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Summary of the Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division Direct-to Consumer Wine Sales videocast, Part 1

By Dr. Kathy Kelley, Professor of Horticultural Marketing and Business Management

Each year, The Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division releases a State of the Wine Industry Report. This is followed by a videocast overview in January, and then a videocast focusing on Direct-to-Consumer Wine Sales in May.  For more information about these products and events click on this link: www.svb.com/premium-wine-banking.  On Wednesday, I watched Part 1 of the Silicon Valley Bank “Insights for Successful Consumer Wine Sales” videocast.  If you missed the live videocast, you can watch the recording and/or sign up for Part 2, which will air on May 29, 2019, via this link: http://bit.ly/2EvkV9g.  Both videocasts will be the subject of Cryril Penn’s July 1 Wine Business Monthly article. Until then, I decided to write a blog post to give you an idea of some of the main themes discussed during videocast, as well as examples of how you can utilize the information at your own winery and tasting rooms.  

In-home Experiences/Tasting Opportunities: Personalization and Convenience 

The panel discussed the fact that subscription boxes are popular – in fact, the industry was estimated to be worth at least $10 billion in 2018 (http://bit.ly/30C1WmK). Subscription boxes are offered based on “who” the box is for (e.g., age range, gender, pet owner), interests (e.g., food, wine, fitness, environmentally friendly products), usage (e.g., beauty and clothing, education, cleaning), and are often “mass customized.”  As with one specific wine-based subscription box, new subscribers answer survey questions, after which each package is semi-personalized with products that are most likely to appeal.  

Perhaps you are wondering how you can take advantage of this trend.  Whether you have an existing club/loyalty program or if you have considered doing so, you can implement the “best practices” that make subscription clubs so popular.  A couple of these include:

1)    Incorporate user-generated content (UGC)

UGCs are customer reviews that include photos and/or video, in addition to text, that describes the user’s experience (think Amazon reviews), which companies then repost on their own social media accounts.  

Why is this type of review valuable?  As reported by Michale Ugino, co-founder & CMO of Sellbrite, the following are reasons why you should repost UGC on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, etc. (http://bit.ly/2YN7YiR):

  • a majority of adults in the U.S. use social media,
  • customers trust what other viewers say about the product – even if they are strangers – more than they trust “brand-created content,”
  • video and photos are more engaging compared to text-only posts,
  • with the need for brands to post frequently to remain relevant on social media – such content can help keep your tasting room front and center on followers’ feeds, and
  • aside from the time needed to locate and repost the content – it is free. 

This makes sense – if your customers are “on” Instagram, for example, why not use this outlet to showcase “real people” as they talk about how much they enjoy your wine or the great time they had in your tasting room (http://bit.ly/2YN7YiR).  

While you can use a tool like Google Alerts to receive email notifications when something is posted about your brand online, you will need to develop a hashtag, use it consistently in your posts, encourage others to use the hashtag in what they post, and monitor its use.  You can read about how several bands have used UGC successfully by accessing Ugino’s article: http://bit.ly/2YN7YiR.  

2)    Elements of surprise  

If your current club allows members to select the exact number bottles and varietals of wine they receive in a shipment, you might find that other customers look forward to “surprise” packages that they receive, and that part of the excitement is in the “reveal.” Excitement builds throughout the process – starting from the date when the customer expects the box to arrive, to when the box is delivered to the mailbox/doorstep, and peaks when the customer beaks open the package and inspects each item.  

Even if a particular item does not exactly appeal – most likely the recipient will give it a try and/or pass it on to a friend/family member, which further extends the brand’s reach and potential clientele base.   Perhaps you have seen the commercials for certain subscription boxes that air before the shipment – giving a “sneak peek” as to what the subscriber will receive – and then after all boxes have been shipped – when additional videos provide subscribers with information on how to use the product (even if a detailed card or booklet is included in the box with photos and usage instructions).  

Think about the impact you could have with creating short videos and posting them on social media sites that 1) provide a sneak peek as to what is in the subscription box and 2) a longer video (or series of videos) that provide descriptions of the wine, what to pair them with, how long they can be stored, how to store them, etc. 

While you may feel more comfortable recording and editing a video before it is posted – having a live event will give you the opportunity to ask and answer viewer question.  You may have already produced videos that describe these elements for some of your wines, but if the videos are released in tandem with the delivery – there might be a stronger connection, interest in the content, and viewership.   Just another strategy for developing content to stay relevant and on your followers’ screens.  

What are other ways that you can provide a level of convenience and personalization?  Think about how you can enhance the online shopping experience with delivery and in-store pickup.  Do you and your tasting room staff suggest tie-in products that complete the main purchase, or recommending purchase based on past behaviors?  There is at least one way that winery tasting rooms can offer convenience and potentially increase transaction size. 

Lingering 

The panelists not only had experience in the wine industry but in other “traditional” industries that are also seeing a maturing customer base and searching for ways to appeal to Gen Y (born between 1977 and 1994; http://bit.ly/2W1xWSB) and Gen Z (born between 1995 and 2012) consumers.  

One of the issues that arose during the discussion was how these generations behave differently from more mature consumers in tasting rooms, restaurants, and similar.  Past blog posts have described how important experiences are to these young consumers and that the value received needs to be justified by the price paid.   Price is certainly a consideration for these young consumers who likely have less discretionary income than older generations, and these young wine drinkers may be choosing tasting rooms based on the fee they will pay, but they are also selecting them based on the value of the overall experience.  

Videocast host Rob McMillan, EVP and Founder, Premium Wine Division, Silicon Valley Bank, provided an example as to how his step-daughter selected a tasting room based on the tasting room fee, outdoor lounging area, and activities offered (cornhole game area). This particular group was looking for a tasting experience during which they did not feel rushed and where they could “linger” or hang out and have a good time.  

I have shared the image below of a winery tasting room in Australia that had a driving range guests could use to practice their golf swing while consuming wine, beer, and cider. As I observed the group using the driving range (which was available for a fee), they were relaxed, socialized, and spent more on food and beverages than visitors who were participating in an informal tasting – and the demand on the staffs’ time was very minimal.  

Driving range at Sidewood Estate, South Australia

Lisa H. Kislak, Chief Markering Officer, Crimson Wine Group, discussed the value of “soft seating” and that it is a concept recognized in the restaurant industry – flexibility in space (like many modern hotel lobbies).  Such spaces will allow for lingering and create an atmosphere that encourages this type of behavior.  

The inclination may be to create a large space for visitors to chillax; however, first create a small area and evaluate the response (as with any changes that you make to your wine, selection, etc.) to determine if response is positive, how positive the response was, and then make the decision to increase the offering based on these data. The area you create could be as simple as a few picnic benches and tables or a bit more stylish like the example below.  

Outdoor recreation and seating area at Jacob’s Creek Winery, South Australia

Tastings by Reservation

While many of your tasting room visitors enjoy the freedom to walk in without having to plan too much in advance, others may enjoy the ability to make reservations for a more involved tasting – which may include a number of benefits: 1) time-stressed individuals know they will not have to wait long for staff to pour samples, 2) assurance that staff will be available and able to answer questions, and 3) access to reserved wines.  

I witnessed this several times at several Australian wineries where a dedicated tasting bar area was set aside for this purpose.  A “premium” fee was charged for the tasting and the staff member who oversaw the tasting was one of their seasoned employees who could answer any questions guests asked.  These factors elevated the tasting room experience and even though visitors paid more for a tasting – the value they received was well worth it.  Perhaps, as a result of the heightened level of satisfaction during their experience, they had an increased interest in the wines, willingness to follow the tasting room on social media, and likelihood of writing a positive online review.  

Collect Data from all Customers

I often write about data collection and analysis in my blog posts, as there is great power in knowing what appeals to tasting room visitors.  Though it is fairly easy to collect data, track purchases, and communicate with club/loyalty program members, if you are not learning about who is visiting your trashing room/purchasing online and who are not members of your club – you are missing out.  

So, how might you collect data from visitors who (for one reason or another) have not/chose not to join the loyalty program?  If you offer a tasting that requires a reservation, customers should provide the minimum: name, city/state (to learn from how far visitors travel, if there are “pockets” of households where visitors live and that could be the basis for targeting), email (to send a confirmation email and make it easier for the recipient to signup for an email newsletter), cell phone number (additional way to send the confirmation for the tasting and for him/her to signup to receive texts about upcoming events).  

However, there is also the opportunity to ask about preferences (to tailor the tasting to their interests, select the appropriate person to oversee the tasting, etc.), consumption frequency (to suggest club membership type/level that might fit their needs), how they learned about the tasting room (for future promotional efforts), etc.  The reservation form/system should also provide links to Facebook, Instagram, etc. and encourage recipients to follow the tasting room and key staff.  

Tammy Boatright, President of VingDirect, encouraged viewers to evaluate customers based on how frequently they purchase, when the most recent purchase was made, and how much consumers spend on each occasion and annually.  This will allow you to segment customers and identify who purchases your wines online vs in the tasting room, who purchases more frequently, and/or spends more per transaction.  From there you can develop promotions or events that would appeal to groups that exhibit similar interests.  Perhaps, if you find that a certain group of visitors only visit your tasting room or make an online purchase around the holidays, you could develop a targeted promotion to entice them to visit during periods in between.  

Telling your story: Letting consumers know why your brand is unique

By Dr. Kathy Kelley and Dr. Bonnie Canziani*

Every winery has a story to tell about its history and about its wines. A winery’s story often comprises the main advertising message that consumers receive. Critical visitor expectations are being formed as your potential customers read marketing materials about your winery or listen to your staff in the tasting room embellish on “the story,” using it as a performance script during visitor encounters. Indeed, your tasting room hosts are often the main onsite story tellers and serve a vital role as direct ambassadors of the brand and the company—sharing important information with all visitors to the winery.

In this post, we discuss why wineries should have a well-crafted story, examples of national brands that have been recognized as having compelling stories, and steps you can take to develop your story.

Why is a story important?

Researchers have investigated consumer response to storytelling to learn if businesses do benefit from such efforts.  The Origin/Hill Holliday research group conducted studies with 3,000 U.S. consumers, age 23 to 65 years, and investigated their response to winemaker stories. Two groups were shown product pages for four different bottles of California Chardonnay.  Group one was shown the pages with standard tasting notes, while group two was shown three of these product pages and a fourth page with the winemakers’ story instead of the tasting notes.  Based on responses, the researchers found that the second group “was 5% likelier to choose the bottle with the winemakers’ story – and willing to pay 6% more for it” (http://bit.ly/2umZCCE).

Brands that have successfully crafted their story

While both of the following examples are outside the wine industry, each is a successful business with owners who realize that their stories resonate with their clientele and that their narratives support important business strategies.

Being authentic and personable

Dannijo, a jewelry company created by two sisters, was built on the owners’ belief that a story needs to be “compelling to consumers, [such that] they want to build your products into their lives” (http://bit.ly/2tipnzG).  The sisters often model the jewelry in the ads and their social media posts include images of them outside the office and with their families, which helps make them relatable to their target customers.

In their stores, the sisters have installed a selfie booth for customers to take and share images of themselves having fun in the store (http://bit.ly/2tipnzG), and they host speakers who present “unexpected and yet brand-related subjects (e.g., fitness and health, philanthropy and sisterhood)” that are important to the owners and that can interest their primary customers (http://bit.ly/2tMN46Q).

These activities, their core products, and a café all encourage consumers to visit often and to extend the amount of time they spend at the retail outlet on each occasion.

Focusing on customers’ interests

Adidas, like several other brands, sells running shoes.  While their loyal customers will buy their shoes again and again, others are drawn to the business based on how they “feel” about the brand, how the brand helps professional and novice athletes succeed in the sports they love.

Adidas is also credited with being a “listening brand.”  Instead of talking purely about their shoes, the company learns what customers care about and then uses these concerns and passions as a basis for developing the “brand[’s] message through social conversations” (http://bit.ly/2tNdi9h).  Examples of Instagram posts based on follower interests include World Oceans Day, #RunForTheOceans (http://bit.ly/2tN4wbg); Earth Day; sustainable athletic clothing (http://bit.ly/2tMLS3c); and encouraging consumers to perform to the best of their abilities – both on and off the court.

So, what should you include in your story?

A brand’s story is more than words on a page designed to be a pitch for your winery.  Rather, your brand’s story includes “facts, feelings and interpretation” and is a way to differentiate yourself from competitors (http://bit.ly/2tNGkWf).  A successful story will help a business build a following, which in turn encourages these consumers to care about the brand and, hopefully, leads to customer loyalty.  Following are some tips for making your winery story genuine and engaging for your visitors.

  1. Storytelling is based on “interpretation”

Interpretation is a skill that connects your audience with information in ways that create emotional ties between the speaker and the listener. Basically, you take important facts about the wine (e.g., type of grapes or fruit used and production processes) and the winery (e.g., family history or facility information) and share these facts with your visitors in an informative and entertaining manner. A story is not just a dry recitation of facts and figures. Stories attract consumers looking for higher levels of personal recognition and warmth from service staff at your winery.

  1. Storytelling is part of your marketing strategy

Your goals need to be clear when forming and telling the winery story. Typical goals include connecting your guests emotionally to the brand, influencing guests to try something new (e.g., join the wine club or attend a future wine event), and motivating your visitors to buy your wine and share their experiences with others via positive word of mouth. One sign that your guests are engaged is if they ask for more details about the wines, the winery, or the winemaker/owners. A good story will lead to conversation and customer action.

  1. Your stories must seem genuine to your listeners

Storytelling in the winery setting needs to incorporate truthful information about your ingredients, your production techniques, and your business background. Stories create personal ties between the winery and its visitors and people want to be able to trust that the information you are providing is accurate and relevant. The more believable stories will be shared with others via word of mouth after the visit.

Example: Honor Brewing Company & Winery

It seems only natural for a winery to support a cause either with raising funds during an event to donating a portion of the proceeds/price per bottle to a charity.  Sometimes, though, the connection between the cause and the wine brand is not as clear as it could be and why the cause was selected (e.g., to help fund medical research for a disease that an employee has suffered from, to support local community efforts).  Honor Brewing Company, Inc. and Honor Winery owners either served in the military or who had close family members who did.  From the name to the labels (e.g., pictures of dog tags, combat boots) to their mission (“…supporting and celebrating those that have served or are serving…), the brand’s is exclusively “dedicated to the men and women who proudly serve our country” (http://bit.ly/2tO1J1K).

The owners also raise money and donate funds to charities that assist injured veterans and families of those who have fallen – and they are transparent in their efforts.  In 2014/2015 they raised over $200,000 for these charities.  They also encourage social media followers to post about family members in the military and partner with many veteran organizations.

  1. Stories are built on essential raw material

Winery stories need to cover the basics so that every visitor has a good understanding of the wines being served and sold, the fruit that goes into the wines, and other interesting details that make the winery business unique. Proof of quality is often incorporated into the winery story by emphasizing the various awards that your wines have won. The story can move from the past to the present as well as indicate new wines and strategies that are forthcoming in the future. It can also help the visitor identify the role of the winery in the greater community or wine industry in the state.

Example: Gimblett Gravels

When you think of the Gimblett Gravels Wine Growing District, terroir might be one of the words that come to mind.  This patch of land, 800 hectares, once “regarded as the poorest, least productive land in Hawke’s Bay…and no hope of growing a decent crop of anything” (http://bit.ly/2tNlKoN) can lay claim to producing grapes used to make award winning wines: domestically, 600 gold medals and 210 trophies and 105 gold medals and 35 trophies awarded in international competitions (http://bit.ly/2tNqGKD).

Screenshot 2017-07-17 14.45.00

Strict guidelines determine whether a wine can be marketed with the Gimblett Gravels designation.  These measures protect the brand’s image and ensure that growers and winemakers make no compromises and that only high-quality wine that reflects the terroir is bottled with the name and logo of the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association.

  1. Most winery stories are also family stories

The concept of ‘family’ appears either overtly or as a subtext within many winery stories on their websites and during the exchanges between visitors and tasting room hosts. The idea of ‘family’ is represented in multiple ways:

  • remarks about preserving the family farm, land, or agricultural business heritage through the development of vineyards and winemaking operations (the ‘family-business’ message),
  • sharing a history of family generations in the wine-making business (the ‘family-tradition’ message), or
  • an advertising appeal aimed at generating closeness to the visitor based on the inclusive treatment of guests (the ‘join-the-family’ message).

Example: Wente Vineyards

Wente Vineyards in Livermore Valley, CA was founded in 1883 and is recognized as the oldest continuously-operated, family-owned winery in the U.S.  Their story begins with C.H. Wente immigrating to the U.S., learning about winemaking, purchasing land in California, and then…Prohibition was implemented (http://bit.ly/2tNtOpI).

Screenshot 2017-07-17 14.44.48

The family and the business survived hard economic times and war and contributed to the advancement of the California wine industry.  And, if this wasn’t impressive enough, the winery can boast that each winemaker has been a Wente including the current winemaker who is a member of the 5th generation (http://bit.ly/2tNtOpI).  What a story they can tell!

The various family messages can overlap in a single winery story. Family images are also positively associated with consumer perceptions of winery trustworthiness.

 

 

In closing

The art of storytelling can be especially useful to wineries that are trying to develop a visible brand presence and uniqueness in the marketplace. Ultimately, winery hosts need to know how to craft and present a winery story that moves their customers to positive actions, e.g., buying wine and sharing winery experiences with others.

 

*Dr. Canziani is a faculty member at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, Bryan School of Business and Economics, specializing in the management of customer service relationships and business profitability in various sectors including hospitality, tourism, and transportation. Since 2001, she has been involved in marketing and business research focused on the NC wine and grape industry, with more recent emphasis on wine tourism.

 

Using Social Media to Engage with Customers: Filters and Stories

By Jennifer Zelinskie and Dr. Kathy Kelley

We have written a few blogs on social media, how to use the tools, and our survey participants’ use of these tools to connect with wineries and tasting rooms.  You can learn what Snapchat is and the number of U.S. adults who use Facebook and Instagram in one of our more recent posts: http://bit.ly/2o44NFy.  We are finishing our social media series by describing a couple of features that wineries, tasting rooms, wine festival organizers, and similar can use to engage with consumers and enhance their experience.

Snapchat Filters

 If someone has shared a Snapchat photo with you and it looked as if it was embossed with words/phrases, cartoon images, or a business’s logo, the person who took the photo likely applied a filter to decorate the image.

If the filter also included the name of the location then it is likely a “geofilter,” which would only be available to Snapchat users who are in a certain geographic area.  For example, a Penn State University filter was available April 19, 2017 (see below) but only to those who were on the University Park campus, based on the GPS signal that their smartphone was emitting.  Once I left this “area” the filter was no longer an option in the Snapchat app.

Screenshot 2017-04-19 13.26.33According to Spredfast.com, “Geofilters are most popularly used to represent a location or event, but they can also help spread the news of an upcoming release, or trigger participation in a campaign” (http://bit.ly/2m874tv).

Imagine the power that a filter could have:

  • A wedding takes place at your winery, you host an event, or are present at a wine festival, and you promote that a filter is available on Snapchat (which includes either your winery’s name, the festival, etc.).
  • Visitors take photos with Snapchat, apply the filter, and then share the photo with others who follow them on Snapchat. The photos can also be saved to a smartphone or tablet and shared via Facebook, Instagram, email, etc.
  • Those who receive the photo see what a great time attendings are having at your event or tasting room – hopefully prompting them to visit.

 

While the following provides guidelines for designing Snapchat geofilters, some of these tips are applicable when creating filters using other social media tools.

  • Your design:
    • Be sure to keep the middle of the screen open and free from any design (http://bit.ly/2m874tv).
    • One source suggests that the design “shouldn’t take up more than one-third of the screen space (http://bit.ly/2m8fX69). Your design should include your logo, but it should be “secondary to a good design” (http://bit.ly/2m8mptY).
    • Snapchat may reject geofilters with designs that cover the “entire frame or take up too much space in the four corners of the frame” (http://bit.ly/2m8mptY).
    • Consider developing a few different geofilters so that your customers have some choices. This also gives you the opportunity to highlight more than just one key activity during your event.  According to Ashley Ranich, one could have a “strong typography” and the other could include a “fun illustration.”  She also suggests that offering two or more filters can help you determine which filter is more appealing based on use (http://bit.ly/2m8mptY).
  • Font color considerations:
    • If your geofilter will be used at night, or in dark spaces, use light font colors so that your text is visible (http://bit.ly/2m874tv).
    • The reverse is true if the filter will be used in the sunlight or well-lit area. You’ll want to consider darker text font colors (http://bit.ly/2m8fX69).
  • Some minimums and maximums specific to Snapchat:
    • The minimum cost for a geofilter is $5.00, which will cover a 20,000-square foot area (slightly less than ½ an acre) for one hour. It is suggested that you make the geographic area a little larger as “geo-targeting isn’t quite as precise” as it could be (http://bit.ly/2m8fX69).
    • The maximum coverage area is 5 million square feet (approximately 115 acres) and a campaign cannot last for more than 30 days (http://bit.ly/2m8fX69).

You can upload your own design, use one of Snapchat’s templates, or create one using their online design tool, which provides business designs (with generic themes) and special occasions (e.g., weddings, birthdays, current holidays, events).

Personal geofilters cannot include “branding, business marks/names, or logos, and doesn’t promote a business or brand” while a business geofilter can be used to promote your tasting room and include marks, logos, etc. that you own (http://bit.ly/2mKCkmG).

Screenshot 2017-04-20 10.26.03Screenshot 2017-04-20 10.28.28

The one-hour campaign yielded the following:Screenshot 2017-04-20 10.26.10

 

‘Uses’ and ‘views’ “include any repeated views or uses from the same Snapchatter” (email exchange with Team Snapchat, March 9, 2017).

What was the return on investment?  If all 28 views were unique, meaning that 28 individuals viewed snaps with the geofilter, then our cost per impression was 18 cents.  If 14 individuals viewed the snaps twice, then our cost per impression was 36 cents.

Facebook Filters

Facebook recently introduced “frames,” which can be used to decorate profile pictures or photos that were taken using the Facebook camera feature on a smartphone or tablet.  You can take a tour by clicking on the following: http://bit.ly/2o3NmoK.  A few stock frames are available (see below), and Facebook users can create custom frames.

Designing your own frame

A desktop tool like Photoshop is needed to design and build the frame (no design tools are available in the Create a Frame app), which then needs to be uploaded to Facebook.

Screenshot 2017-04-19 12.41.40

 

Screenshot 2017-04-19 11.38.45The frame can be available to “everyone” (regardless of where they are located) or just Facebook users in a particular area (instead of drawing a “fence,” like when designing a Snapchat geofilter, a “pin” is used to identify a location on a map).  Facebook users can search for your frame based on the name you provide (e.g., Happy National Wine Day!) and/or keywords (e.g., wine, festival, party).  By indicating that “Penn State Extension Enology” owned the frame – followers may see Denise’s photo/PSU Enology next to the frame, which can also help users find it.

Facebook Frames, like Snapchat Geofilters, need to be approved before they are “live.” As of today’s posting, we have not been able to learn how much a frame costs.

 

 

Instagram Stories

 Instagram is primarily a mobile-oriented social network, but it does offer some capabilities when viewed in a desktop web browser. Similar to other social platforms, Instagram allows users to engage with one another through following each other, liking posts, saving photos, commenting, tagging, and sending private messages between users. Filter and editing options, as well as geographical location tagging, can also be applied to pictures and videos users upload (http://bit.ly/2oRyCZh).

Additionally, Instagram allows users to change their account to a business profile, which provides business-related insights, including: “top posts,” “promotions,” demographics of “followers,” and days/times they are most active on the network (photo below).

Screenshot 2017-04-20 10.18.08

Another way to communicate with social media followers, keep them informed about your winery tasting room, and generate a response is by creating “stories” – a series of images and video that “lets you share all the moments of your day… in a slideshow format” (http://bit.ly/2o4VWUa).   While Facebook and Snapchat also allow users to create stories, we will focus on Instagram Stories and what you can do with this “feature.”

Instagram Stories

If you follow Instagram users who are creating stories, you will easily find them at the top of your main feed (they look like “little photo bubbles of the users you follow”), and you can access them for 24 hours after they have been posted (http://bit.ly/2oRyCZh).

Screenshot 2017-04-20 10.17.02

To view a story, tap the user’s photo. Tap on the right side of the screen to skip to the next post or tap the left side to go back. Swipe left to skip to the next user’s story.

To post your own story, select the “Your Story” icon at the top left of your main feed page and take a photo or video. You can apply filters, text, drawings, and stickers to enhance your post. You can read more about all the features Instagram Stories offers here: http://bit.ly/2auWwCJ.

Screenshot 2017-04-20 10.18.33

Screenshot 2017-04-20 10.19.01

Instagram Stories can be a great way for wineries and tasting rooms to engage with followers. Businesses can post photos of new products, videos of events held at the tasting room, harvest, stages of vine growth, and even post videos of the winemaker explaining processing techniques. The fact that they only remain visible for 24 hours adds an element of urgency and could encourage followers to view stories before they disappear.  Another way that wineries and tasting rooms could use the story feature is to post a picture of a coupon that can be redeemed during the 24-hour period.  You can also target specific Instagram followers and send the story directly to their Instagram account.  But instead of being visible for 24 hours – after they view it, they are only able to replay it once and then the photo will disappear.

Social media is always evolving, and one of our goals is to identify tools that might be of value to your tasting room and give you a bit of insight as to how you can use them. These are just a couple of ways that you can use social media platforms to engage with customers, and they do require a bit more time than just posting a quick photo; however, depending on your customer base you may get much more interaction and a greater reaction than a quick photo.

2017 Retail Trends For Winery Tasting Rooms To Consider

By Dr. Kathy Kelley

With the New Year just over a week away, the number of reports, articles, etc. that predict what will happen in retail and food trends are filling my inbox and dominating the Internet.  Though overwhelming, I do enjoy sifting through these data and identifying trends that appear in more than one source and that could be useful to tasting rooms in our region.

The one trend that appeared quite frequently was the importance of creating a customer experience.  We have published a couple of blogs about creating an experience, which you can find by clicking on the following: http://bit.ly/2h1dM21 and http://bit.ly/2h1dzLZ.   Since you can refer to these past blogs about how to create an experience for your tasting room visitor, I selected three other trends for today’s post: being transparent, important flavors, and communicating with customers via text.

Transparency

For a few years, consumers have expected businesses to be “transparent” with how they manage funds collected via their cause marketing programs.  Donors want to know how each dollar collected is distributed (http://bit.ly/2i6EdIB).  Some companies want to be transparent in every business aspect and they even make key employee salaries public (http://bit.ly/2i6K7ZY).  Without going to that extreme – what can a business do to meet the desires of their customers who have an interest in learning “where their money’s going rather than simply what it’s buying?”

An example presented in Vend’s 2017 Retail Trends and Predictions report (http://bit.ly/2gUbT74) is Everlane, a clothing business that promotes “radical transparency” (http://bit.ly/2h11bvA).  One of their principles is to be transparent in their costs.

By clicking on a wool-cashmere scarf that they sell, I learned that the true cost ($31.00) was derived from the following: materials ($16.40), hardware ($1.60), labor ($9.65), duties ($2.21), and transport ($1.30) (http://bit.ly/2i22LSR).  The retail price was $65; however, they are primarily an e-retailer, with some product available in boutiques in major metropolitan areas, so they have been able to “eliminate brick-and-mortar expenses and pass these savings on to” their customers.  Consumers and some magazines (e.g., Lucky Magazine, GQ, and Glamour), newspapers (e.g., Los Angeles times, The New York Times), and fashion websites (e.g., Style.com) appreciate this strategy and insight (http://bit.ly/2h3EwPv).

You may not feel comfortable providing a breakdown of why your bottle of Chardonnay costs what it does, but I’m sure that you get asked often why your wine is more expensive than a Chardonnay produced by a “massive conglomerate brand.” Reininger Winery, located in the Walla Walled Valley in Washington State, answered this question in a July 2012 blog post (http://bit.ly/2gV1urD).

Courtney Morgan, Reininger Winery Marketing Assistant, provided information to educate consumers about how factors (e.g. marketing costs, land prices, volume purchases) impact the final price of a wine.  Like Courtney, you probably would make note that “there is no question that a large conglomerate winery can make a good $8 wine,” but that there is something unique and special about the wine you produce and the wine in the bottle reflects the care and attention you take during harvest and the wine making process.

Do consumers get a sense of who you are as a brand?

Most likely your website has an “About Us” page that describes a little bit about your winery/vineyard and the owners.  Perhaps you even have some information about your wine maker or other key employees.  If the descriptions are brief, or merely mention an employee, their name, and their job title, consider adding information that them and who they are as a person.

screenshot-2016-12-21-19-43-02Brancott Estate in New Zealand, which I was fortunate enough to visit a couple of times during my 2011 sabbatical, has taken such an approach.  While a few of the key personnel listed hobbies and what they do on their time off, others described what specific tasks they oversee.

When I clicked on their “About Us” page, I learned that Patrick Materman, Chief winemaker, “decided he would study horticulture at Massey University” at age six, that he was awarded the title of “New Zealand Winemaker of the Year” in 2001, and his job entails “monitoring vineyard blocks, tasting fruit and determining the optimum harvest date.”  Eric Hughes, Winery Manager, is responsible for “turning harvested grapes into wines of the highest quality” and he is the head instructor at the Blenheim Dojo for Seido Karate.

If someone writes your blogs or posts your social media updates and readers merely see their first name in the byline – this could be a missed opportunity.  Wouldn’t you, as a consumer of products and services, what to “know” who is provided the information that you use to make a purchase?

John Morgan, who wrote “Branding Against the Machine: How to Build Your Brand, Cut Through the Marketing Noise, and Stand Out from the Competition” (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2012) stated that “What you do may not be unique, but you are.  This is why putting your personality into your brand is so important…Personal brands can coexist with a company brand.”  The author provided examples of businesses, one of which was Ford Motor Company, that does this well.  Scott Monty, head of the company’s social media, does “a good job of letting us know the people behind the logo.  Scott is building relationships with people and is a brand within a brand.”  Lastly, “People do business with people…Today people connect with your personality, content, and values.  Not your product or service.”

Flavors

Throughout the year several magazines, food businesses, chef organizations, etc. develop lists of food trends.  The number of these resources can be overwhelming and some focus on the impact of a specific ingredient (e.g. turmeric, http://bit.ly/2i6KMe8).  I try to find trends that relate to particular types of cuisines and that are mentioned in several reports.  So, what cuisines might we be savoring in 2017?  Mintel, a provider of market research (http://bit.ly/2i6kdWA), predicts the following:

Cuban influenced cuisine

This food flavor trend is expected to gain greater appeal due to the U.S. travel ban to the island being lifted.   Consumers who travel to Cuba for leisure and business and eat Cuban food during their visit may then want to consume these foods when they return home.  Look for foods with rich sofrito sauce (Cuban sofrito is made with tomatoes, red bell peppers, and diced ham and differs from Dominican, Puerto Rican, and other sofritos, http://abt.cm/2i6g7Od) and pork-based dishes.

Korean, Filipino, and African flavors will become more prominent

Korean flavors such as kimchi (fermented cabbage dish made with garlic, salt, vinegar, spices, and chile peppers, http://bit.ly/2i6cJ5V) and gochujang (sauce made from chile peppers, salt, sticky rice, and fermented soybeans, http://bit.ly/2i6o71B) “are becoming mainstream as they are incorporated into everything from Polish sausages to ketchup,” and more Millennials (23%) “want to see more pickled ingredients on the menu, compared to 14% of all US consumers” (http://bit.ly/2i6kdWA).

screenshot-2016-12-21-17-26-00

Are you familiar with harissa (a chile paste made with smoked peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and a variety of spices and used in North African and Middle Eastern cooking, http://bit.ly/2i6fB2z), teff (a fine grain used to make breads and baked goods and can be steamed, boiled, or baked, http://bit.ly/2i6exM6), or piri piri (peppers used to make a sauce, http://bit.ly/2i6rvtb)?  If not, you may very well see them served in both full-service restaurants and dished out of food trucks.

Fire-grilled or smoked foods

Cooking food in a stove or oven is being overshadowed by consumer interest in foods cooked over a wood-fired grill.  The smoke flavor and aroma “can be incorporated into spreads, desserts, beverages…meats, marinades and sauces” with restaurants using specific types of wood to impart a particular flavor (http://bit.ly/2i6kdWA).

Regardless of whether you have already seen these foods incorporated into menus at local restaurants or if tasting room visitors have asked about possible pairings, now is the time to start developing a list of your wines to serve with these flavors.

Texting

There are several ways that customers can contact you to ask a question about your wine, tasting room, etc., or that you could use to inform them about an event or just say “hi.” Your customers; however, may really appreciate the ability to text message you rather than send an email or call you on their phone to ask you a question.

In 2015, 92% of U.S. adults owned a cell phone of which 68% of them owned a smartphone (http://pewrsr.ch/2iaveGn).  Another survey, administered in late 2014, revealed that text messaging was the primary activity smartphone users conducted on their phone.  Of the survey participants, 100% of those who were age 18 to 29 used their phones to text message (http://pewrsr.ch/2iawoS8).  Nearly all survey participants age 30 to 49 (98%) used their smartphone to text with just slightly fewer participants age 50 and older (92%) responding that they used their smartphone for this purpose.

screenshot-2016-12-21-18-12-21

If text messaging is the primary activity smartphone users conduct on their phones, might they be interested in using text to communicate with business?  According to a report published by The Center for Generational Kinetics, “some 36% of Millennials say they would contact a company more frequently if they could text them” (http://nws.mx/2h1uNZD).

Why do consumers prefer to send a text to a customer service department rather than call the company?  The top five reasons why U.S. and German consumers preferred text, according to a May 2016 survey conducted by Ovum, were:

  • “less time consuming,” 44% of respondents selected this reason,
  • “more convenient,” 42%,
  • “less frustrating,” 30%,
  • “enabled [them] to ask the company to text/call back,” 26%, and
  • “enabled [them] to have a record of the conversation,” 19% (http://bit.ly/2h1vt1p).

To facility a smooth texting experience, several companies provide 2 Way SMS services that allow businesses to send and receive text messages in real time, send automated replies based on keywords, send appointment reminders, and other communications (http://bit.ly/2h1r3rr).

One such company, SMS Global, a messaging solutions provider (http://bit.ly/2h1m8GT), described some of the things a business can do using 2 Way SMS:

  • Send coupons, offers, and inform customers about sales. SMS Global indicated on their website that “in many cases [their] customers yield a more than 300% increase” in offers and coupon redemptions “compared to email or hard copy offers” (http://bit.ly/2h1r6TW).

An example of a winery that uses text messaging to connect with customers is Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery, located in Kasota, MN.  The winery uses text messaging to alert customers about the promotions as well as when they release their wines (http://bit.ly/2iaxaOS).

  • Increase email open rates. SMS Global clients experienced a 30 to 40% increase when consumers received a text “prompting [them] to check their email.”
  • Get customer feedback. Every so often, send your customers a text with a question or two and instantaneously learn about their thoughts and interests.

Why might a business want to incorporate texting into their marketing and communication strategy?  Kenneth Burke recently published a list of reasons on the Text Requests website (http://bit.ly/2iakkjA).  Some include:

  • Responding to consumers via text is a quicker way to answer their questions, allowing you to solve a problem before your competitor can, which may result in more sales.
  • According to Burke, “for the average person, texting is one of the more personal things we do every day.” His rationale is that we receive a lot of emails, many of which “are simply marketing and sales messages,” and phone calls, I’m sure that when you see an unrecognized telephone number on your screen that you automatically think that it is a telemarketer.  But, when you receive texts – you know who sent it and these texts are most likely “from people you have close relationships with.”
  • “Texting makes your business fully mobile.” Texting completes the cell phone usage experience.  If a consumer uses their phone to access social media apps, read emails, play games, and a multitude of other activities – then why not reach them on the device that is most likely to be by their side?

Of course, as with any other marketing and communication practice you implement, you will want to make sure that you follow the rules, which include an opt-in consent, directions on how consumers can opt out of text messages, and that message rates may apply (http://bit.ly/2iaFYEC).

We will continue to share trends that could be useful to wineries and winery tasting rooms in the New Year.

Who is the Mid-Atlantic Wine Consumer? Demographics, Behaviors, and Psychographics

By: Jennifer Zelinskie and Dr. Kathy Kelley

Currently, over 100 million people in the U.S. drink wine (vino-california.com). Although knowing and understanding the characteristics that describe the U.S. wine consumer are extremely important, keying in on wine consumers who live in the Mid-Atlantic, and who have better access to wines produced in the region, can provide even more valuable information. Demographics (age/generation, income, race/ethnicity, gender, education and income level, and similar) can help winery and tasting room owners understand “who” their customers are, while behaviors relate to likelihood of using a product (e.g. consumers who drink wine, consumers who purchase wine produced in certain regions) and level of usage (super core, core, and marginal wine consumers), and psychographics (attitudes) describe how consumers “feel” about wine.  Hence, it is important to understand how wine fits within the context of the Mid-Atlantic culture and detect if any subcultures exist that would warrant even more specific marketing messages, promotions (http://bit.ly/2fdAq6B), pricing strategies, and packaging (http://bit.ly/N8jBfo).

According to The Upfront Analytics Team, there are five key ways consumer demographic information can be used in a marketing strategy.  Specifically, to:

  1. understand who the ideal customer is based on their tastes and preferences (e.g. knowing what appeals to super core wine consumers, what Millennials prefer to drink),
  2. lower marketing costs by using the information to target customers more efficiently (e.g. using Facebook as opposed to traditional media to reach younger generations),
  3. identify new opportunities based on gaps in the current marketing strategy (e.g. marketing wine as being sustainable to reach consumers who are environmentally-conscious, marketing low-calorie wines to health conscious consumers),
  4. create unique selling points through marketing stories that appeal to your target customer (e.g. conveying what your brand represents, what makes your wine/tasting room unique), and
  5. better engagement, through the use of steps 1-4, which can lead to increased sales (http://bit.ly/2fdKEE7).

There is no question that knowing specifics about your customer is crucial. Certain segments are more likely to pay more for wine than others, or they may prefer dry/tannic style wines as opposed to sweeter wines (http://bit.ly/2fvApi8). Engaging different age groups can mean utilizing different means of communication or presenting your brand’s message in a unique way. Millennials, for example, love to experiment with wine, are drawn to hip, modern packaging and show very little brand loyalty (http://bit.ly/2fhl8yy).

Description of “Who” Purchases Wine Produced with Grapes Grown in New Jersey, New York, and/or Pennsylvania

Of the 1,038 consumers who participated in our March 2016 survey, 648 of them (62.4%) responded that they had purchased wines produced in at least one of the three states: New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.  This blog post focuses these participants, and we will use an abbreviation to remind our readers when the data presented is for those who were Mid-Atlantic Wine Purchasers (MAWP).

In Table 1 you will notice that slightly over half of the MAWP were female (57.4%) and approximately half lived in New York (49.5%), which is quite similar to the descriptive statistics of all 1,038 who participated in the survey.  We have included these data for consumers age 21 and older based on 2015 U.S. population estimates.

table-1

Other demographic variables that describe survey participants who purchased wine produced from grapes grown in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania:

  • less than a third (30.9%) were members of Generation X, between age 36 and 51, or were Older Millennials, age 27 to 35 years (24.7%, Figure 1),
  • had a Bachelor’s degree (34.9%) or had an Associate’s degree, technical degree, or similar (31.2%, Figure 2), and
  • had an average household income of $76,000 to $99,999 (22.1%), $100,000 to $149,999 (21.0%), or $50,000 to $75,999 (20.5%, Figure 3).

Figures 1 to 3.  Select Demographics (e.g. Generation, Education Levels) of Survey Participants Who Purchased Wine Produced from Grapes Grown in New Jersey, New York, and/or Pennsylvania and All Survey Participants.

screenshot-2016-11-17-10-52-56figure-2figure-3

Other demographic characteristics that described the Mid-Atlantic Wine Purchasers were:

  • 47.5% resided in a suburban area,
  • 70.1% were married or in a domestic relationship,
  • 55.2% had no children living in the household, and
  • 59.8% participant and one other individual in household drinks wine.

Mid-Atlantic Wine Purchasers Consumption and Buying Behaviors

Of our MAWP, 55.9% were “super core,” which is slightly higher than the percentage of all survey participants who were categorized as being “super core” wine consumers (49.3%, Table 2). Participants were also asked to select the frequency that best described how often they purchased bottles or containers of wine. Approximately a quarter (26.2%) of our MAWP purchased wine “two to three times a month” during an average year, which is similar to the percent of all survey participants who purchased wine at this frequency (25.9%) (Table 2).

table-2

What Wine do Mid-Atlantic Wine Purchasers Consume and Buy?

Participants were asked to respond to several survey questions to help identify what wines they consumed most often in regards to level of sweetness/dryness and the type of wine (e.g. white, red).

Based on responses, 35.2% of Mid-Atlantic Wine Purchasers indicated that they preferred to consumed dry wines and an additional 32.9% responded that they preferred to consume semi-sweet wines (Figure 4).  Pertaining to type of wine, 51.5% preferred to consume red wines and an additional 31.8% preferred to consume white wine (Figure 5).

figure-4figure-5

Mid-Atlantic wine purchasers were asked to indicate from which of the three states (New Jersey, New York, and/or Pennsylvania) and other states/regions they would purchase wine for four different occasions (Table 3).  Participants were also asked to indicate which price ranges they were willing to pay for wine produced in the three states for both “everyday” occasions and for special occasions or celebrations (Table 4).

table-3

screenshot-2016-11-17-10-51-36

Based on this information, Mid-Atlantic wineries and/or tasting rooms could develop specific marketing messages to inform and remind consumers that their wines can be served during special occasions as well as enjoyed “everyday.” For example, they could promote that their wine pairs well with holiday meals, snacks typically served during sporting events (e.g. Pinot Noir with pretzels, Chardonnay with chips & nacho cheese, http://bit.ly/2eHJB3y), and/or desserts/fondue that are often served when entertaining (e.g. Late Harvest Riesling with Plain Cheesecake, http://bit.ly/2fisUYO).

Wineries and/or tasting rooms can also communicate with consumers that their Mid-Atlantic wines could be perfect to give as a gift.  For example, those located near universities, historic areas, etc. and have wine named after the region/activities/refers to the school should remind consumers that the wine could be an appropriate graduation gift or to celebrate occasions associated with the historical sites.  Wineries and/or tasting rooms can also promote the restaurants where their wines are served or tasting room staff can suggest a local BYO restaurant and then recommend one of their wines to pair with the meal.

Data presented in Table 4 provides insight as to what prices MAWP reported paying for all wine they bought, not just wine produced from grapes grown in the Mid-Atlantic, for both occasions.  Perhaps consumers have asked you why wine you (or others in the area) produce is more expensive than similar wines from outside the region.  This is an opportunity for you to inform them about why your price is higher (you produce small quantities of wine, production methods differ from mass-produced wine, etc.).  It may seem redundant or you may feel that your customers are familiar with the reasoning – but consumers need to be reminded (again and again) about your brand/what makes your business different from competitors in order for them to truly remember.

How do Mid-Atlantic Wine Purchasers Learn About Wine?

Participants were asked to select, from a list of 11 sources, all the sources they used to learn about wine.  Or those presented, the top five sources were:

  • friends and/or family (75.8%),
  • wine and liquor stores, including the employees, promotions/advertisements in the store, and/or sent via email or postal mail (65.6%),
  • winery tasting room staff and/or promotional/advertisement in the tasting room, and/or sent via email or postal mail (47.4%),
  • food and cooking magazines (e.g. Food & Wine, Bon Appetite, Food Network Magazine, Cooking Light) (43.2%), and
  • general online search using a search engine (e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo) (38.6%).

The least selected sources were:

  • television/radio programs (cooking channel, local or national news segment) (21%),
  • local and/or regional magazines (online or print) (18.4%),
  • national and/or local newspaper articles (online or print) (16.4%), and
  • educational classes (e.g. short duration of 1 to 2 hours, long duration of 2 to 8 hours and/or multiple day workshops of 2 to 5 days) (8%).

It is important for wineries and/or tasting rooms to understand which sources consumers use to learn about wine. Not only are these sources helpful in determining where to place advertising and promotional messages, but to provide information that the source can then use to inform consumers about wine, pairing suggestions, how to store wines, etc.

How Can a Winery and/or Tasting Room in the Mid-Atlantic Region Apply This Information?

Knowing who purchases wine made from grapes grown in the three targeted states (New Jersey, New York, and/or Pennsylvania), prices participants paid for wine in general and what wines (sweetness/dryness level and type of wine) they prefer, among other data presented, can help wineries and/or winery tasting rooms develop more appealing products and better targeted promotional messages. In upcoming blog post we will continue to present data that describes the behaviors and psychographics of the Mid-Atlantic Wine Purchaser, as well as other segmentations that we feel will be valuable to wineries and/or tasting rooms in the region.

Additional Researchers & Jen Zelinskie’s Thesis Advisory Team:

  • Denise Gardner, Extension Enologist, Department of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Ramu Govindasamy, Professor, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Rutgers University
  • Jeffrey Hyde, Professor, Agricultural Economics, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Brad Rickard, Assistant Professor, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
  • Karl Storchmann, Clinical Professor, Economics Department, New York University; Managing Editor, Journal of Wine Economics
  • Michela Centinari, Assistant Professor of Viticulture, Department of Plant Science, The Pennsylvania State University

The project “Developing Wine Marketing Strategies for the Mid-Atlantic Region” (GRANT 11091317) is being funded by a USDA Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program grant, whose goal is “to assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system.”  For more information about the program, visit http://www.ams.usda.gov.

Social Media Analytics, Part 2

By: Dr. Kathy Kelley

In last month’s blog, Social Media Analytics, Part 1 (http://bit.ly/1Q4Htsz), I provided information about data available on Twitter Analytics (https://analytics.twitter.com) based on Denise Gardner’s Twitter profile/account (@DeniseMGardner).  For example: number of followers, follower response (number of impressions, mentions, etc.), and days of the week/times of the day that she might want to schedule her tweets.

In addition, I included a list of reasons why Twitter users tend to unfollow others and why you might want to post a tweet more than once. In this week’s blog you will find information about how to find key Facebook metrics using Denise’s Penn State Extension Enology Facebook Page as the example.

What Information does Facebook Insights Provide?

If you are not familiar with Facebook Page “Insights,” like Twitter Analytics, they provide information that can help you determine who “likes” your page, when you might want to post to your Facebook Page, and what posts Facebook users interacted with the most.

You can view these data “after at least 30 people like your Page” (http://bit.ly/21vnFoS) by clicking on the Insights tab at the top of the page.

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All of the information discussed in today’s blog can be found by selecting options such as “Overview,” “Likes,” and other categories found on the Insights tab (see image below).

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There is a fair amount of data provided via Insights and on first view it can be overwhelming.  But, the information provided below can help you understand some of the definitions (e.g. consumption) and differences between terms (e.g. engaged user vs. consumer) used to describe the categories of data.

Data you can access on Insights “Overview”

Like it sounds, Overview is the first section that you should look at to learn about Facebook user response to your posts.

1) Number of page views

Page views, as you might expect, are the number of of times people viewed the Penn State Extension Enology Facebook Page.  Denise can change the graph (below) to show data specific to “today,” “yesterday,” the “last 7 days,” and the “last 28 days.”  In addition, she can export Page, Post, or Video data as an Excel or .csv file for any time period (“lifetime” of the Facebook Page to “today”) that she specifies.

Along with numbers, a percent change (positive or negative) shows how the current number of page views compares to an earlier point in time.  For example, in the image below, you can see the number of page views for the period of March 25 to April 11, 2016 (138).

Picture1

Notice that there is a green upward arrow and “27%,” which is the increase in page views compared to the previous 28-day period.  If I were to change the range to “the last 7 days” you would see the total/percent for the period of April 5 through the 11 as compared to the previous seven days.

2) Page Reach

Page Reach “is the number of people who saw any of your post content during a give period of time” (http://bit.ly/1pUi5we).

For the period of March 15 to April 11, the total number of Facebook users who “saw” content on Denise’s Facebook Page was 4,496; however, this number was 35% lower than the page reach for the previous 28 days.

3) Page Likes

This metric refers to the number of Facebook users who “liked” Denise’s Facebook Page during the period specified.  As with Page Views and Page Reach, the number of Page Likes gained between March 15 and April 11 is expressed as a number and a percent increase/decrease.

4) Reach and Engagement for Individual Posts

Just below these graphs you will find a table that highlights the five most recent posts.

Picture2

In the table, you will find:

  • The publication date for each post;
  • post title;
  • type of post (link, photo, video, status update);
  • targeting, which means “who” the post was shared with (e.g. public, which would be anyone on or off Facebook; your friends on Facebook; customized targeting);
  • total reach (6,475 people)
  • organic (3,025) and paid (3,450) reach
    • by “hovering” your curser over the data you will see how many were organic (those who saw the post “through unpaid distribution”) and paid (those who saw the post as a result of an ad/post was “boost,” http://bit.ly/1SUbEEJ); and
    • engagement
      • post clicks (166) and the combined number of all reactions/comments/shares (114) for the post.

Denise’s post on March 11, 2106 “reached” nearly 6,500 people.  Since her posts are shared with the public (notice the globe symbol), anyone “on or off Facebook” can view them. If she wanted to “customize” who sees the post (e.g. audience location, language, gender, age range) she could do so by changing the page settings.

Data you can access on Insights “Posts”

1) Additional Reach Data

Step 1: Click on the arrow on the top right of the table to be directed to Insights “Posts” to see additional/different breakdowns of reach and engagement.

Apr 2016_KathyB_Image 04

Step 2: On Insights Posts, click on the drop-down arrow to the right of “Reach: Organic/Paid” (highlighted by the red circle in the following image). There you will find:

  • the number of Penn State Extension Enology Facebook Page “fans” (371) and number of non-fans (6,104) who saw the post and
  • organic impressions (posts “displayed in a user’s News Feed, ticker, or on [the Extension Enology Facebook] Page”) and paid impressions (“number of times your paid content was displayed,” http://bit.ly/20ZZEYn).


Apr 2016_KathyB_Image 05

Note that “people might see multiple impressions of the same post…in [their] News Feed once…and then a second time if their friend shares it” (http://bit.ly/1wrk7HQ), so impressions are not based on “unique” views.  Hence, this metric may not be as useful as the other reach/engagement data.

2) Additional Engagement Data

Clicking on the drop-down arrow to the right of “Post Clicks, Reactions, Comments & Shares” (red circle in the image below) we can see a few options as to how the data can be presented:

  • engagement, which includes number of post clicks (166) and the combined number of reactions, comments, & shares (114);
  • number of post hides, hides of all posts, spam reports, page unlikes; and
  • engagement rate (3%), which is calculated based on number of people who the post reached who then liked, commented, shared, and clicked on the post.

Apr 2016_KathyB_Image 06

You may notice that posts with greater reach do not necessarily have the highest engagement rate.  Engagement through videos tends to be higher than photos, post links, and text only posts (http://mklnd.com/1FVSmdK).  This same article provides a response to the question: “What is a good engagement rate on Facebook?”  Of course this varies based on industry, followers, and other factors, but you could compare each of your posts’ engagement rate against the following:

  • “Above 1% engagement rate is good,”
  • 0.5% to 0.99% “is average,” and
  • below 0.5% “likely means that you need to realign your messages to that of your audience’s expectations…more compelling and engaging contributions.”

Boosted Posts

Several articles have indicated that organic reach “is steadily declining” and that ads and boosted posts are becoming even more important to businesses trying to attract Facebook users and build their clientele base (http://bit.ly/1fJnS5R).

Boosted posts will appear in a Facebook user’s News Feed, and according to one blog (http://bit.ly/1KbmLFn), “paid reach on posts drives additional organic and viral reach/engagement” and “residual organic effect” occurs “for a few days” after running an ad.  So, after the boost/ad period expires you may see reach gradually taper off rather than drop suddenly.

Options for who can see your boosted posts are:

  • People who like your Facebook Page,
  • people who like your Facebook Page and their friends, or
  • an audience you target based on their location (e.g. country, state, city, distance from a specific address), gender, age range, and four to 10 interests (e.g. wine, wine tasting, tasting, live music, live music festivals; http://bit.ly/2104Onk).

You then indicate the amount you want to spend and the duration you want the campaign to run.  Facebook will then provide an estimate of the number of people that you will reach based on the audience you are targeting and the budget.

Another option is to use the Ads Manager feature and “promote a post,” which provides even more targeting, pricing, and bidding options (http://bit.ly/1fJnS5R).

Using the Data Export Feature

To view data for several posts, use the Data Export Feature to download the information to either an Excel file (.xls) or a Comma-separated values (.csv) file.  Begin the process on navigating to Insights “Overview” and then click on Export and select the data type (Page, Post, or Video data) and data range.

Apr 2016_KathyB_Image 07

I exported the “Post Data” for January 1 to 31 March, 2016 and on the “Key Metrics” tab I sorted the posts by Type (status, photo, link, or video), Lifetime Posts Total Reach (the total number of unique users that the post was “served” to since being published), Lifetime Post Organic and Paid Reach, and many other metrics.

Post Reach

The following image shows a sample of the data I sorted by “Lifetime Post Total Reach.”  Of the posts published on the Penn State Extension Enology Facebook Page between January 1 and March 31, 2016, the March 11th post had the highest total reach: 6,475, and (as you also saw above) 3,025 of these people were reached organically and 3,450 were reached because the post was boosted.

Of the six posts shown below, this was the only one that was boosted, so that is why all other Lifetime Post Paid Reach cells have a “0.”

Apr 2016_KathyB_Image 08

Consumers and Engaged Users

Facebook provides data that describes Consumers and Engaged Users (http://bit.ly/1ggqTfj).

The number of Consumers is calculated based on Consumption:

  • Link clicks,
  • photo views,
  • video plays,
  • post comments, likes, and shares.

Engaged Users include the number of these consumers and those who clicked on:

  • Name of the user who commented on the post,
  • number of likes a comment receives,
  • responses to comments, and similar.

If this is unclear, refer to the image, below.  This visual shows what types of actions count as “consumption” (clicks/comments/sharing/likes in the “blue” rectangle) and how the number of engaged users is calculated (consumption actions in the “blue” rectangle and actions that take place in the “green” rectangle; http://bit.ly/1iUuqgZ).

Apr 2016_KathyB_Image 09

Since the number of Lifetime Engaged Users includes the number of Lifetime Post Consumers and other clicks, the number of Lifetime Engaged Users will always be equal to larger than the number of Lifetime Post Consumers (http://bit.ly/1ggqTfj).

The following image shows data for the top six posts and the location of these data in the Excel spreadsheet: Lifetime Engaged Users can be found in Column “L” and Lifetime Post Consumers can be found in Column “M.”

Apr 2016_KathyB_Image 10

Reach and Engagement for Individual Posts

If you access Insights “Posts” and then click one of the title, you will see People Reached and Post Clicks.

For a post written by Michela Centinari, 813 people were reached and there were 55 Post Clicks.  Of these Post Clicks, 36 were Link Clicks and 19 were Other Clicks (clicks on other user’s names, their comments, and on content other than a link/photos/videos).

Apr 2016_KathyB_Image 11

Likes (24), Comments (4) & Shares (4) can be divided further into those that occurred “On [the] Post” and “On Shares.”

Apr 2016_KathyB_Image 12

Looking at the “blue” rectangles above, 12 users clicked on the post’s “like button,” two provided comments (one of which was Denise’s reply to the initial comment), and three shared the post with their friends and fans.

As a result of three fans who shared the post with their friends/fans (highlighted by the “red” rectangle): 12 of their friends/fans clicked on the post’s like button; two of their friends/fans commented on the shared post; and 3) one of their friends/fans further shared the posts with their friends/fans (data highlighted by the red rectangle).

How Many People Liked your Facebook Page on a Given Day?         

Obtaining this data is pretty straight forward.  Insights “Likes” provides a visual that, by “hovering” your curser over it – a pop-up appears with the number of Total Page Likes for that day.  Several options exist pertaining to the range of data that can be shown: a week, month, quarter, or a specific date range.

Apr 2016_KathyB_Image 13

Interested in learning the total number of likes your page had on March 11, 2106, or perhaps the number of additional likes you earned on that day?  The Data Export Feature can be used to download Page Data.  I’ve provided a condensed view of the Excel file with the data for the March 11 post and the column in the file where you will find the data.

Apr 2016_KathyB_Image 14

Examples of what you will find for the page include:

  • Lifetime Total Likes (536 for the March 11 post; column B),
  • Daily New Likes (4; column C),
  • Daily Unlikes (0; column D),
  • Daily Page Engaged Users (83; column E),
  • Daily Paid Reach (384; column N)
  • Daily Organic Reach of Page Posts (1,344; column AG), and
  • Daily Paid Reach of Page Posts (384; column AJ).

The percent of your fans who are male and female and in each of the reported age ranges (e.g. 18 to 24, 25 to 34 year), along with gender/age range breakdown of “People Reached” and “People Engage” can be found on Insights “People.”

Apr 2016_KathyB_Image 15

Along with this information, you can learn how many of your fans “were on Facebook” during the previous seven days and what time of day seemed to be the “most popular.”

Apr 2016_KathyB_Image 16

The number of Penn State Extension Enology Facebook Page fans didn’t change much from from day-to-day for the seven-day period shown (range of 506 to 514), and at least 200 fans checked Facebook between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., with 270 on Facebook at 9 p.m.

As with Twitter, you should experiment with the timing of your posts.  Look at the resulting response and engagement to determine when it is optimal to post.  According to one author, consider posting at “off-peak” hours “when fewer people are sharing content on Facebook” in hopes that more fans will notice your post (http://bit.ly/1PZ4Cmv).

Where did your Facebook Page Traffic Originate from?

Perhaps you are using several outlets (your website, a link in an email, other social media) to reach your customers and drive them to your Facebook Page.  Insights “Page Views” provides a visual that shows how many visitors originated from your blog, Google, those who were already on Facebook, etc.

The following graph shows the number of views on April 7, 2016 that originated from four sources.   Seven people were already on Facebook, one was redirected from the Penn State Extension Enology WordPress blog, and another from the Penn State Extension website.  While none of the views on the 7th of April originated from Google, one did originate from Google on April 6th.

Apr 2016_KathyB_Image 17

This information can help you determine where to focus marketing and promotion efforts to increase traffic on your Facebook Page.  If Denise was unaware that traffic was generated from the Penn State Extension website she might consider contacting the administrator and ask if she could provide content that could be posted on the site with a link to her Facebook page.

The third blog in the Social Media Analytics series will focus on WordPress and Blogger analytics.

A special thank you (again) to Denise Gardner for allowing me to show all her analytics in this post!

Social Media Analytics, Part 1

By: Dr. Kathy Kelley

In last month’s blog, Social Media Strategies for Tasting Rooms (http://bit.ly/1UUG2EM), I provided information to help you determine which social media networks you might choose and why; strategies on using some of the more common social networks (and a few new ones, too) to connect with audiences; when to post, how often, when to use #hashtags; and how to find content that you could include in your posts.

Over the next couple of posts, I will provide information on how to find and decipher the analytics for each of the more common tools, and some tips on how to use the data to make more of an impact. The information in this post focuses on Twitter.

What is the Twitter Analytics Dashboard and What Information does it Provide?

The Twitter Analytics dashboard (www.analytics.twitter.com) is free and can be accessed by anyone who has had a Twitter account for 14 days.   It provides users with a summary of their Twitter activity for the calendar month and a 28-day period.   I have included an image of Denise Gardner’s (@DeniseMGardner) “Home” tab on her dashboard to illustrate what one looks like.

Apr 2016_Kathy_Image 01

You can find the following on the Home tab:

1) Number of followers.  Denise had 393 followers, as of March 24, an increase of eight from the previous 28-day period.

2) Number of tweets that she sent in March 2016, as of the 24th (16 tweets; see image below), and for the previous 28 days (18 Tweets).  Denise published four more tweets between February 26th and March 24th than she did the previous 28 days, which is indicated by the 28.6% increase in tweets.

Apr 2016_Kathy_Image 02

3) Number of Impressions, which are “tweets sent that actually generate interaction or replies from others online” (http://bit.ly/1UOlQEs).

Denise’s 18 tweets had a total of 4,114 impressions, which is the number of followers (393) who viewed the tweet on Twitter’s Android and iOS apps or on Twitter.com (http://bit.ly/1nlIItD) and the number of replies she may have received during this period.  This number does not include those who viewed her tweet on other platforms, like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck (http://bit.ly/1RDXey4).

A great visual that shows the number of impressions per day can be found on the “Tweet” tab.

While the daily average number of impressions that Denise received was 147, there were four days when the number of impressions were above 400, as demonstrated by the “height” of the light blue bars.

Apr 2016_Kathy_Image 03

Notice that on the days when she had a greater number of impressions she did not necessarily post the most tweets.  Rather, the days with a higher level of impressions are Fridays, the day that she tweets about a new Wine & Grape U. blog post, and the Monday and Tuesday of the following week.

Just below this graph is a list of her tweets for the 28-day period with their respective:

  • Number of impressions.
  • Total interactions with a tweet: number of retweets, tweets that mention her Twitter handle, users who “favorited” her tweets, new users who followed her, (http://bit.ly/1ncyZE0).
  • Engagement rate. Although the engagement rate is already calculated, it is the number of engagements for a post divided by the total number of impressions.  For example, Denise’s post on March 15 had 90 impressions and four engagements resulting in a 4.4% engagement rate (4/90 x 100 = 4.4%).

Apr 2016_Kathy_Image 04

While the tweets are arranged in reverse chronological order, as seen in the image above, we could order them by:

  • Top tweet, tweet with the most impressions/engagement would appear at the top of the list;
  • tweets and replies, which would show how many followers replied to the tweet (see below); and

Apr 2016_Kathy_Image 05

  • promoted tweets, which are impressions and engagements generated for paid tweet that would “reach a winder group of users or to spark engagement from existing followers” (http://bit.ly/1KvffHH).

If I click on an individual tweet I can get even more data pertaining to the action that users took.

Apr 2016_Kathy_Image 06

Some of the data you can you learn about each tweet (http://bit.ly/1lfPeU0):

  • Detail expands. Clicking on the tweet provides additional detail (time and date the tweet was posted), all pieces of a multi-part conversation, and features (a follow/unfollow button, a textbox that can be used to reply, a menu with even more options).
  • Number of users who liked the tweet by clicking on the heart icon.
  • Link clicks, embedded media clicks, hashtag clicks, and profile clicks.
  • Retweets and replies.
  • When “your tweet resonated with someone else, and they wanted to give a virtual high five” (http://bit.ly/1EHhenw).

What was Denise’s top tweet based on number of impressions?

We can also learn which tweet generated the most impressions in March.  As you can see in the image below, the tweet she published on March 11 that promoted her blog post, “What Penn State Extension Means to Me: From a Non-Agricultural Student to Today’s Extension Enologist” (http://bit.ly/1pcvTGm) resulted in 701 impressions.

Apr 2016_Kathy_Image 07

Not only can she see the data for the 28-day period, but she can view data for just the past seven days, a specific calendar month, or up to a 91-day period.  She can also use the CSV export tool to download data for up to 3,200 tweets going back to October 2013 (http://bit.ly/1nlIItD).

4) Number of Mentions: another Twitter user’s tweet that includes a @username (Twitter handle).  Below is an example of a tweet that “mentions” her handle.

Apr 2016_Kathy_Image 08

5) Number of users who visited her profile page.  By accessing her profile page, users can learn how many total tweets she has published, a brief bio, a link to her LinkedIn account, followers in common with Denise, when she joined Twitter, thumbnails of her photos and videos, and others’ tweets that she “likes.”

Apr 2016_Kathy_Image 09

With all this information available, what should you focus on?

While seeing “large numbers” of tweet impressions, mentions, followers, etc. on your dashboard is encouraging, the “percentage next to these numbers” is what you should be focusing on (http://bit.ly/1PvrhQJ), as it compares activity to that of the previous 28 days.

Although there was an increase in profile visits (an increase of 30.5%), it is not apparent who was looking at her profile and what action they took (followed Denise, retweeted her, etc.).  Hence, this statistic might not provide you with information needed to make decisions.  The increase in Denise’s impressions (an increase of 81.2%), mentions (an increase of 83.3%), and followers (an increase of 8%); however, are all indicators that her information was of value.  Had the number of followers been lower than the previous 28-days, it would be necessary to look at her tweets for the two periods and try to detect what might have caused users to “unfollow” her.

Some reasons why Twitter users tend to unfollow others, according to Kissmetric.com (http://bit.ly/1ygP1X4):

  • Tweeting about issues that are “off topic” and not what would be expected based on the user’s profile;
  • not providing valuable content and information (helpful links, informative studies, quick tips, industry-specific news);
  • being too personal and sharing too many personal details and experiences;
  • posting offensive tweets;
  • not tweeting; and
  • publishing a whole bunch of tweets at once on more than one occasion.

When should Denise post her tweets?

Although your followers have different schedules and you will never know when they are actively using Twitter, there are some tools that can help determine when to post based on likelihood that your followers will see them.  As you would expect, there are a variety of tools that charge a fee and have even more capabilities; however, for this blog I will focus on one of the free tools that provides some basic information.  I took the image, below, from the free version of Followerwonk.com that shows when Denise’s followers are “most active” on Twitter.

Apr 2016_Kathy_Image 10

Using this information, Denise could do a trial and see if her tweets get more impressions, etc., if she posted them during those times when her followers were “most active.”  For example, she could begin by posting her tweets around 9 a.m., 11 a.m., or 1 p.m., then look to see if she did generate more of a response.

Other data available on Twitter analytics

By clicking on the “Audience” tab, you can learn a little bit about your followers: Gender, country of residence, U.S. state/region, and followers’ top 10 interests.  According to a blog posted on Social Media Examiner, by viewing the list of interests, “you will know what areas your should focus on for both original content and the content you retweet” (http://bit.ly/1rQQVrq).

I have provided an image of my followers’ top 10 interests.  I post about several different foods, business, and technology topics, which is reflected in the data below.  If I posted specifically about wine my followers would be different and their top 10 interests would include more food and beverage related categories.

Apr 2016_Kathy_Image 11

The case for posting your tweet more than once

If you follow some global brands on Twitter you probably see that they tweet about a product, event, and/or time in history more than once during a given time period.  This is called recirculating a tweet and it is common practice. According to one blogger (http://bit.ly/1pKtwL9):

  • Recirculating a “moderately successful post, one with about 2 initial retweets,” resulted in “about 2 more retweets.”
  • Recirculating a “very successful post, one with an average 9 retweets,” resulted in it being retweeted four more times.

Reasons why you might want to recirculate a post:

  • Some followers may be in a different time zone and miss your initial tweet.
  • New followers may not see your tweet when you initially posted it (http://bit.ly/YOe7M8).

In addition, your original tweet could be missed if those who follow you also follow several other uses and/or users who post quite often.  As an example, I follow 328 others on Twitter, many who post more than once each weekday morning between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. I might see several hundred tweets and an additional handful of promoted tweets (ads).  I’m certain that I miss some very interesting and important tweets.

While you may be concerned about disturbing your followers with these additional posts, consider this quote:

“Only sharing your content once on social media is a rookie mistake. Studies have shown that sharing your blog posts and other content several times will get you more retweets, views, and comments. As crowded as these networks are, it is unlikely you would bother anyone with multiple shares” (http://bit.ly/231zUML).

Finally, don’t recirculate every tweet you posts, but when you do change the words around, use different key words, include different #hashtags, change the image that you include in the tweet, compose your tweet as a question (for example, Did you know….), etc. (http://bit.ly/1RKIbjq).  Look at your Twitter Analytics often, see if there are for any patterns regarding follower response, model some tweets after what you learn, and evaluate.

A special thank you to Denise Gardner for allowing me to show all her analytics in this post!