Social media – A necessary evil?

This compelling and brilliantly analysed piece of article should be a matter of great interest (and concern at the same time) to all the social media addicts and networking netizens of this planet. No prophecies here, just pure and simple business logic – freebies do not last forever!

So, what significance does a likely scenario of these networking sites vanishing in the thin air hold for the wine industry? In recent past, the skyrocketing popularity of social media brought a myriad of free advertising opportunities for primarily web based wine businesses which thrive on traffic numbers like wine search engines, wine information sites, wine blog sites, wine marketing portals and even wineries and wine retailers who saw a marked increment in their newsletter subscription thanks to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the likes.  They have not only provided these businesses a platform to reach a worldwide audience but also reduced their dependence on conventional traffic sources like Google and Yahoo to some extent.

What makes these social networking sites such potent marketing tool and is there too much of a hype surrounding their effect on wine businesses? Following are two examples among many others that probably answers this question and also precisely explains the implications of social media on today’s wine business:

  • Recently, a job posting that came to be known as a ‘Really Goode Job’ evoked a tremendous amount of interest within the wine fraternity not only because of the extraordinary perks involved but also due to the prime eligibility criteria for the role being a ‘social media whiz’. When was the last time anyone heard of a winery investing so much to exploit the benefits of social media?
  • Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library has more than a whopping 330,000 followers on Twitter. One doesn’t need to be a top notch MBA to figure out what this, almost cult following, means to his business in terms of $$$.

Let’s hope the day never comes when these sites cease to exist but if the worse comes true and with no more free cows to milk, most likely, it will be back to square one with Google (in spite of possibly losing YouTube) and other search engines having the last laugh. Wine websites have to rush back to their SEO consultants to make sure they rank highly on Google to get new visitors, failing which they will have no other choice but to dig deep into their pockets to find alternative and costlier means of marketing their products.

Do I hear the alarm bells ringing?

Cheers,

Niladri

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2 thoughts on “Social media – A necessary evil?

  1. marktnorman

    How long can a free thing last? Hmmmmm, I guess that all good things come to an end….oh yea there is that little thing called the Internet but that came and went quickly.

    I’m not sure who or what make that comment but certainly it had to be someone who has never experienced social media…there are all kinds of ways to profit besides charging directly for the service…just think if FaceBook charged…say a $1 a month per person (a fee that would drive everyone away) that would mean that they would only generate $2.4 BILLION a year…how could a cmpany last on such a pultry income???

  2. Great post Niladri – VinTank just finished our wine social media report which I think you’ll find relevant to your post. I hope you read it and give comments but we believe social media is the new funnel to customer engagement. You can download the report here – http://bit.ly/XjjZf

    Regards,
    Paul Mabray
    Chief Strategy Officer
    VinTank.com

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