There’s lots of discussion of late about ‘Tweet Ups.’ Having been involved in organising a few (Wine Communicators of Australia Taste and Tweet #WCATT, Best’s Tweet Up, #Cabernet Day and the Rosé Revolution) I thought I’d share some thoughts with you on ways to make the most of the opportunity.
I’ve watched with interest the growth of this phenomenon in the United States to the point where it’s no longer a drawcard event. People are really getting involved – there are so many tweet ups in wine that it’s almost part of the tasting scene.
However, if used appropriately in Australia as part of the marketing mix, tweet ups will still definitely have their place, as long as activities are co-ordinated so they are not happening too frequently. For a brand, I think the tweet up is a great concept to consider for a collective message or to spread the word about great wines, or simply to generate some discussion, There’s also some great sessions like #spitbucket that are held regularly where people can meet up to look at wines of interest and engage in debate.
So what is a Tweet Up?
A tweet up is an event where people who regularly tweet with each other come together to meet in person. In the context of the wine industry, it’s where people connect and share wines from one location tweeting about the wines that are being consumed.
In a virtual sense though – tweet ups are also being held where people collectively set a time or day aside to focus on a message or theme and use a hashtag to collectively join in a conversation.
Why get involved?
There’s plenty of reasons to get involved in a tweet up:
- To raise brand awareness – get people talking about your product
- To trial new products – a great way of discovering new wines and expanding your repertoire of products
- For feedback – listening to what others honestly have to say about your products
- To get involved with a community of like-minded consumers and producers
- To meet new people – one of the best things of social media is the ability to connect.
Those who have gained the most out of tweet ups have really thought through the opportunity and used it to align with broader marketing objectives. It’s not always a matter of organizing at the last minute, to be successful it does require some thought and planning.
If you have not been involved as yet, perhaps use the upcoming Rosé Revolution tweet up on 30th November www.rosewinerevolution.com as an opportunity to engage with your consumers and your customers and get them talking about your brand. If you don’t produce a dry rosé, go out and buy a pale dry style from your local retailer and get involved by using the #roserev.
Register your interest on http://roserevolution.eventbrite.com, grab some of your favourite dry Rosé’s and let people discover more about the serious styles of wines being made.
Some top tips to think about if you’re planning on getting involved or organizing a tweet up for your brand:
- Plan – don’t just open your wine on the night and tweet about it – sure you’ll get your word out there but there’s greater strategic value to think about your messages beforehand and determine what you want to achieve by participating. You may even consider preparing short videos to post to YouTube, photos that you want to be able to share throughout the night and in some instance pre-load some tweets throughout the day so you have a constant conversation being delivered. Don’t underestimate the time involved in holding a successful tweet up and make sure that you integrate the tools available to help spread the word and get people involved.
- Engage with your customers and consumers – whether it be organising tweet up packs for sale on your website or cellar door, putting special offers on in your bar or restaurant, or just talking to your trade customers about what is happening; this is an opportunity to draw focus to the broader messages and get people trialling and talking about your products
- Get your internal staff involved – your own staff are often your biggest ambassadors so spread the word and let them know what you are aiming to achieve if you’re getting involved in a big event. Many staff will find it a good opportunity to invite friends around and try your wines over dinner whilst watching the Twitter activity through programs like www.twitterfall.com – think about how they can spread the word for you.
- Actively participate – don’t leave it up to the organisers to spread the word. Social media provides a number of forums where you can get involved. Take some photos of your consumers in cellar door drinking your wines and post them up on your website, or on Twitter, make a short video and share through Facebook pages – collaboratively telling a message will have great benefits and allow you to talk in other forums.
- Think about longevity – tweet ups are a one-day event, but the purpose is to draw attention to a brand, theme or message. Don’t forget about the message after the tweet up – capitalise on the momentum to spread the word further and use the discussion to help keep the conversation going in other offline forums.
- Measure results – tools like Tweet Deck will allow you to monitor your brand mentions and activity throughout the event. Monitor hash tag activity using tools like http://wthashtag.com/Main_Page. Most importantly though, don’t measure your returns just by sales alone – there’s so many longer term benefits by having your brand involved that are often intangible.