Wineries on Twitter – Woodward Canyon @woodwardcanyon on Twitter
The goal of this series is to connect with wineries and wine business that use Social Media (Twitter and Facebook) effectively. These interviews can serve as a catalyst to help other wineries and wine businesses to see the benefits (and pitfalls) of joining the social revolution.
The Interview: Woodward Canyon
How long have you been using Twitter?
We’ve been on Twitter for only about 8 months now.
What prompted you to dive in?
I’ve personally had a twitter account for a couple of years and I knew that it was the direction that marketing and social media was heading. When I approached our GM and our marketing coordinator they had also heard about twitter and knew that it was something that we needed to get into before we were doing nothing but chasing the market.
What type of strategy or approach do you use when posting content?
It really depends on who is posting that day. There are a couple of us who try to keep it updated and we each have our own style. But, I like to try to post and re-tweet anything with relevance to the wine industry, Walla Walla Valley and Woodward Canyon. I’ve tried to develop more of a connection with others but will also throw out specials or things going on at the winery as well.
What have been the benefits of using Twitter/Facebook? (increased traffic, increased brand awareness, customer connection, etc)
We’re still fairly new in the whole world of social media even though we’ve been on Facebook for over a year now. I hope that having a profile on both makes us a little more accessible in the eyes of the public and increases brand awareness.
Is there a single success story that you can point to with using Twitter/Facebook?
I know that there have been a few times where I’ve posted something about a wine being released or poured for the first time and someone has seen it and they’ve come in specifically to taste it. The first time it happened was fun for me because it meant that someone was actually reading the stuff I was posting and I wasn’t just posting things for my own enjoyment.
What do you think is the single biggest barrier to why we don’t see more wineries actively using Social Media tools?
Social media is a hard one. I’ve seen some who join because it’s the new thing or fad and then they fall off in a couple of months. Others are still going strong. It’s definitely something that you have to have a plan to follow. It’s not a form of marketing that usually shows immediate results or sales and I think that this deters people. It’s definitely a large amount of time spent on building up your brand awareness and making connections with people rather than trying to directly sell them wine. It is such a foreign concept.
What advice would you give to wineries joining the stream or getting back into the stream?
If you’re interested in social media then you should definitely do it. Make sure that you have someone who is somewhat familiar with what is going on or is willing to learn. Enthusiasm for your company and the different forms of social media are necessary along with enough time to put everything into action.
Briefly tell us about your winery, a new release, or something unique about you?
We are a small, family owned winery in the Walla Walla Valley and we are the second oldest winery in the valley. Rick and Darcey Small started the winery in 1981. Rick and Darcey are both a part of the every day decisions at the winery. Rick, our original winemaker is now head of production and Darcey is our general manager. I love working for them because they treat all the employees very well. We just finished birthday lunch for Kevin, our winemaker, which consisted of Thomas burgers, Rick buns, salad, sweet potato fries and white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. We don’t mess around here! And of course I wouldn’t be talking about Woodward Canyon and some of my favorite things without mentioning our wood fire oven out back. I didn’t realize what I was missing in terms of good pizza until I had one of Rick’s very famous, homemade, garden fresh pizzas! Rick makes the dough himself and then most of the toppings are either from our Estate Garden or from local merchants. Yum, I’m getting hungry again just thinking about them!
What is your favorite rock band and why?
Hmmm … that’s a good question. I’m not sure I have a favorite rock band. There are so many good ones out there. I guess I’ve been following Pink Floyd for years now so they would have to be one of them. Floyd just brings back so many fond memories from high school and college and gathering with friends. I’m a big fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Dave Matthews Band. And then there’s Kings of Leon – I love this upcoming band!