. Before reading the book I knew there was a little disdain there, bubbling under the surface. But what How to be Black did was incisively show me the stupidity of this. How to be Black is hilarious, heartfelt, insightful and intelligent. Any book that can cause me to reflect on my own behaviour in a positive and affecting manner is truly special. highly, highly recommended.
Baratunde Thurston Bio:
Baratunde Thurston is a politically-active, technology-loving comedian from the future. He serves as Director of Digital for The Onion and co-founded Jack & Jill Politics. He resides in Brooklyn, lives on Twitter and has over 30 years experience being black. His first book, How To Be Black, is available now. Published by Harper Collins, it is very good, and if you don’t buy it, you’re a racist. http://howtobeblack.me/