Sunday, July 25, 2010

#Cabernet Day: Open Letter to Metro-Orlando-Area Wine Purveyors

On Thursday, September 2nd, wine lovers are being invited to a worldwide, social-network-facilitated celebration of Cabernet Sauvignon, the king of grapes.  On that day, individuals will go to wineries, wine shops, restaurants, and homes to share Cabernet Sauvignon wines in local environments but, through the connectivity afforded by social networks, can also share their experiences with like-minded individuals around the block and around the world.  On that day, any entry on a social network which includes the term #Cabernet will be shared with other members of the network who are monitoring that stream.

The most recent event of this type was the #PinotNoir Smackdown, hosted by Ed Thralls (@winetonite), held on July 15th last.  That event, 2 hours in duration, and limited to Twitter, generated 2073 tweets from 323 locations and a ton of fun for all participants.  I wrote a piece on my experience and the biggest issue for me was the lack of participation by metro-Orlando wine establishments.

The upcoming #Cabernet Day provides you with an opportunity to rectify that oversight.  It will be hosted by Rick Bakas (@RickBakas), the social media guru at St. Supery, and will provide a number of substantive benefits for your company if you choose to participate. (i) Having a Cabernet Day provides you the opportunity for focused sales on a popular varietal and, within that varietal, brands of your choosing; (ii) Participating in the event allows you to increase your foot traffic through promoting the "feel-good" concept of bringing the world together; (iii) Your stock will rise in your customers' eyes.  You are now the hip, with-it, social media guy (gal) who is taking them beyond the walls of your establishment without them having to leave their seats.  The Wow! factor; (iv)  You will get an opportunity to see what folks beyond your block are drinking and thinking and this may affect future stocking decisions; and, last, but not least, (v) you will gain exposure to potential new customers.

Sounds good, you say.  What do I need in order to participate? That is easy.  You probably are already in possession of all the needed tools.  You will need computers (one with a large-screen display, or multiple laptops, would be the best-case scenario but use what you have), network access (DSL or wireless), and a social network account (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

What should you do next?

  1. Commit to participation -- half-measures will not work.  Time and effort will be required in order to plan and implement a successful effort.  The event will run until 11:59 pm PST but you, obviously, will choose the hours during that time that you want to participate
  2. Register for the event --
  3. Determine the details of your participation -- brands that will be promoted, horizontals and/or verticals, foreign and/or domestic, outfitting customers for home-participation, allowing customers to bring bottles from home? etc.
  4. Promote the event heavily through all of you channels -- in-store, e-mail, website, other advertising channels
  5. Check this blog site regularly for updates.
On the day of the event you should be ready to facilitate your customers in their efforts to Connect, Imbibe, and Communicate.  According to Rick, "Put up the twitter stream so everyone can see it and interact. ... use to pull in #cabernet tweets only."  Communication threads emanating from your establishment must have the #Cabernet term included in order to be a part of the #Cabernet Day stream.  Further, I am asking that you also add the term #CSOrlando so that we can determine local participation.

Once the event is over, you should take steps to measure its impact on revenue, customer perception, and, over a longer time period, new customer acquisition.

So.  Now you know.  What are we going to do about it.

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