Yep, here I am back at it. Talking social media and ROI only because I know you Paso Robles wine people LOVE it.
As a social media junkie and lover of connecting I want to tell you a story. In my almost five years using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter I have not only learned a shit ton but I have also built up a nice little group of friends and acquaintances. In that group of people I have become known as the Paso wine guy…not to be confused with the Paso Wine Man that appears in all those PRWCA videos…pretty sure more people contact me to find out where to go in Paso anyways.
I have told you in previous posts that I have people contact me weekly to find out what wineries to go to in Paso, where to eat, where to stay, or if they are off in some random store or restaurant I will get tweets about which Paso wine on the menu they should order. Pretty cool, right?
The most recent story is about a couple that came in from Atlanta. We didn’t even really know each other on Twitter yet I saw this guy tweeting about Paso so I hit him up. I ended up giving him winery recommendations as well as some food joints. It appears they went to numerous of the winery suggestions I gave them along with some of the restaurant recommendations.
They even ended up joining the wine club at one place that I know of and who knows if they purchased other wine or not. The point is that the winery they joined they probably would not have ever gone to without my recommendation.
So what does all this mean and what’s the ROI?
What it means:
Social media is powerful and when used correctly can absolutely without question help your business and bring more money through the door. The problem for you, the wineries, is that you want instant ROI and you want to be able to track it. That’s difficult but as time goes on there are more tools coming along that can help give ideas to the ROI…although, in my opinion, completely inaccurately.
Business has changed. The way in which we run our businesses (I have two) has changed. It’s about relationships not manipulation. It’s about being helpful and knowing someone’s name not thinking of them as a number. In fact, screw the term “business”…that’s what we call it but what is it? Business is about human to human interaction…nothing more, nothing less. There is no single tool, aside from a customer being in front of your face in the tasting room, more fan-damn-tastic than social media in allowing you to build relationships and community.
I will repeat…there is no better tool on the planet, other than being face to face, than social media…period.
In the story above I helped direct a cool couple from Atlanta to some very worthwhile wineries in our area. That’s ROI bitches.
To my next point…what is the ROI:
The ROI is the fact that these people that contact me when they are coming to Paso now feel like they have a real source (me) to chat with when they have questions or comments about Paso. It’s a human to human interaction. I’m not a “business” and I’m not “the city of Paso Robles” but I am a dude that effing loves this place. They feel that passion which in turn makes them dig Paso even more. That is some ROI for the city…which I’m doing free of charge…you’re welcome.
More ROI…I am turning people on to wineries that maybe don’t have the BIG BIX name or marketing budget…that’s pretty damn nifty for these smaller wineries in my mind. I am making money for some of these wineries (and restaurants)…although I personally am making no money. Sure, I may be taking some money away from other wineries but I feel I am directing people the best that I can based on their desires for their visit. It’s ROI people…trust me. Plus, when these folks go back home they will tell their friends about their visit and connect me to them if they ever choose to come visit.
The biggest ROI is, in my mind, the fact that I am humanizing their trip. They aren’t dealing with websites and brochures…they are dealing with a human being (me) that sincerely cares. I care about this city and I truly do care that the folks visiting have a really great time.
I mentioned one story above about the couple from Atlanta but I have tons. I’ve had people contact me from L.A. S.F., Colorado, Boston, Florida, Canada, and on and on and on. I’ve met many of these folks in person when they come. This happens weekly…why? Because I have spent TIME building my community online and being trusted. Hey, I’m a likable guy (haha). I should actually write an ebook about the stories from online to Paso Robles…pretty cool.
Social media is worth your investment of time or money so long as you understand the context and differences of each tool. Twitter is not Facebook is not Google Plus is not LinkedIn is not Instagram is not blogging. Each is different…learn it, understand it.
Social media is worth your investment of time or money so long as you are patient and give it time. It’s taken me years to get to the point where people come to me weekly. Sit back, grab a glass of wine, and be human…they will come.
That’s all I got for today folks. If any of you winery folk out there ever want to sit down and discuss this stuff more in depth, please, get in touch. I won’t steer you wrong. I want this wine region of ours to rule the world…we need to be online!
In the past I have done faceplants, and occassionally toot, but am woefully ignorant of the rest so I just spend an hour or two sitting at the front door and welcoming people. Works wonders if you like people, and I get to drink while I sit. BBQ works too. Keep up the good work Matt.
Matt aka Hoot says
Gary, you and your staff do a great job at the winery. You being there to bbq and greet people is exactly what owner/ winemakers should be doing when they can. Adds another level of relationship with the customers that come in.
Diane Smith says
Matt, your love of the area shines through bright & clear. And rightly so! Paso is an awesome place, whether visiting or living here. We’re the lucky ones to live here! ^_^
Matt aka Hoot says
Diane, I’m glad it comes through. I really do love this area…first place in my life I really consider home. And I also really dig the vibe here, which is created by the people therefore I want to see them succeed and be prepared for this new era of business. Good times in paradise! 🙂
Libby Baker Sweiger says
Matt, this is a great post. You are using Social Media the way it’s meant to be used to connect people and you are making their lives richer and more meaningful for it. Sounds like you do live in Paradise!
Hoot (or Matt) says
Libby!!!!!! Thank you for that, much appreciated. As with you, social media is a way to be social, helpful, and connected…it’s not a “tactic” or “strategy” in my mind. It’s a way of life. Cheers to ya, have a great weekend.
David @ CookingChat says
Another insightful post, Matt! In fact, I might do a quick reblog of this, stay tune.
Hoot (or Matt) says
David, much appreciated. I always dig hearing your thoughts man. Loved your post. 🙂
I love this post, Matt. Your ability to make personal connections with folks all over the world amazes me and has the capacity to, just like in your story about the couple from Atlanta, make the first connection that then leads to the next connection face-to-face at the winery, which then leads to the next connection of falling in love with PR – and the fact that they feel connected and cared for every step of the way. (Holy shit, that must be the longest sentence I’ve ever written!). Your support of the community and people is beautiful! I think every winery in PR would benefit from the care and guidance you give to folks coming for their personal adventure. Then it’s up to the winery folks to put a face to what you’ve started. Don’t know if I’m articulating this very well (enjoying my third glass of Pear Valley Cab Sauv – divine!) but know your offering an opportunity to the community that’s vibrant and current. Kudos to you, love you, and never stop!!!!!
Hoot (or Matt) says
Mama Karen…I think that’s the longest sentence I’ve ever read too. LOL…kidding. I love the way you worded that in the “long sentence”. I never started out with social media (started in January of 2009) or blogging (started in January of 2010) to really do anything because I didn’t know anything could be done with these things. As time has evolved and I’ve built friendships and communities it has been amazing to see what is unfolding. And I think 3 glasses of Pear Valley does nothing but help us articulate better…Haha!! Thanks so much for the support and words, as usual, you’re awesome. 🙂
Martin Cody says
Asking the ROI on social media is similar to asking the ROI on relationships. Social, when done right, is about building relationships. At first they’re electronic, however the ones that grow in strength will usually produce a real life meeting.
Great work, as usual Matt, and sorry for the late comment!
Matt aka Hoot says
Martin, no worries my friend. And as you and I know, there is nothing more important than relationships for our own human journey as well as business. People can say all they want, today’s business world thrives on good relationships…nothing more and nothing less.