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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” (

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” (  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 (, 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 (

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” (  Examples of Instagram posts based on follower interests include World Oceans Day, #RunForTheOceans (; Earth Day; sustainable athletic clothing (; 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 (  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” (

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” ( 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 (

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 (

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 (  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:  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, “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” (

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 (
    • One source suggests that the design “shouldn’t take up more than one-third of the screen space ( Your design should include your logo, but it should be “secondary to a good design” (
    • Snapchat may reject geofilters with designs that cover the “entire frame or take up too much space in the four corners of the frame” (
    • 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 (
  • 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 (
    • 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 (
  • 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 (
    • The maximum coverage area is 5 million square feet (approximately 115 acres) and a campaign cannot last for more than 30 days (

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 (

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:  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 (

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” (   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 (

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:

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: and   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.


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 (  Some companies want to be transparent in every business aspect and they even make key employee salaries public (  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 ( is Everlane, a clothing business that promotes “radical transparency” (  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) (  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., appreciate this strategy and insight (

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 (

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.”


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,  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 (, 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, 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, and gochujang (sauce made from chile peppers, salt, sticky rice, and fermented soybeans, “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” (


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,, teff (a fine grain used to make breads and baked goods and can be steamed, boiled, or baked,, or piri piri (peppers used to make a sauce,  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 (

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.


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 (  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 (  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.


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” (

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% (

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 (

One such company, SMS Global, a messaging solutions provider (, 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” (

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 (

  • 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 (  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 (

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 ( 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 (, pricing strategies, and packaging (

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 (

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 ( 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 (

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.


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.


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).


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).


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).



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,, and/or desserts/fondue that are often served when entertaining (e.g. Late Harvest Riesling with Plain Cheesecake,

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

Social Media Analytics, Part 2

By: Dr. Kathy Kelley

In last month’s blog, Social Media Analytics, Part 1 (, I provided information about data available on Twitter Analytics ( 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” ( 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).


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” (

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.


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,”; 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.

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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,”

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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” (, 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.

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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 (  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 (

Boosted posts will appear in a Facebook user’s News Feed, and according to one blog (, “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;

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 (

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.

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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.”

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Consumers and Engaged Users

Facebook provides data that describes Consumers and Engaged Users (

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;

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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 (

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.”

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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).

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

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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 (

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.

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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 (, 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 ( 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.

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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.

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3) Number of Impressions, which are “tweets sent that actually generate interaction or replies from others online” (

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 ( 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 (

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.

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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, (
  • 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%).

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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

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  • 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” (

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

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Some of the data you can you learn about each tweet (

  • 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” (

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” ( resulted in 701 impressions.

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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 (

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.

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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.”

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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 (, 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 (

  • 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 that shows when Denise’s followers are “most active” on Twitter.

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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” (

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.

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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 (

  • 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 (

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” (

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. (  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!

Social Media Strategies for Tasting Rooms

By: Kathy Kelley

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We have posted about the information gathered about our survey participants’ use of social media and what networks they feel are mandatory for tasting rooms to implement:  With one more survey for us to conduct, we will be asking survey participants to answer additional questions about their social media use and what would encourage them to connect with tasting rooms.  As with our other survey data, we will be sharing the outcomes in future postings.

Many of you use social media to connect with consumers, but may want to explore other networks.  Others may not be familiar with the tools and unsure what to post, how often, and where to find content.  In this post, I have described some of the more common networks and a couple that are still “new.”  In addition, I have included data that can help readers decide what network(s) to use based on “who” they want to reach and how to craft a post so that it will get noticed.

Social media usage

The number of social media users is growing, consumers are using social networks to search for goods and services, and businesses are increasing their social media budgets in hopes of better reaching their audience.  A quote by Erik Qualman, “The Tony Robbins of Tech,” may say it best: “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it” (

According to We Are Social’s Digital in 2016 report (, “internet penetration” for the U.S. is 88.7%, with consumers between age 16 to 64 spending an average of 6.2 hours a day accessing the internet: 4.3 hours a day using a laptop/desktop computer and an additional 1.9 hours a day using a mobile device.

Sixty-five percent of U.S. adults use social media (, and they spend an average of 2.7 hours a day on the networks (

While some networks are ideal for sharing images and more detailed/longer messages/descriptions (e.g. Facebook), others serve the purpose of presenting to audiences “live” (Periscope) and sharing messages that expire within 24 hours of being viewed (Snapchat).  The following table provides a quick overview of the number of active users for select social media networks and type of content that can be shared using each.

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Which social media network(s) might you choose and why?

Who are you trying to reach?

While demographics are not the only pieces of information you should use when selecting network(s), it is helpful to know which tool you could use to reach Millennials, Baby Boomers, women, etc.

According to the Silicon Valley Bank State of the Wine Industry report (, Baby Boomer (born between 1946 and 1964; wine consumption market share declined slightly in 2015 compared to 2014; however, a greater percentage of this group purchases wine priced $15 and higher.  Yes, it is predicted that Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996; will be the largest wine consuming segment in 2026, but Baby Boomers are quite important and Gen X wine consumers (born between 1965 and 1980) will be the largest wine consuming segment in 2021 (McMillan, 2016).

Women consume 59% of wine, by volume (, so if you are hoping to connect with them via social media you may want to consider a tool such as Pinterest as 70% of the users are female.  The following figure highlights age range and gender of those who use each of the social networks.

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While these data provide a bit of information regarding consumers in general, I would strongly suggest that you learn the following from your customers and tasting room visitors:

  • What social media networks do you actively use?
  • Do you currently follow/like us on social media? If so, which networks?
  • How would you prefer to learn about activities, events, and new products we offer? Social media, email, etc.?

Facebook and Twitter

You may be more familiar with Facebook, due to its sizable membership and that the network has been available to the public since 2006.  But, are you using the best “type” of post so that your message appears on your followers’ newsfeeds?   Facebook employs an algorithm that decides what users see on their newsfeed “in what [Facebook] believes to be the precise order of how likely you [users] are to find each post worthwhile” (, and only Facebook really knows how the algorithm works, but it is hypothesized that the “structure” of the post is one dominant component.

For a number of years, including an image in a Facebook post were considered the “strongest” and resulted in a greater number of Facebook shares than posts with links to external content, and lastly by text only posts (

Images also influence Twitter users.  Adding a photo URL “can boost retweets by an impressive 35%.” As with any of the suggestions/guidelines provided in this post, it will be necessary for you to evaluate response to your own posts.

Should you use Facebook or Twitter or both?

One study suggests both (

  • Consumers tend to engage and interact more on Twitter
  • Use Facebook to drive traffic to your website


With so many consumers using Facebook, and Twitter allowing users to post short and timely messages, why should you consider Pinterest?  “Pinterest traffic converted to a sale 22% more than Facebook” (  Average order values were calculated for each of the three sites, based on a “user following through on the purchase of a product seen on social media,” with Pinterest having an average order value of $179.36 compared to $80.22 for Facebook and $68.78 for Twitter (

Pinterest is a perfect network for businesses where visuals are essential: food and drink, DIY and crafts, home décor, and women’s fashion (  Wine, wineries, tasting rooms, and crafts made with wine bottles/corks can fit into two or more of these categories. If you have a venue that you rent for weddings, receptions, or photo shoots – what better way to advertise your space and showcase its beauty than with pictures? Hence, Pinterest might be a perfect avenue to showcase your space.

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I use Pinterest, as I do most other social networks I actively use, to learn about consumer and product trends.  For example, I find infographics, tables, and figures that illustrate how wine consumption is changing and what new products, packaging, etc. are introduced to the market.  Winery tasting rooms could search Pinterest, and other networks, to learn about new gift items to sell, get inspiration for tasting rooms, find recipes (that they can repin on their own Pinterest page) that use wine as an ingredient, and pairing suggestions.

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When posting images that you own to Pinterest, consider the following when developing pin descriptions:

  • You have 500 characters available to describe your pin. Include a description that is at least 300 characters long.  According to one study, longer descriptions were repined more than shorter ones (
  • Include a link to the site where the image originated from or to the web page where followers can learn more about the image. For example, if you are promoting a new product or an event that you will be holding at the tasting room, include the URL where viewers can learn more or register in the “source” box associated with your pin
  • Include a price, when appropriate, in your pin description. Descriptions with a price received an average of 1.5 “likes,” while those without a price were “liked” an average of 1.1 times (

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Why is it important to know about Instagram?  “A recent study by Forrester Research found that Instagram users were 58 times more likely to like, comment, or share a brand’s post than Facebook users and 120 times more likely than Twitter users” (

Last year, Abigail Miller, former graduate student, wrote a blog post about her experience using Instagram and some information about the network.  The following is the link to the original post: By accessing her post, you’ll learn about her experience with developing a hashtag (#lifedistilled) and encouraging followers and tasting room visitors to use it in their Instagram posts.

Perhaps you have questions about how many hashtags are appropriate.  The following provides some guidance:

  • Do use hashtags – and make sure that you don’t use just generic ones (e.g. the #lifedistilled example above)
  • Opinions vary about number of hashtags to use:

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How might you come up with these five or 11 hashtags?  A website, like, can help you find hashtags related to wine.   I entered the term “winery” into the search field and a list of 10 related hashtags was created.

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Check that your hashtag is appropriate.  Doing so can help prevent your business from being associated with anything negative.  To do this consider:

  • Searching on Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites for the hashtag and to learn the messages it is associated with
  • Use a tool like to learn possible meanings

For multi-word hashtags, capitalizing each word so that it is easier for viewers to read: #LoveToDrinkChardonnay vs. #lovetodrinkchardonnay.  The capital letters help the brain distinguish between words.  For a one-word hashtag, #wine for example, it is not necessary to capitalize it (;

As with the other data presented in this post, you will need to experiment with the number of hashtags you use, as well as the hashtag(s) followers respond to, repost, and like.   It is also necessary to consider the “look” of the images you post to get the most likes possible.

So, what components of an Instagram image gets the most likes?

According to research conducted by Dan Zarrella:

  • Photos with faces
  • “Busier photos”
  • Cool colors
  • Brighter photos
  • Desaturated photos
  • No filter

Consult the following link to learn more about what to consider as your taking and posting pictures on Instagram:  I included a post from Denise Gardner’s Instagram account that shows some of these components.

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Want to know what your top nine Instagram posts were in 2015 based on number of likes?  Simply go to and enter an Instagram name in the search box. I included a screen shot of Wine Enthusiast’s top nine Instagram posts, below.

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According to one study, “YouTube is now bigger than any individual US cable network when it comes to attracting 18 to 49 year olds” (  Based on data from 2013 (

  • 21.7% of U.S. internet users “checked” YouTube every day
  • 27.5% “few times per week”
  • 10% “once per week”
  • 4% “once a month”
  • 14.5% “few times per month”
  • 13.7% “rarely”
  • 8.5% “never”

Some of the strategies that successful brands have used to connect with YouTube audiences, include (

  • Thanking fans who view videos and post comments
  • Using viewer created content in their videos
  • Encouraging viewers to subscribe to their channel by mentioning it in the video

Other suggestions, include (

  • Being authentic
  • Collaborating with established YouTube creators
  • Having a consistent format, schedule, elements (e.g. introductions), and “clear and confident perspective that’s apparent in every video, no matter how different each video is”


A couple of months ago, Jeff Hyde and I used Periscope to broadcast a short question and answer session about driving traffic to tasting rooms.  You can learn more about our experience, do’s and don’ts, and our suggestions for planning your broadcast by clicking on this link:  As a reminder, the intent of the tool is to “let people discover the world through someone else’s eyes” ( by allowing them to witness live events and experiences – anywhere in the world.


You may be wondering what type of content is posted on Snapchat.  Users post images and videos that can be:

  • a story (“like public tweets…[Snapchat] friends can see” and viewable an unlimited number of times for 24 hours) or
  • a snap (“like private messages…meant to be watched once…[users] can replay snaps once within 24 hours)

In addition, users can chat and even video chat using the Snapchat app (

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How did the network become so popular? Snapchat does the opposite of what so many other social networks do.  Instead of storing and documenting everything, Snapchat is “predicated on our reality: moments are temporary and that’s exactly the feeling and behavior that Snapchat mapped to” (

The use of this tool by winery tasting rooms is still quite small. Gary Vaynerchuk, of Winelibrary.TV, provided a response to the question, “Could [Snapchat] be used for a winery?”  Gary relied that, “Yes it could, but the problem is that Snapchat is one to one, not one to many.  You can not find usernames unless someone gives it to you as to whether Snapchat could be used for a winery” (

For general business purposes, users can measure the number of followers who “opened and watched the snap, and how many took a screenshot of it.” Another way to use Snapchat is to share and track coupon codes, which will need to be used within 24 hours of opening (

As Snapchat evolves and more examples are shared online, we will provide updates as to how you might incorporate it into your social media strategy.

When to post, how often, when you should use a #hashtag, and where to find content

Perhaps one of your concerns is that you might not be positing during an optimal time of the day or that you are not posting enough.  You may also wonder about using hashtags and whether you should include them in your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. posts.  The table below provides some guidance based on a number of different sources.

A word of caution, though.  If your followers are following several other businesses/friends/family and they receive a huge volume of updates during these times, they could become overwhelmed and your post might be missed.  Additionally, if your follows are not using the social network at the times stated in the table, and they do not check their news feeds for several hours, they might also miss your post.  Use the suggested posting times as a guideline and document when followers like, repost, and comment on what you post.  Then adjust your posting strategy.

The suggested number of posts is also something that you will have to experiment with.  You may not have the ability to posts as frequent as what is suggested and that might be just fine with your followers.  The key will be posts useful and relevant information on a frequent basis.

With the increased use of hashtags, as discussed in the Instagram section, it is advantageous to know when and how many hashtags to include in a post.  While including hashtags in Instagram and Twitter posts is recommended, their use in other social networks is questionable and/or discouraged.

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What should/could you post?

The options are limitless:

  • Your achievements, business milestones, anniversaries, and events
  • New wines, products, and services (e.g. event space, wedding venue)
  • Links to other businesses – one way to develop partnerships and cross promote
  • How-to videos
  • Co-sponsored efforts with complement businesses

But, don’t forget to consider posting customer testimonials, comments, reviews, etc., can be helpful (  Ask customers to provide this information because:

  • People believe customer stories
  • Happy customers love to share their stories
  • Customer stories are memorable
  • Customer stories can differentiate you from your competitors
  • Customer stories can be repurposed and re-used

What if you have gone through your list of possible posts and have shared a fair amount of customer testimonials – and you have run out of ideas of what to post?  Use a tool like Google Alerts to receive notifications about items that you can repost, retweet, etc.   I use this tool to stay current and learn about consumer and product trends. Each morning I receive a series of emails, one for each keyword/phrase I choose, that contain new stories, event accouncements, etc. These alerts save me a lot of time that I would otherwise have to spend conducting multiple web searches.

Google Alerts allows me to customize what I receive in the emails:

  • Though I have selected to receive the information “once a day,” other options include “as-it-happens” and “at most once a week”
  • For sources of information that Google Alerts sends me, I’ve selected “automatic,” so that I get the widest variety of inforamtion, but I could get information just from news sources or blogs or the content could include just books or discussions

Below, you can see my Google Alerts settings, several of the keywords/phrases I use for my alerts, and a screen shot of one of the emails I received that lists a few of the news items that were recently published on “wine marketing.”

Another alert system you can use isTalkwalker Alerts (  You may also find Social Mention (, which provides real-time search results, to also be useful.

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If you are considering adding to your list of social networks, or you have yet to venture into the world of social media, begin by creating an account and following/observing brands and businesses you admire to learn about how they use the tools, if their followers repost/comment/etc. the content that post.

In my next post, I’ll describe some of the tools you can use to analyze response to what you post/tweet/pin/etc.