The wonderful world of social media #wine

The Wine Wankers as we appear on Instagram (click for more detail)
The Wine Wankers as we appear on Instagram (click for a more detailed image)

It’s only been just over a year since we were encouraged by other bloggers to venture out into the wild world of Twitter. A brave move it was. We had no idea what we were in for. Initially it just seemed crazy. We couldn’t get our heads around it all and after a couple of weeks we almost threw in the towel. Lucky we didn’t give up because we’ve now got almost 120,000 people following us on Twitter. It’s still crazy but social media #wine works for us!

We were very lucky to already have a great bunch of WordPress bloggers following along and joining in on the fun way before we moved out onto other social media.  To me, WordPress is home and it’s our foundation. It’s a place where like-minded bloggers connect and it really does have a family atmosphere including the odd tiff thrown in too! We get almost all of our interaction in our comment sections via the lovely bloggers that have come along for the ride. All social media is about two-way interaction and sharing so I make the time to also visit other bloggers too.

Like I’ve mentioned, our move out onto Twitter was slow to begin with but I persevered. I could see it working for others so I put in a little more effort. I even wrote a blog post in the hope of getting some bloggers to follow. I began including other people in my tweets and started sharing their material. I even put in our tagline that we’d share and before long it all came together. I was amazed by just how passionate the wine loving community was on Twitter and I joined in. We’re now lucky enough to have one of the most engaged group of wine lovers following along.

We’ve turned into a type of wine hub on Twitter. Our Twitter handle @winewankers gets mentioned thousands of times a day. It’s totally impossible for us to keep up now but we do our best to acknowledge and share what we can. It’s an extremely fun place to be and we feel privileged.

Earlier this year Neal set up our Instagram account, @winewankers. We didn’t do too much with it at first but once Neal gave it a good go it too took off and now has over 15,000 people following us. We’re lucky to have one of the largest followings in the wine industry. Again, we’re privileged and humbled. Neal keeps telling me that apparently 1 Instagram follower is worth 10 Twitter followers so that means he’s created a bigger beast than I have done with Twitter. I’ll let him have that! 😉

Instagram is a little more serious a place for us than Twitter. Twitter contains a lot of banter and a lot of shared material that isn’t our own. With Instagram we’ve made sure that it is mostly our own material but do throw in some shared fun stuff too. As much as a wine lover loves to see shots of wine everyone appreciates a laugh.

Facebook has always been an enigma to us. We’ve had a Facebook account since we started our blog but never really paid it much attention. It was really just a place that connected our blog with our friends. This changed a few months ago when I started to put a bit of effort into growing it and the rest of the boys posted more quality material on it. It has almost doubled in following over the last month to about 2,000 peeps since our new wine wanker joined, Drew. He has taken hold of the baton and bolted with it and created a social media platform with its own identity and its own type of following. Drew draws people in and has them engaged. It’s a fun and character filled wine place to visit and I have no doubt it too is beginning to snowball.

We’ve also started to put a bit of focus on Google+ and LinkedIn of late and these are starting to grow for us. And then there’s Tumblr and Youtube. The only thing we’re short of here is time! Social media takes up a hell of a lot of time, but it’s fun.

From all of this presence we’re now rated as one of the most influential wine people in the whole world. As per this post I wrote in mid July, we were ranked right up the top of the ratings lists. We’ve moved up both lists since then and recently Wine Consumer Magazine’s 2014 Gold Star winner Luiz Alberto ranked us as 4th in the world according to Klout on his #winelover blog. It really is an honour considering all the big names of wine from around the world. And it’s a testament to the power of social media.

People keep asking us if we’re making money out of this. We haven’t earned a cent! Who knows, one day we may find a way to bring in some commercialization that doesn’t alter the vibe of the whole thing. The vibe is extremely important to us. I’m currently talking to wine businesses about helping them grow their social media presence. Social media takes quite a bit of effort but if our success and experience here translates and adapts well for others then who knows where that could go.

All of this has come together because a couple of wine loving lads were having a laugh and thought it would be fun to write a wine blog. Weird huh? A passion and a hobby has morphed into something we still don’t quite fully understand just yet, but we’re working on it. All that really matters is that we’re having fun drinking great wine while we connect with a growing bunch of fabulous wine lovers!

Author: Conrad

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85 comments

  1. Congratulations! It has been amazing watching you grow. Which of the social media platforms do you think has been the easiest to grow and the most rewarding? Twitter?

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    • Hi Craig! I know you guys have been following us on Twitter since the very early days. I appreciate it!

      Although I know the methods used by Neal he’s done the hard work on Instagram. I just post to it. Until Drew took over I was in the process of growing Facebook and it was bloody hard. So I’d have to say Twitter of course although I do see that many people struggle with Twitter. It’s worked for us though.

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      • thanks Conrad. It has been fun great fun interacting on social media. We appreciate the mentions of our business too! My New Years resolution is to get our LinkedIn account sorted like you are doing. That will be important for interactions with “professionals”. I think twitter is just immediate and fun. I am always amazed my reactions to food photos on instagram. Facebook seemingly a bit last year now and I wonder about the return on effort there. Seems more and more commercialised too.

        Hey maybe we start the next social platform incorporating the best features of all different social media? what do we call it ? wankfest? wankers united? lol!

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  2. Seems like a meteoric rise to me – congratulations but I haven’t ventured off this blog so thanks for the update. You have done more to help me understand the interactions between various social media devises than I have before – thanks! I cannot figure out though how to balance even a simple blog account and email with real life interactions so I look forward to following your blog only for the time being!

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  3. Very happy for your rise on social media. It must definitely take a lot of work trying to keep up with everything. I don’t know how you all do it. Good luck with rising higher even further with social media. Looking forward to seeing where you all go with this 🙂

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  4. I hear you, Conrad on the time these things take up. As I sit in my housecoat reading, writing, and snooping on Twitter, WordPress, and Facebook, I contemplate if it’s all worth it. But, if we are having some fun with it and not feeling too obligated, why not? It beats a real J-O-B.
    Congrats on staying with it.

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    • Thanks Bill. The J-O-B pays the bills so it’s a necessary evil. It’s all my “free” time that this chews up, as you’d know. I love wine and I love communicating about it so the effort makes it well worth it. And a few drops of “clear eyes” fixes everything up in the morning after the late nights working on this caper (I’m not admitting that wine has anything to do with that).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. In vino veritas…. and also lots of inspiration! Great job you guys, I’m starting to explore Twitter and other social media, it’s a wild wild world out there but it’s nice to read your success story. Cheers!

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  6. Kudos to all of you!!! Much deserved! It is really difficult to determine how to monetize your influence without eroding the credibility and trust you have built with your audience. The key to unlocking the full potential of your “brand” which is now reaching hundreds of thousands of people is to assess what naturally compliments your existing offering of content and leverages your brand as either a 1.seal of approval – paid sponsorships 2. Credible source of paid content – subscription for members only content and services 3. Offer unique experiences – paid personal appearances 4. Finally publishing – books that are how-too, wine guides, anthologies of your posts/tasting notes —need an agent? 😜 🍷💰

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    • Great advice Loie! We’ve totally discounted “cash for comment”. It’s a big no-no in our eyes. Advertising maybe but as long as it’s not endorsement. We do endorse all the time but that’s based on our own experiences with a wine and not because we are being paid. Very very important to keep a clear line drawn in the sand. Oh, and I popped the question mark in for you. What’s your rates? 😉

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      • I agree endorsement is a slippery slope – i think paid apperances, events and publishing/licensing would be fantastic. Then you mobilize your audience to support your efforts – we want to support you guys as we want you to keep it up! Dont recklessly promote just let your audience discover what else you have to share offline as well. Once you get this going and make a ton of money, you can hire me 😉 i need to pay my bills too! I have cases of cheap wine to buy. Hahaha i’ll keep thinking – which can be dangerous. Cheers!

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  7. Congratulations Conrad and team, what amazing results! Great way to end 2014. Hey I’m off to the Mudgee region in NSW for Christmas…we don’t know much about it at all, it’s a bit of a last minute thing. I know you are soooo busy, but do you have any tips for which wineries to visit? I couldn’t find much on the blog. Thanks and have a wonderful Christmas!

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  8. Congrats Guys…!!! What a success…. It must take a lot of effort to keep up with everything!!
    And Conrad, first ever ‘like’ on my newly released WordPress site today. You do keep up with it incredibly. Keep the passion up!
    Best

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    • Cheers Julien! I’m actually in awe at how well you are doing social media, and by yourself it would seem! We have the luxury of splitting media and even then we barely manage. I’ve got no idea how you’re keeping up, but well done! You’re a social media whizz that is for sure.

      I saw that you had followed our blog so clicked on your Gravatar which linked back to Social Vignerons. Looks like a great project and I wish you all the best me man!

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  9. Congratulations! 🙂 It’s always been fun here on Wine Wankers. WordPress is home to me, too, and I’m sure we’ll all be making sense……. cents ….. scents …… sents… out of it of it all quite soon! 😎

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  10. What you guys have managed very good is to make the “wine world” which traditionally is boring, you have made it entertaining and engaging, got me hooked and learning about wines and different places, since you manage to write it in an engaging and funny way plus the pictures ofcourse helps. So I´m not surprised you have so many followers on twitter. Hell, look at the name, Wine Wankers, first time I saw that I had to smile to myself and see what it was about.

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  11. Congrats guys! As many have said, it has been great following your ascent to the top! As Duff said, this whole social media thing is a full-time job and I am really only active on FB and Twitter. Very smart on your part to parcel it out!

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  12. Awesome post Conrad! I’ve been taking a close look at my social media activity lately and had considered deleting my Twitter (after 3 years)! Perhaps I will try a little longer 🙂 I follow you guys on Instagram and I love the stuff y’all share! Such fun! 🍷Cheers! Willow~

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  13. Congratulations gentlemen! I think your success lays with the way in which you demystify wine. Since starting my own blog I have realised that some people actually fear wine because they feel they don’t know enough about it. I have had people say to me “oh I’ve never been to a winery/vineyard before because I don’t really know anything about wine”. What?! That’s why you go! Who else better to learn from people who live and breathe the stuff!

    You guys make your blog and social media fun. There is no snobbery and no tricky technical stuff to confuse people who just like to drink good wine. I like you guys because you help tip people off to what good wines are out there that we may not have tried before.

    Keep sharing the wine and the passion!

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    • Thanks Amanda! To be honest, it’s probably because we’re just wine drinking lads rather than wine “experts” that makes our style what it is. I suppose we’ve had no need to show anyone that we are experts therefore there’s no overuse of wine language. Not by design… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The ‘2 out of 3’ sign would get an addendum from me. Taking cues from that and from the old aphorism that ‘good fences make good neighbors,’ I would suggest that Good Wine Makes Good Relatives. Or at least improves them greatly, while both parties are under its spell.

    Cheers, and may you imbibe great happiness throughout the holidays,
    Kathryn

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  15. Happy for you guys. If you work hard to promote yourself, you should enjoy the fruit of your labors – much like a vinedresser. =) I am active only on WPress. Simply don’t have the time to devote beyond these walls while homeschooling. Have a great year.

    HW

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  16. Hi Conrad just wanted to drop by and thank you for your tips on the best wineries in Mudgee. We had a wonderful time and managed to get through about half of the wineries you suggested. I mentioned your name to David Lowe and we had an interesting conversation about food bloggers as he had recently had a dubious experience (not with you guys!!) with someone milking the “I’ll give you a good review if you give me a free meal” thing. Complicated stuff. Thanks again Conrad, your advice really helped us to make the most of our visit and we came back very well stocked with awesome wine – cheers!

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