How Wine Lovers Use Social Media

Wine and social media have created an incredible force within the industry.

Twitter. Facebook. Blogs and videos. With all the various ways to communicate about wine (and myriad other pursuits), it’s a wonder we have any time left to sip and relax.

But social media gurus say that tweeting and blogging can help us enjoy our favorite tipple. “Wine is a very social beverage,” says Warren Sukernek, VP of Strategies for Lift9, a Seattle-based social media marketing firm. “The whole experience is definitely enhanced for enthusiasts when you’re talking to others about it, whether it’s exploring new wines or comparing tasting notes.”

This may be why, according to a new study from Lift9, 700,000 people watch wine-related videos each month. There are over 7,000 wine tweets per day, and over 1,300 bloggers focusing on wine. And the wine experience has become portable, with more than 300 iPhone apps.

We asked Lift9 to share with us the top clicks in the social media realm, and how each tool is being used.

Most-watched Wine Videos

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most-watched online videos are not educational, but entertainment-oriented. “The ones that become viral are the comical ones,” observes John Song, president of Lift9. “They’re not experts.”
1. Wine in an upside down glass trick
2. Drink to your health
3. Borat’s guide to wine tasting

Top Wine Blogs (measured by frequency in audience interaction over the previous 3 months)

The action on the top blogs centers around getting and giving specific recommendations. “People have the impression that wine is stuffy and asking questions might be difficult in a store,” Sukernuk explains. “But on social media, they can get all kinds of advice from peers.”
1. Wine Library TV
2. 1 Wine Dude
3. DRINKnectar

Top Wine Tweeters (measured by number of followers)

In the 140-character world of Twitter, what brings in the followers is equal parts relevance and entertainment. The top Tweeters also are the ones who also take time to respond to followers.
1. @Jancisrobinson
2. @winetwits
3. @garyvee

Top Facebook Fan Pages (measured by number of fans/friends)

Note that all three are wineries, not wine critics or personalities. According to Song, “engagement” is what differentiates these three from the pack. “There’s a lot of activity, both from the vineyard and the fans, talking about their experience, sharing it. There’s images, videos, even events for customers and fans, giving them a reason to return and participate.”

(And if you’re wondering why Jancis Robinson doesn’t dominate Facebook the way she does Twitter: she doesn’t have a page. She noted recently on Twitter, “My kids won’t let me do Facebook.”)
1. Barefoot Wine & Bubbly
2. Due vigne di familia
3. Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Provisions

Most-searched Wine Terms

Screening out the most obvious terms (“wine,” “alcohol,” etc.), the wine terms most often searched on the Internet are:
1. Champagne
2. Red wine
3. Cabernet
4. Cellars
5. Pinot
6. Vineyard
7. White wine
8. Merlot
9. Sauvignon

And. . . Social Media at Wine Enthusiast

Here at Wine Enthusiast we’ve fully embraced social media in its myriad forms. For years our New York-based editors have been blogging; videos, discussion topics and event notifications are posed daily on our company facebook page and in addition to the company's general twitter reports both Senior Editor and Tasting Direcor Joe Czerwinski and Assistant Tasting Director Lauren Buzzeo have their own followers (@joecz and @laurbuzz respectively). Newer developments include: the digital version of our magazine available on Zinio; our iPhone and Blackberry app, where you can access reviews, ratings and retail prices for over 75,000 wines wordwide, and our just-launched wine chooser facebook app, which recommends different wines for different occasions. Whatever your preferred social media platfor, we're there.

Kara Newman is a wine & spirits writer, author, and shameless user of social media. Follow her on Twitter (@karanewman) or visit the Spice & Ice blog.

Shopping for wine? Browse wine ratingson the go with Wine Enthusiast's Tasting Guide app for iPhone and Android >>>

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