Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Importance of Being #Twitter - Breaking it Down

Each of us probably knows a few rebels, a few holdouts to the pre-social media way of life, though mass numbers of people sign in daily, engaging both personally and professionally with others through the Facebook platform. I've wondered though, how many of those same people are using Twitter, and of those who aren't, how many don't because they don't understand the benefits or the basic Twitterese language?

I personally dove headfirst into Twitter several years ago before I started blogging and never looked back. I started "tweeting" just for fun and to connect with others that shared similar interests, but when I started blogging, things really exploded and I realized what I had at my fingertips. Though I'm active on Facebook, I find it's through Twitter that I've been able to connect with the broader wine world. I follow nearly 2,500 national and international wine and food people whom I've organized into easy-to-manage lists and I have over 3,000 people following me, that's nearly 10 times the number of followers I have on my Facebook page, and most of them are information hungry and industry-specific (i.e. not friends and family).

So, what started as an innocent "tweet" about how I was roaming the expansive Twitterverse instead of writing my blog, ended in a glimmer of inspiration thanks to my friends over at Wine Is Serious Business.

In less than one hour's time I had conversations (granted they consisted of 140 characters or less) with 11 different people, seven of which are West Coast wine writers or bloggers, while discussing (or promoting, because word of mouth is worth its weight in gold) seven Oregon wineries. Of my 18 "tweets", at least 10 of them were then also ReTweeted by others who follow me, making countless impressions on all their followers as well and continuing the conversation well into the night and beyond.

I've included a snapshot of the Twitter communication which led to this blog post and after you'll find what I hope is a helpful glossary to break down the Twitter language barrier, if that's what's keeping some people away. For those of you who are Twitter pros, good for you for finding a way to connect with others who have similar interests… may you tweet long and prosper.

For Oregon wineries, "tweeting" is key. In addition to the virtual and virtually untapped market of wine loving consumers, the Wine Bloggers Conference will be in Portland in August 2012. So, even if a winery is already "tweeting", they should also be engaging with the bloggers now to really building those relationships and brand loyalty prior to the bloggers' visit. And the place to find them is on Twitter. I'll make it real easy, start by following my list of wine bloggers and just see where the conversation goes. If you'd like some tips or suggestions on how best to go about this, feel free to contact me, I've got ideas.

A very warm Twitter welcome to prized #Oregon winery… @DrouhinOregon - So glad you could join us! Follow them for great #wine!

@GrochauCellars The Commuter's was lovely John, hence the term of endearment "this little beauty" :) Great on night two too!

@UCBeau Enjoy your tour tasting tomorrow at @archerysummit - You're in for a real treat!! Don't get lost in the caves!! :)

@SLHousman Thanks Sherri! I got to participate in a "Sensory Tasting" at @archerysummit - fun experience! Coming back to OR soon??

@DrouhinOregon Thanks, my pleasure. Please feel free to DM me if you have any Twitter questions; it can be like learning a new language :)

RT @wineanthem #PDX peeps like the @wineanthem fb page and get prepped for the So. Oregon tasting giveaway on Thursday...…

Big thanks to @lisasharahall for the invitation to taste with her at @archerysummit today! #SpecialTreat

@UCBeau Yes, but have you been in their caves? :) Buying too much wine is a great problem to have! :) @ArcherySummit

@SLHousman We'll have to get into some great trouble then! ;)

Words to live by…

@clivity Have you been to @nataliesestate @coleneclemens or Spangler?

.@oregonwinelover Yep, gotta love roadside philosophy! :)

Thanks, LOVE them! RT @stevens_tk: @clivity @ColeneClemons was my other suggestion. @SipwithMe is right on.

Lucky ladies!! RT @seattlewinegal: At @KingEstate with @sbroback, @lisagilpin @KelseyIvey. Dinner is PHENOMENAL

Gorgeous… blow up and frame that! RT @ucbeau: RT @BeckyBoo503: A close up #photo of a grape leaf! -- Awesome pic!

Tweeting when I should be blogging.

(And the inspirational response from Wine Is Serious Biz
@SipwithMe It works! How many tweets does it take to make a blog? Hmmmmmm)

@beckyboo503 Nice, I bet it will be stunning. Well done!

Really? The McRib isn't food? Is anyone really surprised by this?

@wineissrsbiz Ha! Wish it worked that way for my blog!!

  • Follower. This is someone who is reading your tweets. You may or may not follow them back.
  • The @ symbol: Put this before any Twitterer's username to refer to them and create a link to their profile automatically (handy to track conversations or look at people you're referring to).
  • RT = "retweet." If you read someone else's tweet and you want to share it, put this before copying and pasting the whole thing, including the original tweeter's username into your tweet.
  • (Via): Instead of using retweet, you can use "via @username" in parentheses to attribute something you read someone else tweet about. This is good when you are not directly quoting word for word, but paraphrasing or passing a link along.
  • # = Hashtag: Use this symbol prior to other words (#oregonwine for example)  as a way of assigning a keyword to a tweet so that so others can follow the topic.
  • DM = Direct Messaging. This is how to send a message to someone so only they can see it. The person has to be following you in order to receive messages from you, though. (No DMing Robert Parker unless he's following you, k?) 


    Nubian said...

    The one downfall I have found to Twitter is that when someone has over 1,000 followers they may miss a tweet for wine help. This happened to me last week when I turned to my tweeps for some wine advice. I did not get one response and ended up doing some research. Maybe I am using Twitter incorrectly.

    Sip with Me! said...

    Hi Nubian, thanks for your visit and your comment. Yes, it's true, the live feed and number of followers makes it easy to miss important tweets. I'm sad nobody was there for you when you needed wine advice and hopefully you found what you needed on your own accord. You're doing a great job using Twitter, I've seen you connect with other wine lovers the world over. That said, you have a number of people who are great resources, I'd recommend mentioning them specifically next time you're looking for advice, it's hard to miss you when you're speaking directly to someone.