Nearly every day now I am seeing new blogs and discussions on social networking, and whether or not businesses can make money using them? In a discussion posted on Tuesday (on LinkedIn) a consultant asked the community if anyone knew of “hard data” on this subject. A number of people left comments and I followed the links in them. As I clicked on these links, none of them displayed pages where I saw any hard data (I have a very extensive background in statistics). I will admit that one page did have at least a dozen links to other pages and I did not follow them but based upon the titles I would be surprised if they did showed that hard data.
True, sound statistical data needs to be captured in a very strict and scientific way to be accurate. More importantly, data is just data until you have a baseline to compare it to, you then can prepare trend analysis and start to forecast future business activity. In a business segment that is barely two years old (yes, I know some sites have been up longer but today’s successful sites have only taken off in a 2007-2008 timeframe), I would strongly suggest that anyone who claims to have accurate metrics is using the wrong data. If they are using data that is more than two years old, this data was gathered in a time that was substantially different from today’s social networking environment, invalidating that early data/information. Therefore, in my opinion, I would say that no metrics company has established a baseline yet. I have yet to see an established, professional metrics company flaunting any claims on social media.
No one can claim success or failure of social networking as a business tool yet.
In the wine business, there are numerous ways to develop a marketing program driven by activity on social networking sites which reinforces traditional sales and marketing activities, and can at least help to maintain sales volume. If I am reading the economic situation correctly, in six months many wineries will be happy just to say that their sales volume is holding. Every point of sale can provide this opportunity. I will discuss two methods, Part 1 will focus on the tasting room and Part 2 will focus on Wine Clubs. Each can be tailored to reinforce each other but for the purposes of these blogs, I will approach them separately.
Let me state it clearly right now, by all means these will be examples and my blogs DOES NOT PROVIDE EVERY OPPORTUNITY. Many more ideas can be developed.
Part 1 to be released tomorrow.