Monday, December 29, 2014

How Tinhorn Creek stays “Mainstream” through “Twitter-stream"

We are born at a given moment, in a given place and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born.” ~ Carl Jung

Tucked away in the rolling hills of British Columbia, Tinhorn Creek stays “Mainstream” through an established presence on “Twitter-stream”.

Desert Vineyards Provide a Unique Terroir for Tinhorn’s Wines

            One wouldn't expect to see regal grapevines mingling with desert-dwelling sagebrush, but at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, the two flourish side-by-side like old friends.  Set atop a hillside in the middle of British Columbia’s famed Golden Mile wine-growing district, Tinhorn Creek Vineyard and Winery crafts quality wines from grapes harvested from their 150-acre vineyards.  Planted on two distinct benches, the Diamondback Vineyard and the Tinhorn Creek Vineyard produce grapes of both the red and white varietals, allowing the vineyard’s winemaker, Sandra Oldfield, to harvest only the best fruit for the winery’s esteemed Pinot Gris, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Gewürztraminer vintages.  Each of Tinhorn Creek’s wines boasts the unique terroir of its desert topography.

           Appreciating the delicate ecosystem housing its vineyards, Tinhorn Creek uses sustainable practices to preserve the surrounding environment.  Such practices include on site composting of all grape seeds, skins and stems, as well as systematic steps being taken to convert their entire vineyard to an irrigation drip system by the end of 2014.  The north-south orientation of the vineyards allows for the wind to blow through the rows, drying the morning dew quickly and reducing the amount of fungicide needed to protect the clusters.  Tinhorn Creek also works closely with The Land Conservancy to ensure the vineyard’s most sensitive areas remain untouched.  Most notably, though, are Tinhorn Creek’s efforts to protect desert wildlife by implementing exclusion techniques, such as snake fencing and netting, rather than placing toxic baits or fumigants in their vineyards, ensuring the preservation of the desert’s fauna while at the same time providing a more natural drinking experience for its lovers of wine.   

The Benefits, Challenges and Joys of Using Twitter

            Tinhorn Creek began tweeting under the @TinhornCreek username over two years ago.  In that time, they have expanded their Twitter presence to include their winemaker, @SandraOldfield; assistant winemaker, @KorolKuklo; viticulturist, @Andrew_Tinhorn; and marketing coordinator, @linzyw.  In keeping with Twitter practices, Tinhorn’s winemaker also started using a hashtag, #tinchat, to facilitate a conversation during harvest time.  Now that harvest is over, they’re hashtag has transformed into #BCWineChat, keeping the conversation going all year long and opening it up to include all the local BC wineries.  If you’re interested in checking it out, tune in to Twitter every Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, PST.  

            When asked how using Twitter helps the winery from a business standpoint, Lindsay White, Tinhorn Creek’s Marketing Coordinator, shares, “probably the interaction and the immediacy of it.”  Being able to get information out to people right away provides Tinhorn Creek with the opportunities to reach people they otherwise might not be able to.  “I have seen someone tweet about our wine and someone else say that they are going to go out and look for it at their local liquor store because they have never tried it,” continues Lindsay.  This kind of exposure is in part thanks to Tinhorn’s use of Twitter but it is also dependent on what kind of online presence the winery promotes.  

            With the immediate and widespread reach of social media networks, the occasional complaint or negative comment is bound to find its way into your campaign; how you respond to these moments can define your business.  As Lindsay observes, “It can be challenging when someone puts something negative out. I always try to respond to them and find out what happened or how we can fix it.  With social media being 24 hours it is hard to try and respond to everyone. I can’t be using social media all the time so occasionally I miss something despite search settings and alerts I have set up.”  Being able to answer questions right away helps to address these potential pitfalls, and keeping an open, honest communication between the winery and its followers allows the company to build trust and rapport with its clients, both present and prospective.

            Aside from the business aspects and potential challenges of using Twitter, Lindsay reflects upon what she enjoys most about running Tinhorn’s Twitter campaign, “it’s about providing our followers with information about the winery. It could be about an award we won, the mouse I discovered in the vines, a food & wine pairing, a proposal in our tasting room, or the amazing sunrise. We don’t want to overload them with sales pitches.”  Sharing the daily aspects of running a winery presents Tinhorn Creek as a real place run by real people, creating an authentic online experience.  

           With a Twitter presence of over 7,500 followers, and close to 7,000 Tweets, Tinhorn Creek uses current social media trends to share the practices, terrain and people that are unique to its winery.  And, with close to 400 million tweets fluttering through Twitter per day, are you taking advantage of this social networking opportunity?

No comments:

Post a Comment