Home > Social Media, Social Media Tactics, Wine and Social Media, Wine Marketing > Social Media Strategy or Tacky? Putting Twitter/Facebook Info on Wine Labels

Social Media Strategy or Tacky? Putting Twitter/Facebook Info on Wine Labels

“Oh c’mon Seattle Wine Gal, I know you’re ‘into’ Social Media Marketing, but Twitter names on wine bottle labels? That’s just stupid”. Was something like that going through your mind when you read the title? OK, OK, understandable. While it may seem a little tacky, it could also be one of the most progressive social media marketing decision a winery could make right now! Here are a few pros and cons that I can think of for an idea like this. Please comment below to share your thoughts and to add to my pros and cons list.

Con:

  1. Social Media platforms are always changing; Twitter/Facebook/your blog may not always be around, how embarrassing for you when people cellaring your wine, see an outdated twitter/facebook/blog 5-10 years later when they open the wine!
  2. You may turn off a lot of people who feel that it is tacky and tasteless; losing some of your potential/existing clientele– it’s just too risky!
  3. Wine marketing has always been about selling more than just wine; you are selling an experience. A Twitter name on a wine bottle causes the wine to lose all romantic and traditional appeal.
  4. It creates a stressful situation for winery staff or vintners, who then have to constantly stay on top of their social media efforts, even during crush and other very busy times… too overwhelming!
  5. The marketing worth of the back of a wine label is alluring tasting notes and winery history- a Facebook web address is not alluring and will not help sell wine.

Pro:

  1. MAJOR increase in visibility in online social media communities, which IS the next/new way to market products.
  2. Increase in Twitter/Facebook/blog follower counts, which will help establish industry leadership in the social media space.
  3. You will be viewed as fun, hip and appealing to a younger target market.
  4. You are making yourself immediately accessible to your clientele (they can contact you and get ‘real time’ interaction with you and your followers).
  5. People WILL talk about you for having done something so bold– this is always a good thing.
  6. Your buyers will follow you on Facebook and Twitter and buy more wine after seeing your tweets/posts about upcoming deals; it is a way of continuing a relationship with them and creating loyalty- you will sell more wine!

Lets face it folks, when t.v. came out, companies were apprehensive to spend their marketing dollars on it; they stuck with radio until they realized how lucrative it was. When businesses started creating ‘websites’, many were apprehensive to do so (some companies still don’t have one)! We are in the age of twitter now; why not strike while the iron is hot? What do you say, is a Twitter name on a wine label like screw caps- beneficial and will slowly gain acceptance but currently risky due to potential alienation?

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  1. January 19, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    The same cons were expressed when URLs were first considered for the label. Who doesn’t put a website on the back label or cork now? There’s a lot of dated, somewhat quaint or embarassing things on old bottles now. You can try, but you can’t hold back the tide.

  2. January 19, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I will typically hit a website that is listed on a particular wine label first, so I’d recommend having Twitter/Facebook/other social media info (and links to them!) on the home page of your winery website. If I don’t see social media info on the site, I may do a quick search (Twitter, FB, etc), but if it is not easily located, or a wine I really want to follow, I won’t waste my time.

    –Robert

    • January 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm

      What about right smack dab on a wine bottle label Robert, a little too in your face, or great accessibility?

      • January 19, 2010 at 3:54 pm

        I think it would be great–sort of cutting out the middleman! 😉

  3. January 19, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    For me personally, I think it depends on the wine. I mean, if I saw a Twitter logo on the back of Opus One or Caymus, I’d think that a bit odd.

    If it is put on the back of the label, then I can see where a lot of brands could probably benefit from it. So long as they had a solid handle on managing their social media face and engaged the customers in a way that kept them coming back for more, I say why not? Wine and spirits are already limited in their forms of advertising, which reach a lot of the same old eyes.

    It might actually work better via back board displays that you see on stacks of wine in the store. I’d try something there first and see what the response was before changing my label.

    Another alternative would be neckers, which is what we call the little tags that hang around the neck of the bottle. They are usually reserved for rebate programs, though they could be used for more.

    Those would be my recommendations to any winery considering such an idea.

    • January 19, 2010 at 3:25 pm

      Yes, thanks for the comments. “neckers” has been suggested by some of my twitter followers (@seattlewinegal), it would be a great way to try the idea.

      • January 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm

        Cork branding could be another interesting way of getting the message out and might be seen as less obtrusive that badging the label.

    • January 21, 2010 at 6:52 pm

      why would that be odd? because you spent a lot of money on it? If I made an expensive and/or ‘exclusive’ wine then I think I would want the people who were willing to spend a lot of money on it to have an avenue to speak to me about it. Or perhaps those brands are out of touch with the customer? Does it/should it matter if a brand is already established?

      • February 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm

        No, it doesn’t matter if a brand is already established, as you will always have the need to engage current and new customers, no matter how exclusive or infallible you might think your brand is.

        My comment was directed at the use of the logo itself, though now that I think about it, it obviously doesn’t have to be the standard Twitter or Facebook logo. It could be a design that fits with the label design of the wine. I do think it belongs on the back label and can see the uses, but I don’t know if I’d have all 3 URLs on my label, versus having one main page with links to other avenues like Facebook and Twitter.

  4. January 19, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Wineries who have embraced Social Media should see this as a no brainer. Adding the Twitter and Facebook addresses next to the web address shouldn’t take up too much valuable real estate. If a winery doesn’t have time to commit to this form of marketing, they may find themselves obsolete in the future. Success is about the little things that you do. Tweeting and being on Facebook is the new normal for interacting with customers.

    I’ve heard this suggestion in a number of places and think that wineries need to definitely jump on this for the wines they are releasing in 2010 and beyond.

    As far as obselecence of social media platforms, 15 years from now when we are all on some other platform, people who pull the wine out of the cellar won’t care.

    Josh @nectarwine on Twitter

    • January 19, 2010 at 3:27 pm

      Knowing your interest in social media marketing, I assumed you would think this way. What do you say to some of the comments above about it depending on the wine? Would it be as appropriate on a very high-end wine as a fun every-day drinker?

  5. January 19, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    19th century = hitching up the wagon and hauling barrels of wine to 3rd & Pike and selling it for cash on the barrelhead. | 20th century = Getting cases of that same wine to a distributor to handle the sales process through stores. | 21st century = accessible, immediate online platforms that engage, create one-on-some relationships and allow us to share interesting stories with interested buyers at everyone’s own pace. #like #skål

  6. January 19, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I think it mostly comes down to the wine. As pointed out by Kevin above, I doubt you will see this on the higher end bottles. The winery website address should be on the label and from the website, the links to twitter and facebook are a great place there. Also, I’m not sure about this, but I wonder about any copyright considerations that might be an issue by placing twitter and facebook on a wine bottle.

    • January 19, 2010 at 3:31 pm

      If social media addresses should be kept to less than high-end wines, would it start to diminish the viewed quality of the bottles they ARE on? Do you think that while it may have it’s benefits, the wine maker deciding to do so also sort of shot him/herself in the foot a little? I wonder if the benefits would outweigh the negative potentials.

  7. mjwrites
    January 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    I can understand a winery’s motivation to put a Facebook or Twitter accounts on its labels, but as you point out, who knows if the company will eventually dissolve their Fb page or if Twitter will even exist in its current incarnation in 10 or 15 years. It has become common practice for a vineyard to print a website on its labels. While a risk in the beginning, it is now an acceptable practice. Should we afford the relatively “new” social media applications of Fb and Twitter the same semi-permanence? Including a Fb or Twitter address on a label does not guarantee an increase in followers or fans, and could actually instill apathy in the company who may think the social media job is done for them once they print this info on their labels. I believe vineyard owners need to become more social media savvy in order to reach their consumers one-on-one. If printing their Twitter address on their labels forces them to do so, I am all for it. Becoming Web 2.0/3.0 literate, however, requires consistent effort to truly forge relationships with the desired target market of the millennial generation.

    • January 22, 2010 at 10:20 am

      Thanks for this comment. I never know what to say when I hear things such as “social media is free and easy”. The deeper I delve the more I realize that this just isn’t the case. To really benefit from it, it needs to be done right! Slapping a twitter name on a wine bottle will not ensure increased sales. What will is ongoing (sometimes very time intensive) engagement and efforts to expand your SMedia campaign. Getting on twitter as a business and expecting it to just somehow ‘work’ is like buying a size 2 skirt and just hoping I’ll be able to fit in it.

  8. Joe
    January 19, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    nobody thinks anything about a phone number, address, or website on the back of a label. It’s essentially the same thing. If the product inside the bottle is good enough, people won’t give a damn how “tacky” or “classy” the label is (or they shouldn’t, IMHO)

    • January 19, 2010 at 10:03 pm

      Here yee here yee Joe! Agreed. What about cellaring wine and the Twitter name possibly being obsolete in 5 years? yikes!

      • January 21, 2010 at 9:27 am

        Physical addresses, phone numbers, and websites are in the control of the winery, where FB pages are, in reality not. My FB page is not owned by me. Further, I have have less contol of what goes up on it. In order to truely embrace FB or twitter, I need to let ANYONE say ANYTHING. I can’t constantly monitor it and deleete what I don’t like. Its just not practical.

        That being said:
        http://www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/pages/C-Donatiello-Winery/18618710948?ref=ts

      • Joe
        January 21, 2010 at 8:22 pm

        well, and address, phone number, label design, bottle type, cork type, closure type, blah, blah, blah, blah could all change on a bottle of wine in 5 years. Not a big deal, methinks.

  9. January 19, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I am amazed at the number of wineries that do not have a nice blue t for twitter on their homepage. They either don’t have it, or it’s hidden deeper in the website.

  10. January 19, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    I’d say try neckers, and then add it to the back of the labels. Somehow I don’t think most wineries have ordered 10M labels to use them for the next 20 years. They order what they need, and reorder as necessary.

    Even in the age of web2.0 and beyond – you have to go where the people are, just like with newspaper, tv, and websites before. I follow 100+ wineries on twitter. 10 years from now, I’ll reach them on whatever platform exists. Where ever the information is.

    Social Media for wineries, pshaw. Its social media for business. And it works.

    Tammy
    @tlcolson

  11. Larry
    January 19, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Just for the sake of argument, apply these same thoughts to NOT wine labels, but let’s say, Pampers, Condoms, Throat Losengez, Donuts……Hey, my bank (credit union) even advertises online to “find us on Facebook and Twitter.” Let your mind wander through the possibilities!!! Scarey!

  12. January 19, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I agree with those who say twitter/fb/social media is the “new normal”. Fans and customers expect you to have a presence in these places, and those who don’t are fast becoming the minority. It’s true, these platforms might not be around in a few years, but I bet they will. And if not, does it matter if a 10 year old bottle has out of date contact info? Wineries’ addresses, phone numbers, and websites could all conceivably change too. Personally, I’d think it was cool to see twitter names on labels if, at some point in the future, twitter goes out of fashion or ceases to exist. It’d be a fun “blast from the past”.

    I posted about this topic on the Whatcom Wine Trail FB page (http://www.facebook.com/whatcomwinetrail) a couple weeks ago and a very interesting conversation followed. There still seems to be a lot of sentiment that twitter is “not classy” and that people who use twitter aren’t a winery’s best customer and don’t spend a lot of money on wine.

    I don’t understand where this idea comes from. (Well, ok, maybe I do… with some of the celebrity and other silliness on twitter, I do understand how some people get that impression.) But really, so many people and businesses are on twitter now, it’s impossible to put all twitter users into a box. Facebook is an even bigger and more diverse crowd.

    Whatever form it takes, social media is here to stay! My personal opinion is that wineries and other businesses who jump on board now will be the leaders of the future, while those who wait around to “see what happens” (twitter is almost 4 years old, come on!) will probably wish they’d joined sooner. 🙂 What do you have to lose?

    • January 22, 2010 at 10:25 am

      Thanks girl! Yes, Twitter certainly is stigmatized still. Times are changing, and they are changing very fast. Last year my mother was horrified that I had a Facebook page (“how could you give so much information about yourself over the web? It’s unsafe)! Now she’s the FBook queen of our enormous family… updating Facebook family albums, checking on all my cousins, writing old high school buds etc). YES- Twitter on wine labels IS risky for wineries, I can see that. My guess is that if a few big namers do it, many will follow. Can’t wait to see it!

  13. January 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Another thought – just having the twitter name or the FB address without any real presence might be tacky. But if you invest real time and effort into building a presence on social media, why NOT broadcast that to your customers in every way that you can? If you’re going to put it on your label though, you better be there with good content.

  14. January 19, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    I guess I’m the minority opinion here. I think putting your Twitter alias and Facebook page on the wine label is a bad idea. Two years ago, this discussion would have centered around a winery’s MySpace page. Today you’d feel pretty outdated having your MySpace page on your label. Technology moves fast. Cellaring wine does not.

    I think it is completely appropriate to have your URL on your wine label. If you want to drive people to Twitter and FaceBook, then do it through your web page. That way you can keep your marketing up to date without committing to today’s hot marketing trend on a label that will, hopefully, be seen a decade or more from now.

    • January 20, 2010 at 8:36 am

      Thanks for these sentiments Brian, you are not alone in thinking this way. In the Twitter discussion about this, I saw plenty of people who agree that it is a bad idea. What needs to happen to get a diff perspective, is for me/us to ask the opinion of more people NOT already in the social media space!

  15. January 19, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Several years ago we designed a “rewards card” for a coffee shop client. On the back of the card we included a paragraph suggesting that if the customer ever had a suggestion or concern that the owner would love to hear it. We included his direct line and email address (remember, this was pre-Twitter). It was followed by his signature.

    Clients almost never contacted him—but LOVED the fact that he cared that much about quality and the customer experience.

    Twitter is like that in many ways. Whether the customer uses it or not, it gives them direct access to the people behind the brand. And that builds LOYALTY : )

  16. Matt
    January 21, 2010 at 10:24 am

    I see it as a brand image issue. In my mind it cheapens the perceived value a little bit (not a ton, but definitely some). Similar to that is when wineries try and pick a cutesy or weird name (Bad bunny, basket case, and things like that) or have a particularly strange label (a lot of Australian wines). Like it or not there is an experience factor involved in wine and that includes things from the label to the type of cork to the actual quality of the wine. Putting twitter/facebook info on a bottle is equivalent to having a weird wine name to me: it draws attention but at the expense of brand value.

    • January 25, 2010 at 11:42 am

      Yes, I can see where you are coming from. A note about Bad Bunny- when I worked in a wine shop, we had more sales of this wine at $20 a bottle than almost any other in the shop (at that price). Part of that was due to the fact that the wine maker lived in the same town as the shop (Bellingham) but it was mostly the goofy label. I say good for him for choosing one that would sell his wine, but the consumers who were buying it were not serious wine buyers (for the most part). Twitter on wine bottles is DEFINITELY a brand image issue Matt.

  17. Convergence Zone Cellars
    January 22, 2010 at 10:26 am

    As a small startup winery, I can use all the buzz I can get. My labels are in design now and the designer simply added my Twitter and FB names in small fonts below my website URL. I don’t see it as tacky at all–just a new marketing opportunity and a way to connect people interested in social media with wine (hopefully mine!).

    • January 25, 2010 at 11:43 am

      Good for you! I have yet to physically see a Twitter name on a bottle, I will look for your wine and then tweet you!

  18. January 23, 2010 at 6:30 am

    1- Just say no to “neckers”! If you are concerned w/ brand image with the posting of a twitter account, a necker bottles look like wine country rejects that probably come with a coupon for free french onion dip.

    2- Our newest labels will have the twitter account. Who cares if it isn’t relevant in 15 years? People are buying the wine today.

    3- Does it change brand perception? Only for the positive. I’d be psyched to see @chateaupalmer or @hautbrion on the back of the bottle. Even if I don’t touch those bottles until after twitter is in the dust, I can look back and think there were on it, when they needed to be on it.

  19. January 23, 2010 at 8:47 am

    We talked about doing this at St. Supéry last summer but decided against it mostly because we don’t have room on the label to add it.

    It would provide another way for consumers to communicate with our brand but instead we’ve left it off the labels for now until we find a way to redesign or add it to our packaging.

  20. January 23, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Depends on the brand, agreed.
    Depends on the content you are offering on said link (and your purpose)

    What happens when as the 1st comment says, those links are EVERYWHERE? Will there still be value? If it isn’t for the seconds or minutes in the market place that is unique (not sure it is anymore)…what might be the added value once everyone ASSUMES the product in on fb? Target is there…etc.

    I think it is something Hahn in considering…not sure if/when they’ll do it.

    MORE valuable: scannable QR codes. Your phone can scan the code and get whatever information the supplier posts: tasting notes, winemaker information, tech sheets, restaurants and stores that carry the wine (although this info is challenging to harness in a real-time accurate way), winery info, a discount, or contest code, an invitation to a winery event…you get the idea.

    How do the links add value?
    Eventually or perhaps even NOW, all these products are EASILY searchable by their name on fb or twitter…so a cumbersome http://www …blah…blah…blah isn’t pretty on a label is it? But letting people know you can be found on fb and twitter…ok.

    I think there are bigger questions with technology and proximity marketing to answer. Like when you walk (or drive) by a Peet’s coffee or a winery and your phone pings with a coupon or an invitation to come in for something special, (because you are designated as a Peets-coffee-drinking-wine-loving-Banana Republic-shopping-Il Fornaio-eating consumer… Now THAT’s immediate, customized, real-time pull marketing.

  21. January 25, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I would lean towards using a QR code on a label. That is more cutting edge these days and can actually relay information on the spot if someone knows how to use it.

  22. February 3, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I vote no on FB and twitter on labels. First, it adds clutter – there’s enough distraction there with all of the legally mandated stuff. Second, for all we know by the time you are actually selling the wine in two or three years FB or twitter might be charming anachronisms.

    For example, imagine if you had put your Myspace page on your 2004 vintage. How would you feel about that now?

    Better to put one solid URL on the bottle to your main web presence AND make sure they can find all of your current SM activity on the landing page!

    I agree with Lisa about the QR codes, probably encoded with an AVIN number, to take you right to a source of good info. – jeff

    • February 22, 2010 at 4:08 pm

      Thanks for this comment- I agree that a wineries website should have very accessible links/badges to their Social Media platforms. It amazes me how scattered some are. Also good point about aging wine and AD relevance.

  23. February 10, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Great discussion here.

    I think it depends on the brand and their audience. If your target audience is more likely to engage with you on facebook or twitter than through your website or an email list, then go for it!

    But, I would recommend keeping it as simple as the twitter name or a short facebook url. I definitely wouldn’t go crazy adding facebook or twitter graphics on an already overly crowded back label.

    • February 22, 2010 at 4:05 pm

      Hey Sean, thanks for your input. I find back of the bottle tasting notes so pointless that I’d probably rather see 10 platform URLs ha ha.

  24. February 18, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    We are about to launch our first vintages that have our site and twitter ID on the FRONT LABEL no less. I spent a lot of time reading and re-reading this post while I was deciding whether or not to make this move, particularly since we make a high end wine which can be cellar aged for over a decade… Here’s my post about the decision making process that shows the label: http://www.ilpalazzone.com/news/a-tiny-act-of-courage-and-the-de-bunking-of-mystique/

    • February 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm

      WOW- good for you Laura, it’s a risk, but risk takers tend to come out on top! You are a pioneer my dear! I will tweet your blog post now. 🙂

    • February 22, 2010 at 3:59 pm

      Hey Laura, I just tried to leave a comment on your blog but was denied. Wither way, I tweeted about it and am proud of you!! [huge smile on my face].

      • February 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm

        A pioneer? Thanks so much for the support! (and sorry for whatever my site did, I will look into this right away). I’ll let you know if I get any eggs thrown at me from the enraged romantics….

  25. February 18, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    The post doesn’t really address the fact that winemakers largely sell their wine to wine merchants. If we were dealing direct to public all the time, all your pros and cons would pretty much cover it.

    But in a market where wine merchants tend to be exceptionally conservative, it’s not uncommon for buyers to pass me by just because I don’t have a chateau on the label. How do you think they’ll react when I slap a facebook profile page that has about 60 characters of URL gobbledygook?

    • February 22, 2010 at 3:52 pm

      AWESOME point Ryan, you are right about wine merchants being conservative. Thanks so much for adding this overlooked point to the comments… so true you are! Would you add a Twitter handle to a wine label if the wine merchants were on board or are you personally irked by the idea too?

      • June 26, 2010 at 11:36 am

        I would put @mroconnell on the label if there were space and it didn’t piss off buyers. And I just might anyway! 🙂

  26. February 23, 2010 at 11:50 am

    I think its a fantastic idea. How many users does FB have now? Twitter? The easier to gather information on some of the wineries, the better for everyone. And if you make a “find”, what a great way to establish a relationship with the winemaker or winery.

  27. June 6, 2010 at 10:12 am

    This is a great marketing tool, although it can come across as insincere if you do not have a passionate person looking after the Twitter/Facebook accounts. I am very pleased when I can interact with a wine maker/winery owner on Twitter and communicate in real time.

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