Next Thursday night I’ll be taking part in a big tweet up wine tasting session for Villa Maria, the New Zealand wine company. They’re launching the new vintages of their upmarket Cellar Selection range, a classic kiwi Sauvignon Blanc, and the other classic kiwi Pinot Noir. Kiwi Pinot Noir is a particular favourite of mine, so I’m really chuffed to be part of this. But what actually is a Tweet Up Session?
Why Change The Formula?
To work out why we’re looking to do a slightly different tasting, you have to look at the alternative. The bog standard “let’s go sit in a room, talk rubbish for 2 hours, and then write a 500 word article no-one will read” model isn’t really the way forward these days. Some (not all, but some) magazines and newspaper columns are the literary equivalent of paint drying. There will always be a place for it, done well, but that alone is not good enough anymore.
You Been On That T’Internet Yet?
Any brand that wants to engage with a consumer has many more options open to them these days. They come in the form of the social media hubs. Ok, we’re looking at Twitter and Instagram this time round, but Pinterest, LinkedIn are always up there. Facebook Live has been a huge step forward for them (if the wifi will take it!). Snapchat is the next and very popular kid on the block, although I’m going to have to get a younger person to explain to me how the piss it works.
Time Waits For No Man
The beauty of these sessions is that the wine maker, the brand, the PR team, and all those attending are having a chat about bits of pieces to do with this wine with a much larger audience, and in real time. Questions and opinions can flood in from all over the world as long as they’re awake. For that brief 2 or 3 hours you can have maximum exposure in your own personal corner of the internet.
What Does Exposure Give You?
I wrote a piece for Harpers a while back extoling the virtue of social media and how some in the wine world just aren’t using it, and they’re crazy not to. The only reply I had was from some tool: “ahem, I did a study and good not find any quantifiable link between social media and increased sales”. Yes, I know that knobby! I even wrote it in the article. It’s pure branding, it’s pure “let’s get the name of, well Villa Maria in this case, into people’s heads”. You telling me it doesn’t work for the fashion icons like Gucci or Prada? Branding is big business, and thanks to social media you don’t need a big budget to do it anymore!
All I can say is get involved on Thursday night (December 1st), we’re kicking off at 6pm I think, and get involved in the chat. That’s what it’s ultimately all about!