I continue to be very impressed with the level of engagement from Greek winemakers with wine lovers. Yesterday I attended a Wine and Dine event hosted by the owner of the Gentilini Winery, Petros Markantonatos. He selected Whispers of Wine, a small, personal and modern styled wine restaurant, to show his range of excellent wines. A five-course dinner was specially prepared to accompany the wines, and the respective pairings were daring and successful at the same time.
The restaurant can host about 40 guests and every seat was taken. In fact, the waiting list for this evening was so long that the event will be repeated next week and there are already only a handful of spaces left.
Petros spent all evening engaging again and again with every single person. I spent 5 hours there and he must have been at my table more than 10 times. He did not do any blunt sales talk – rather catering for the needs of the guests. For example, he would ask how the acidity of his Rosé wine went with the vinaigrette of the salad, and then explain some techniques how high acidity in a wine can be reduced. He also paid attention to the different types of guests, offering diverse conversations to newcomers, professionals, friends etc.
I suggest that this level of engagement is exactly what wineries should be offering on twitter. Many more potential customers can be reached and all it takes is time and effort. Just imagine how successfully a brand might be established over time by following exactly the above principles:
Do not push for sales; instead cater for the needs of your audience.
Listen to the feedback from your followers and engage again and again.
Care for the different types of twitter users and their respective interests.
Ask relevant questions and reply to answers, do this on a daily basis and establish personal relationships.
In addition, I feel it is important to understand that in order to convert your twitter contacts into your real life at some point in time, you must put your real life into twitter first. Two-way conversations and the sharing of useful information are the key to achieve this.