Just Picking Grapes or…Harvesting Our Next Occasion?

We came up with this title after viewing two very different YouTube videos, from two very different winemakers, showcasing their most recent harvest. Although both showed grapes being picked, they each told a very different story.

One video from Benziger Family Winery, was simple and shot in the vineyard. It was authentic, and captured the heartfelt excitement and enthusiasm of a new harvest. It highlighted happy family members, to include a new granddaughter. It highlighted happy workers, as well as people proud to be taking part in this exhilarating, meaningful and most important process.

The other video from another well known winery, was edited together in an editing room and appeared as a theater quality production. It may have even contained credits. It showed people picking grapes, but it looked more like a job, rather than an occasion.

Can you guess which one of these videos created an emotional connection? When buying a bottle of Benziger wine, you feel like you are donating to the cause, not just adding to a company’s bottom line.

A brand’s smart use of social media platforms can create and nurture sustainable emotional connections. Through authentic and non-intrusive interaction, a simple engagement between brand and individual can develop into a lasting connection.

“Carry your brand DNA into social media channels”

WineTwits, a Twitter-powered community that brings wine enthusiasts together, is taking a very interactive approach. Through Tweets, and interaction via their website, WineTwits is able to guide immersive experiences, connecting brands with people. An upcoming event, Beaujolais #NouveauDay, will feature an interactive wine tasting,with an expected global and witty participation via Twitter. In a recent conversation with Steve Gilberg, founder of DrinkTwits Media (parent company of WineTwits), Steve offered these thoughts: “It is a huge mistake to not use social media”. Steve also observed: “Carry your brand DNA into social media channels”. Using these ideas along with authentic non-intrusive interaction, he has been able to significantly raise his brand’s awareness. Speaking for not only his brand, Steve says: “For brands, someone internally needs to take ownership of the social media”. He also believes that “Used properly, Twitter is one of the greatest lead generation tools he has ever seen.”

Sustainable social media connections require: Authenticity, Conviction and Flexibility

As we noted within our recent report, people are keen to define and build trusted resources, as they are soon to become important elements of true influence for purchase decisions.  For brands, authentic content and messages are the first step. Engagement alone does not create influence or a likeliness to share…Influence and involvement arise from nurtured interaction in the age of all-of-us.

So, are you just picking grapes? Or, are you harvesting our next occasion? As you make social media decisions (what platform, what channel, who will handle social media, etc.), remember: Be authentic and make your message lead to an occasion!

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la Spagoguida 2011…Now with Google+

2Spaghi is one of the case studies in our just released 2011 Emerging Global Trends Report. They are the biggest social network in Italy sharing authentic reviews about restaurants and hotels. Recently, 2Spaghi added Google+ to each of the restaurant pages making it even more a part of the social graph.  2Spaghi’s Facebook page already has almost 7,000 followers and has proved a fertile environment for ideas and discussion.

The idea of influence grew organically leading to lasting connections, accountability and even fun disagreements Continue reading

I Watched the News Last Night…On Twitter

That’s right…On Twitter! What better way is there to keep up on the Breaking News about the Boehner Plan Vote in Congress? Up to the minute tweets detailing the back room meetings, pizza parties, calling Representatives in for closed door meetings, and the like.

Our “filtered” news channel of choice on Twitter is @LukeRussert. He embraces social media as a tool for reporting the news. His tweets are accurate (not sensationalized), to the point, honest and delivered with a sense of humor when appropriate. It doesn’t hurt that he is a Buffalo Bills fan also, but that’s just an added bonus.

Twitter, as well as other social media platforms, are becoming the preferred devices for delivering the news. They are NOW…when we want them. With Twitter pushing ads to user timelines, it looks like they see it coming too. News can now be delivered on your device of preference, at your location of preference. No more being held captive by a television news channel…ranting a network’s version of the news…at the time that they decide you want to hear it. Now it is news when you want it…where you want it…how you want it!

Tonight give it a try. Turn off your television…tune in to Twitter…and watch the news!

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Engagement? Okay, but only if I have to!

More from Brad!

I have launched a social media campaign for a friend. I picked it up on the side, to help him in my free time. How difficult could it be? Continue reading

Inside The “Everything Is Changing” Room

In the age of Groups, Lists, Hashtags and Circles; the immense level of comparative information is tremendous. The idea of segments must not only be contextually rich, but also allow for continuous change. This information must be carefully extracted,  filtered and then acted on… in real-time.

Traditional advertising was designed to disrupt…stop us in our tracks…force us to pay attention to an all-inspiring message that marketers “KNEW” we would want to hear.  Offering products brand managers “KNEW” we would want to buy…at least “they” thought so.

People have digitally matured!  We not only filter our personal information stream, but separate our business/brand streams as well. We want to consume and digest information that we want to consume, not what “they” want us to consume.

Brands have to keep up with people, ALWAYS listen, and never disrupt our course. In some ways the process is much easier. Brands now have the advantage, the ability to KNOW what we are really saying and experience, first hand, how brands fit in our lives.

Brands new role…service, resource provider and enabler…

Aspire to be “My” branded connection to…..?

As a trusted resource, we will invite brands to tag-a-long in life; perhaps even rely on brands within discontinuous spaces.

Social media and engagement are more than just a data point…

Always listen.  We are saying and sharing, sometimes even shouting, what we want.

  • Change and adapt…Now that you really KNOW what we need
  • The new war room is a corporate “everything is changing” room

Yes, these insights are unstructured and rightly so. It would be impossible to try and fit enormous levels of unstructured data into pre-determined buckets.  But, understanding that filters can play a role in making sense of ever-evolving insight offers direction and a real solution.

Remain flexible within thinking about how and what to filter.

Effectively integrating social media within a traditional marketing strategy requires an understanding of the value of social connections.

Engagement within social media is only the first step. The difference between engagement and true connections lives within how you prepare, respond and adapt

More: Social Media Moving from Engaged to Connected

From the very smart - Erik Qualman

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Collaborative and Immersive…@Pottermore

Just As We Hoped…!!

J.K Rowling has created @Pottermore as an immersive experience for fans. Even more exciting, the space will encourage and nurture collective ideas, most certainly with our key elements...authenticity and conviction. Continue reading

Relevancy and My TweetDeck

Author: Bradley Lawrence

Among the notable upgrades to my digital life this week is the TweetDeck app for my Droid. I have a handful of friends, who this week, discovered Twitter and are now addicted, too proud to update their status over FB they have opted to use the update only service. Continue reading