The better questions to ask are: How do I find out what is being said about us online and how can we use this new channel to build relationships that are going to strengthen our brand?
People are using the internet (and social media) in a very different way than they were even a few years ago. We still research and review online like we did when the internet was new– but now we have large niche networks and communities that provide platforms for discussions about our likes and dislikes, interests, ideas, reviews, and everything in between. These large segregated groups allow us to have “real time” interactions with hundreds (if not thousands) of our “friends and followers” and the outcome from these perceived “word of mouth” conversations can have positive or negative effects on your brand.
If you are not at least following your brand online via tools such as google alerts, social mention or blog pulse you may not be aware that people are already talking about you on a regular basis. The conversations that they’re having about your brand may be good or bad – but not knowing is NOT smart!
You may already have a large thriving online community of interested drinkers, aficionados and influencers who love (or hate) your brand. For those that love it – give them more to love! Engage with them, share your story, and continue to build those relationships. For those that hate it – find out why (even without talking to them or engaging with them by using the tools mentioned above) and then use that knowledge to make the necessary improvements.
But just be sure you are aware of what is being said about you even if you are not actively engaging.
A great passage that confirms this is from the post titled: Old World Winemakers Shun Social Media Grapevine
“Wine is a social beverage and with the social media, I want to be part of the conversation rather than being talked about,” said Cloudy Bay’s Ian Morden, a 41 year old winemaker who has worked in Australia and New Zealand who read bloggers.
His colleague, Nicolas Audebert, 34, a winemaker for Cheval des Andes, is amazed by how extensive social media is and appalled by how intrusive it can be. “My whole life is online, even before I was online,” Audebert said.
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