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Month May 2015

Wine Twitterers and the Great Race for Followers

And they are off… the proverbial horse race known as the league of getting large number of followers on Twitter has become more so in the past 6 months then ever before. Since Twitters earliest days wine has been a very sticky and compelling subject matter. The subject matter “wine” has had a lot attractors – whether the Twitter handle is a wine interested person, producer, promoter, writer, reviewer, etc. From data sets that I have collected over time, the wine category tends to attract followers on the order of 5 times a non-wine subject.

The great followers race of wine and Twitter is simply this that wine Twitters are adding followers by following at an unprecedented rate. While this might not be a headliner–it is noticeable and made me question – why? Most people and especially as it relates to wine are trying to garner their position, voice and authority. Having a lot of followers is not a recipe for success in fact collecting and attracting followers for followers sake is truly the art of building an empty empire. Having a large Twitter following by developing a community as well as brand building is altogether a different proposition. A true mark of success of where there is a bonafide community of wine interested people is when there is an actual community. I have looked at a few wine Twitterers that have followers above 50,000 and have noted in a short period of time that these have been built up quite quickly.

One wine Twitterer has 215,000 followers and is following over 180,000 Twitter handles. I randomly selected a few of the people he is following to see what those individuals wine or even allied subjects like food or travel might reveal about the people he is following. In many of his followings seems to be a good portion who have no interest in wine, food, travel or anything slightly related. The best way to look at that is not the bio but look at actual tweets to verify any wine interest whatsoever. And the following to follower rate seems to be a constant addition of people constantly.

There is another wine Twitterer who has 100,000 followers and gloats about his days at a well known brand that has no affiliation with wine whatsoever. His involvement in wine can best analyzed as someone with at best a wink and not terribly well tied up interest in wine.

I am not picking on the above but they are quite noticeable Twitter handles. There are plenty of more examples of Twitter wine people building a non-organic base of followers–in fact there are so many I cannot mention all of the examples. I have more than the average wine subject matter Twitter handle but I have not been working on getting numbers for numbers sake as it relates to followers. In the end the fruit of follower creation is a considerable waste of time for those individuals when they squandered time in not developing a community and brand.

¡Salud!

James Melendez

James the Wine Guy

“Demystifying Wine—One Bottle at a Time”
© 2015 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content and logo and all designs.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.
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Grape Expectations: Social Media and the Full Spectrum of Content Expectation – James Melendez

There is a great expectation in wine as it relates to content and that too has a relationship to social media.  The ‘wine blogger’ has been a term for anyone had talked about wine regardless of channel or media type.  I have been lumped in as a ‘wine blogger’ but I have resisted this term and label for sometime and I will continue to resist.  I have had a wide range of interest and experience in wine: marketing, direction, judging, reviewing, education, writing and the business end of wine.

I have thought that the term ‘wine blogger’ has become antiquated.  The European Wine Bloggers changing their name to the Digital Wine Communications Conference. I liked the name change and I think in time the US version will have to update it’s name.

I have completed both a considerable amount of both written material on my WordPress site – over 3,000 pieces and over 2,060 videos on my YouTube channel.  My content creation isn’t about quantity but a desire to cover this immense subject.  Though I did feel over time in writing that I needed to supplement the written word for the video word.  I do think there is a large amount of interest in video–not from producers rather consumers.   I have said many times before there are tens of thousands if not several hundred thousand wines released per year.  Wine is a peculiar and of course alluring category–a unique feature of being more than often a vintage product as well a very limited product.  Hence there are very few wine video compared to the actual number of topics or even labels.  I think many consumers come to YouTube and actually walk away and stop engaging the wine category because search over search does not yield content to their interest.

I do think video is a logical extension of the written word. This subject is an emotional one where video can cover it quite well–many want to see an emotional touch or what is the emotional read on a particular wine or subject about wine.

Looking at Jancis Robinson as it relates to video I can only glean that there is not much of an interest in video–perhaps it was an after thought or that video content didn’t need much preping, editing and getting ready for optimum playback.  She has over 1,800 subscribers and over 227,000 hits and her last video upload was a year ago.   Jancis’ completed a video entitled: “Jancis wonders how wine is best tackled on video” and the message I took away was one of skepticism and that skepticism truly shows in all her videos.  Jancis can be a bit fussy and her skepticism on video is not looking at what consumers want but only what she thinks.  When it comes to video consumers are seeking new ideas, thoughts on wine, validation, solution and personality, etc.  I think Jancis is truly showing her print only preference and that is okay that is her preferred style.  I don’t think Jancis has the personality or vision for video and that is okay.  I personally seek to build out content to match my brand.

James Suckling’s YouTube presence has garnered him 1,141 subscribers and over 237,000 views.  Suckling’s video content seems sporadic and no general cadence.  I see the 100 point Lalique videos which feels more like product placement than an actual review.  Both James and Jancis both completed videos with Gary (yes, that Gary) –it would be interesting to know whom invited whom?   The Suckling video shows him tasting with Gary and then what feels like an awkward moment he pays for the wine they both drunk at Gary’s family wine store; I can say for myself I had no interest in that and I won’t speculate on the reason–what ever the reason this video and the entire content not necessarily interesting.  The anointed drinking with someone who wishes to be?

My YouTube channel stats – 800 subscribers and over 190,000 views and I am a stone’s throw from James Suckling and Jancis Robinson.  While James Suckling is still producing videos and it looks like Jancis Robinson is either on hiatus or has stopped producing videos overall.  I do think at some point this year I will surpass Jancis and I may Suckling.   I only found this data points when I was looking on a larger view of the wine community on YouTube.  I was surprised by the numbers and how close I am to their metrics.

I am after all an underdog because I don’t have either prominence or recognition that either has been luxuriously afforded.

Ultimately, video is important and the audience is not necessarily there yet but I do think at least for myself I have been building community person by person.  Without a concerted, deliberate and high quality videos the full spirit of a diverse wine content will be elusive.  I am optimistic–I have been and continue to be.  The surface has yet to be scratched.

¡Salud!

James Melendez

James the Wine Guy

“Demystifying Wine—One Bottle at a Time”

© 2015 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content and logo and all designs.

James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:

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