Search or Social?
If you want to get the skinny on Social Media Optimization, as it applies to winery digital marketing efforts, there is no better source than James Jory the CTO at Vintank. In addition to his role as the chief technology officer at the Napa, CA based wine industry digital think tank, James is the architect of the Cruvee Engine. James continues to craft an impressive career in software development as an agent of change. His past positions include time as the chief architect at Kurant for the StoreSense e-commerce solution for small business. Kurant was acquired by eBay in early 2005 and James transitioned to the role of architect for eBay’s ProStores e-commerce application. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know and interact with James during my tenure on the Board of Advisors at Cruvee, dating from mid-August 2009 until mid-March 2011, when Cruvee.com was acquired by Vintank.
My observation, over time, is that James has the ability to take seemingly complex issues and cut through the clutter and clearly communicate the key actionable points. Maybe this skill set relates back to his UCSD days studying philosophy as part of his dual major. James is one of those rare accomplished individuals who has the ability to see the big picture while doing the hundreds of small things necessary to make that vision an effective reality. James recently agreed to share his insights on SMO with the readers/viewers of the Agents of Disruption vlog.
Insights on Social Media Optimization
The new social paradigm
We’re all challenged marketing our wines in this new and rapidly evolving digital environment. Consumers now determine how and where our brand messages are accessed and received. Search has become primarily local and contextual, helping to create and drive a new sales vertical, m-commerce. Social media continues to impact buyers’ perceptions and purchase behaviors across of all categories of consumables, but in particular the most social of all CPGs, wine. In light of this new paradigm, James has some sound advice for today’s wine marketers:
“SEO people typically look at SMO as another means of driving traffic to their site. The end-goal is always the same–more traffic to my site. But I think social engagement is much different than search engagement, especially when it comes to consuming content. That is, if I’m actively looking for something (i.e. searching), I’m more apt to focus attention and time on the search results I come across since I have a goal in mind. When I’m consuming social content through feeds, something may catch my interest and I may click through to it but since that wasn’t my goal my attention is limited and harder to hold. The strategies have got to be different.”
- Consumer expectations have changed: consumers expect your brand and product information to be easily accessible on the networks and via the apps that they use.
- Prioritizing flexibility in the design of your brand and product information platforms over presentation will maximize your brand messaging reach.
- A Trade section on your website is no longer adequate and provides poor visibility into how your brand and product information is actually being consumed and used.
- The traditional web (web 1.0) is only part of an effective digital marketing strategy. Smartphones and the proliferation of apps have crated a new digital landscape with the result that websites are no longer the ‘destination.’
- Your customers now control your brand message. Inspire them with your story and then provide them with accurate product information… turning your customers into effective digital brand ambassadors.