I often use the analogy that social media is like a vineyard–if you don’t nurture it, tend it, and get your hands dirty it will wither on the vine. There are other factors too, like planning for your terroir, your capacity for growth, your niche market, and of course, the story of your grapes from soil to glass. Similarly, in social media, or relationship media as I like to call it, you can’t just dive in without first thinking about your story, what it is that you want to grow and why and, most importantly, who will be consuming it and becoming a part of your community.
Like a good vineyard, it takes patience to grow relationships via social media. It is a mistake for any small business to think if they just plaster themselves everywhere from Foursquare to Facebook they’ll be successful. A vitner does not plant his grapes willy-nilly, and nor should an entrepreneur sign up for social media accounts without first undersanding them and how they will contribute to the succes of the company’s long-term goals. Thinking carefully about your strategy first is essential. Social media is only one part of your overall business strategy but it is an important one that requires care and attention. It isn’t simply a matter of slapping together some brochures, business cards, and a website anymore and thinking an online community will happen. For some, social media is a blessing, because some folks are natural communicators and have taken to new media like fish to water . For others, it’s going to take a little more time to incorporate dialogue into their traditional media.
Don’t stress if you don’t get followers overnight, or your Facebook page doesn’t suddenly have 1000 fans–it’s a process, and like a great vintage, it doesn’t happen overnight, it ages and matures and it takes a whole community to get it to that venerated, iconic status. Think of the story of the Napa upstart, Chateau Montelena whose Chardonnay turned the wine world on its head in 1976.There was bitterly hard work, a family obsessed with a vision, and a passion for their business that brought the world to a small winery in Napa Valley in California. Their philosophy? Be the best. Period You can join them on Facebook to find out their story then and now.
From the past to present, this business engages its community with a fine finish.