Abridged Social Media Plan for Murphy Goode

Any successful social media strategist has to develop a social media plan for the brand he / she is supporting. Although this plan should be more in-depth, here’s my very abridged version that is appropriate for a blogpost length.

There are three major parts to any social media interaction. Listen, engage, empathize and respond. Below is a set of tools and techniques to help Murphy Goode (or any brand for that matter) get started on the social media. To get the rest… Well, they will just have to hire me.

Listen:

Why it’s important: you need to know 1) what’s going on in the industry, 2) what your competitors are up to, 3) what your customers are saying and 4) what your non-customers are saying.

Tools you should be using:

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 Google Alerts. Google Alerts have been around for a while, so I won’t spend a lot of time on them – basically it’s a service that emails you when a  specified keyword / phrase is mentioned basically anywhere on the Internet. 

tblogonewTweet Beep is like Google Alerts for Twitter – have it email you each time a specified keyword / phrase is mentioned on Twitter. To stay sane and organized, filter it into separate folders in your email. Murphy Goode may want to set up keywords “Murphy Goode”, “wine”, “E. & J. Gallo”, “J”, etc.

favicon-12  Netvibes / Google Reader: set up RSS feeds from respected / thought leading blogs for the wine industry that mesh with the Murphy Goode’s brand, strategy, social media approach, etc. For someone as on the forefront of the “Wine 2.0” movement as Murphy Goode is, I think WineLibrary.tv is a good fit. Both possess a no-fuss, yet fun and educational approach to wine, using social media tools to bring wine into every home. Share great content with your readers and followers, as well as contribute comments to relevant blogposts. The more you get out there and participate, the more awareness you will raise.

yahoopipesYou can also use Yahoo! Pipes to help you in blog discovery. I have built a pipe to help you find each blog that has the word “Murphy Goode” mentioned in it (the pipe address is: http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.info?_id=bFH0.Di32xGnPkr_qu5lkA). You can feed it via RSS into Netvibes, Google Reader, other RSS readers, or embed it into your site.

Empathize:

Part of the reason to listen is to understand the trends in the industry, and do competitive intelligence. The second part is to measure sentiment towards your own brand. You need to know exactly what your consumers are saying about you. If an experience was negative, get in touch with them immediately to understand why and see how you can rectify. Excellent customer service is synonymous with brand building these days, considering how fast word-of-mouth spreads. Please check out my post on customer service, as well as Gary Vaynerchuck’s keynote. Talk to happy consumers too. The idea is to turn non-believers into believers, and believers into brand ambassadors. If you can have customers selling your product to others… Why not?

Create engaging and relevant content: wine

You need to become an authority figure and a thought leader; otherwise no one will be taking you seriously. You have to work for it, and it won’t happen overnight. Social media engagement is powerful, but it’s not magic. To develop your authority, you must produce content that is right for your brand and your audience. Since the Murphy Goode brand is all about laid-back wine appreciation, having fun, family, friends, and even poker and football, all original content has to reflect this brand. The Lifestyle Correspondent will be responsible for creating this content and developing best practices to be left behind after the 6 months are up. Content should include text, video and photo.

Tools you should be using:

zemanta-logoMake sure you install the proper SEO and sharing plugins for your blog; WordPress has a rich ecosystem of plugins. An example of a cool plugin is Zemanta – it automatically adds content and links so possibly related blogs (and in turn suggests your blog to other blogs’ readers). It also makes your post easy to reblog, with just one click. Disqus is a superb commenting platform that I highly recommend, as it doesn’t force the commenter to create a separate login, and drives comment contribution, due to comment portability across all Disqus-enabled blogs. 

youtube good 3YouTube has become the de-facto video publishing platform. It garners much higher traffic than all the other video sites, allows you to subscribe to channels, as well as for others to subscribe to yours, and embeds easily into WordPress, Tumblr and other blogging and social tools. If you want to share any other HD work, you should use Vimeo instead as it looks higher quality, and the interface is a little nicer. Make sure to tag the videos with relevant tags to optimize SEO. Subscribe to wine and Sonoma related channels that you and your readers would be interested in. Like with any social network, interact by favoriting, subscribing, commenting and friending.

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Flickr is the de-facto photo service. You can upload photos via your computer (there are great upload tools that make it easy for large sets – iPhoto has a direct feed into Flickr, for example. You can also upload to Flickr from mobile via m.flickr.com. Share photos on Twitter with flic.kr, Twitpic or YFrog. Flickr feeds directly into Facebook, WordPress and other platforms. Make sure to tag correctly for SEO and ease of navigation via your profile. You should also organize images into sets, i.e. “Wine Tasting event 9.15.09”, “Lessons in winemaking”, “Wine bloggers conference”, etc.

pixelpipeMedia distribution services like Pixelpipe will save you a ton of time by feeding your social networks, blogs, photo and video sites (this way you only need to upload media to Pixelpipe). For a job as media-heavy as that of the Lifestyle Correspondent, this tool will be essential to optimize social media tasks, saving time and therefore money. You can even feed your photos (and soon videos) via the iPhone when on the go.

Engage, share and interact:

So what do you do with the conversations that you are listening to and the fresh content you are creating? That’s when you take the Goode word to the social networks. I am only going to get into a few most important ones here.

Tools you should be using:

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Twitter is fantastic for immediate real-time interactions that can occur between several users at once. It is not a walled garden, and unlike on Facebook, you can engage with anyone you find in the “listening” step, regardless of a follow relationships. I have talked about Twitter enough on this blog, so I won’t repeat myself. The one thing I will stress is that it’s important to have a mixture broadcast messages, @ replies and retweets (RTs) in your stream. You don’t want to come across as a “30 second spot”; you want to interact, while still providing value and original content. Also, when you find something valuable, don’t be afraid to retweet.

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Facebook: You can feed selective tweets into Facebook via “selective Twitter”: a Facebook app that feeds tweets into Facebook if they have a  #fb at the end of a tweet. If you tweet a lot (which the Lifestyle Correspondent would probably do), you should respect your FB friends and not assault them with 50 daily updates. Oooops, I am personally guilty of that 🙂 You can also feed your Facebook account and fan page with Networked Blogs (to add your blog content to FB), Friendfeed and other applications. Other external applications like Mashable and Eventbrite allow you to publish your stories to Twitter and Facebook, and you should use them as needed. If you are attending or hosting a wine event, for example, you should publish that you are attending via Eventbrite, for an opportunity to connect in-person with your fans (read my article on why it’s important to connect in real life).

tumblrTumblr: if Twitter and WordPress had a baby, it would be Tumblr. Tumblelogs are short blogposts that are friendlier to multiple media support, easier to update on the go (via email, SMS, IM and RSS from your other blogs). This is going to be key for the Lifestyle Correspondent. Tumblr is social in that you can follow and be followed. Tumblr is appropriate for short, media-heavy posts, but it’s not the right platform for a long text-heavy blog post like this one.

stumble Delicious and StumbleUpon are social bookmarking sites that you can use not only for discovery of content around a particular wine-related topic, but you can also to bookmark your own content, eventually driving traffic to your destination. You can share your bookmarks with your network and publish them to Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.

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 Friendfeed is a lifestreaming service that allows you to aggregate all of your social networking content and activity into one place (and consume friends’ activities from one place). Like any other social and blogging platform, you can participate in discussions, create discussions and float up to the “Best of the Day” section if you get enough traction. Reading this section just once a day helps you surface any big events, as curated by your friends: what your friends created, commented on and favorited. You can also feed Friendfeed into Facebook. Just like with Twitter and Facebook, you can separate contacts into groups, in an attempt to better manage the “social media firehose”. 

P.S. With whatever you do, remember that social media is simply an extension of your offline brand. Make sure everything is consistent in voice, branding, personality. Use the same color schemes, easily recognizable logos and trade dress.

If you like my social media plan, please consider voting for me here for A Really Goode Job!

Published in: on June 25, 2009 at 11:20 am  Comments (1)  

Five Goode Reasons Why I am the Best Candidate for A Really Goode Job

I love trying out new things in Social Media, presenting information in a fun, engaging way. I decided to try out a fun and informative approach to talk about why I am the best candidate for A Really Goode Job, and hopefully win my readers’ votes and ultimately the position from Murphy Goode. So I decided to put together The Top Five Reasons why. I wrote up a separate blogpost about each reason, and am providing a summary below. Please click on each reason to learn more about it:

Reason 1: I have the social media chops

Reason 2: I am a holistic marketer

Reason 3: I am a wine newbie, eager to learn and take you on my Goode journey

Reason 4: I am a hard worker

Reason 5: I am a great cultural fit 

If you like any of my reasons, please take a minute and vote for me here.

Published in: on June 20, 2009 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

On importance of cultural fit – Reason #5

In any job or any professional relationship, a cultural fit is extremely important. All too often, things don’t work out between client and provider, or employee and employer, not because of lack of relevant skills, but rather due to a bad cultural fit. One of the tenets that Murphy Goode holds near and dear is: taking wine-making seriously, but not taking themselves too seriously. 

We love making wine. Flat-out love it. We’ve won plenty of awards and plan to win a whole lot more. That said, we also love football. And family. And laughing till we can barely breathe. You see, the same passion we have for wine, we unabashedly bring to everything we do. We live every day as if it were the best day in our lives. And who’s to say it isn’t.

This fits into my personal mantra perfectly. I am very passionate about and committed to my career, marketing, branding and social media. However, having a really good time is key. I do not take myself too seriously, and as you can see from my “Very Bad Date” videos, I enjoy laughing, enjoying my time with friends, and do not hesitate to make a fool out of myself. I am a “people person”, which allows me to build connections quickly online and IRL (in real life), and makes me extremely relate-able.

This concludes my “5 Reasons why I should be the Lifestyle Correspondent for Murphy Goode. Hopefully, these reasons will help you figure out why you should vote for me, and why Murphy Goode should ultimately select me. To vote, please click here! I appreciate your support.

Published in: on June 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

She Works Hard for the Money… Reason #4

The reason #4 for why you should vote for me (and ultimately select me) for the position of Murphy Goode’s Lifestyle Correspondent (A Really Goode Job) is simple: I work very very hard. I started this blog on June 1, 2009, and have since then produced 22 blogposts and a mock commercial, in addition to writing my regular blog, attending several conferences and working a full-time job. I am one of the few applicants for A Really Goode Job who has started a separate blog and Twitter account specifically for the Murphy Goode project. My blog shows my versatility across media types (text, photo, video) and subjects (from serious marketing and branding issues to lighthearted “Very Bad Date” mini-series.

If chosen as the Lifestyle Correspondent, I will apply the same work ethic, tenacity and natural curiosity to everything I do there.

To vote for me, please click here. Thank you for your support!

Published in: on June 19, 2009 at 12:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Reason #3 – I’m A Newbie

Today is Wednesday, so it’s time to post my third reason for voters to vote for my A Really Goode Job video, as well as for Murphy Goode to pick me as their Lifestyle Correspondent. It’s simple: I am a newbie. Although we all have our own ideas on what MG is looking for in this hire, if I was them, I would look for someone with social media chops, who is great at storytelling, but not necessarily someone who is an established wine blogger. The benefit of hiring someone like that is that you can mold this person, who is not going to come to the job with preconceived notions or winery preferences.

In any job, as long as a new hire demonstrates key skills and characteristics, and is anxious and excited to learn, the industry-specific knowledge can be taught. This job is no different. However, the skills and the understanding of Web 2.0 tools, community and dynamics can not be taught in such a short time: it has to have been learned through years of interaction, learning and practicing. Even though I am not a wine blogger and not a professional sommelier, I do have a passion for wine, have been drinking it my whole life (watch my video to find out how old I was when I had my first drink of wine), and love its conversation-enhancing and community-building quality. And lastly, because I am new to the wine-making process, it will be easy for consumers to identify with me and go on a journey with me to learn wine tasting and wine making.

So vote for me! Pick me! I am a wine newbie, but I am passionate about learning wine and winemaking, and learn quickly (once I learned a whole semester of Algebra in one weekend!). I am passionate (on the border of fanaticism) about social media, Twitter and blogging, and as I have demonstrated with this blog, I have the chops to produce text, photo and video content. I have the tools, yet I am a blank canvas.

Published in: on June 17, 2009 at 6:00 pm  Comments (1)  

Gary Vaynerchuk: “Twitter has allowed me to scale my caring”

I was lucky enough to be able to listen to the inspiring keynote by GaryVee of Wine Library TV at the 140 Characters Conference today. This speech was a bit different from Gary’s usual high-energy #crushit campaign.  Just as passionate and high-energy as usual, Gary changed direction a little and talked about caring and engaging in conversation with those who are talking about you or your product. As a brand strategist, I am amazed how brands don’t use the power of Twitter to find, interact with and care about people who are talking about them.

More priceless advice from Gary: we need to stop our obsession with the number of followers we have. I agree: it’s the quality that matters, not the quantity. Spammers can grow the number of followers with an astronomic speed via auto-follows. But does anyone care what they have to say? Will anyone retweet their message? It’s a resounding no, because they have zero social capital. If you care, you will eventually grow your social capital and your Whuffie.

Gary says it best himself, so check it out here! (And now that Gary has baby Misha, he has promised to eliminate the F word  – well, not quite eliminate, he only said it once 🙂

Published in: on June 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm  Comments (2)  

Holistic Marketing – Don’t Tweet in a Vacuum

Today I am revisiting my “5 reasons why you should vote for me” series and putting reason #2 out there. So here it goes.. In addition to my reach and command of social tools, I am a holistic marketer and business person. I have been studying marketing my whole life, having obtained a BS in Commerce from the McIntire School of Commerce at UVa and an MBA with a marketing focus from Robert H. Smith School of Business (you can view my LinkedIn profile here). That means very little, but what’s important is that I have a vast understanding of the marketing mix, and how it fits into operations of the company. On this blog, I have started and will continue discussing issues pertaining not only to social media in wine, and Murphy Goode in particular, but also how social media efforts will fit into the overall marketing approach. Check out my posts on distribution and targeting and messaging

In short, I don’t tweet and blog in a vacuum, but rather use social media tools to reinforce and support a marketing strategy to reach a desired demographic. If you support this view, please vote for me here

Published in: on June 16, 2009 at 3:18 pm  Comments (2)  

A Very Goode Consumer Target

As part of the A Really Goode Job project, we are all very focused on twittering, blogging and social media. However, it is important to keep in mind that social media is a part of the marketing mix, aimed at enhancing strategic efforts and reaching a desired consumer demographic. As a career business and marketing person, I am always analyzing businesses and the success of their marketing efforts. As I started working on the A Really Goode Job project, I asked myself who the ideal target demographic is for any winery in general, and Murphy Goode in particular.

Every company wants to establish a life-long relationship with a customer, to ensure that it can derive the most lifetime value out of each customer, after having spent money to get this person to buy for the first time. The faster you can make your consumer a loyalist and the longer you can keep him / her engaged with the brand, the higher the lifetime value. An adult beverage company, thus, wants to convert at an age as close to 21 as possible. Let’s examine the drinking habits of kids around that age. After having gone through college, they are used to drinking cheap beer and taking shots of Jager. Wine is not part of fraternity parties usually, and most of these kids feel intimidated by wine after they graduate from college and move on to their first job and first “adult” apartment. At that point, the consumer, especially male, is not thinking of wine as a beverage of choice. To get the most market share and the most customer lifetime value, Murphy Goode should find a way to attract this newly-out-of-college demographic, with a special sub-segment of young men.

I have put together this mock commercial to demonstrate what an ideal advertising concept would look like. At that age, a young man is interested in having a date with a young lady turn out well. Because young ladies have a stronger connection to wine at that age, she is more likely to drink wine on a date, and the young man is interested in impressing her with ordering a wine that will please both her and him. This is the perfect positioning for Murphy Goode: the wine that guarantees a date that is as smooth as the wine. Remember, for a goode date, make it Murphy Goode!

Please enjoy the video and leave comments!

P.S. This post is all about messaging (or “Promotions” in the 4 Ps of Marketing). I dealt with Placement in a previous post. As far as product and price, I think Murphy Goode is well-positioned to appeal to this demographic, as the wines maintain an extremely high quality-to-price ratio, and are an “affordable luxury” suitable to a recent grad’s pocketbook. As far as media through which to reach this hard-to-reach demographic the online space is definitely the first place I would reach for.

Published in: on June 15, 2009 at 4:11 pm  Comments (13)  

Reason #1 to vote for me: I’m Huge on Twitter (and I ain’t afraid to use it)

 

 

I'm Huge On Twitter

I'm Huge On Twitter

Ok, that was a little tongue-in-cheek, I admit. Quoting Ron Burgundy, “I’m kind of a big deal”.

In all seriousness… As voting for “A Really Goode Job” draws to a close within the next couple of weeks (I believe that voting will be open past the application deadline, which is this Friday, June 19th), I wanted to put forth 5 Goode reasons why you (yes you!) should vote for me, TheGoodeMaria. As part of the process, we have just 60 seconds to present ourselves in a video as the worthiest of candidates, which doesn’t allow for a very  complete picture. To that end, I created this blog and a Twitter account above and beyond my regular one. To further drive my message, I have come up with the following concept: over the following 5 days, I will focus on a very Goode reason why I am the best candidate for this job. So here we go!

As a social media junkie, I am knee deep in using, discovering and studying social technologies. I read and write blogs, interact with the community, Digg, YouTube, Tumble, Tweet and Facebook. I would have to say that Twitter is my favorite medium, as it allows for the most real-time and relevant interaction and deep, measurable reach. My reason #1 has to do with my ability to generate buzz via Twitter, as well as my deep reach on this platform.

Even though I started at a disadvantage to the job candidates that started the process weeks, even months ago (my video only went up last Thursday), I promoted the video with gusto since Thursday and generated 80 retweets and 1500 page views within the first 24 hours. As of the time of this writing, I have around 80 votes on my video, and it’s been up for just 4.5 days. Extrapolating on this trend, I would have had 600 votes within a month and easily 1000 votes since the contest started. Given my reach, I would have been easily one of the top vote-getters on the site. To ensure that I can increase conversion from pageviews to votes, I even created this handy webcast tutorial on how to vote.

Moreover, within 2 weeks, I generated 160 followers to my TheGoodeMaria twitter account, which given some extra time, would easily reach into 1,000s. As the contest wears on, and as I hope to end up in the top 10, I will continue to connect with the Twitter community, engaging in conversations, generating buzz and pageviews, via interesting and relevant content. Even though the number of votes is not the most important part of the process, the best candidates will have to demonstrate that they are able to engage and generate buzz. I am going all in, and I hope that my commitment and passion will motivate and inspire you all to vote!

If you think I add value, please take a moment and vote for me here. I truly appreciate and am humbled by your support.

Published in: on June 15, 2009 at 12:38 pm  Comments (3)  

What comes first: promotion or distribution? The 4 Ps of goode marketing

Today I finally found a bottle of Murphy Goode wine in NYC, on my 7th attempt. I went to three stores in New Jersey and three in NYC. Partially it was my own fault because I didn’t use the store locator (on Murphy Goode site) for the first four stores; I just figured that if it’s a pretty major store, it would have a good selection.

The last two didn’t have the MG wine, even though they were listed in the official store locator. Curiously, one of them had a wooden MG display unit, but no wine. I asked the store owner why they didn’t have it, and he said it was a space issue. I asked if demand was too low, and he said that if he had it, people would probably buy it, because it’s pretty goode (pun added by me, not the store owner). 🙂 

I see two reinforcing issues here: poor presence at retail level and absence of consumer pull (consumer not asking for it by name). Poor distribution could be caused by several factors, such as: wine distributor politics (which I don’t know much about – but hope to learn – right now, I just know it’s a 3-tier system) and lack of field sales focus on the East Coast market (which can probably be attributed to distribution politics as well). Since the wine is not in the store, and most consumers haven’t been exposed to MG’s messaging in NYC, consumers lack the awareness to ask for it by name. In turn, because consumers aren’t asking for it, and sales don’t justify carrying the item, the stores just don’t carry it.

Since the A Really Goode Job contest started, awareness of Murphy Goode has shot up astronomically, and hopefully it’s just the beginning of growing the nationwide recognition of this brand. The Lifestyle Correspondent will need to continue building upon this momentum, to keep generating buzz and demand. As more and more consumers will ask for it by name and buy it, more and more stores will carry it, in turn reinforcing demand, and driving sales.

So what comes first: distribution or promotion? I think they have to be carefully orchestrated to work in synch with each other. After all, distribution and promotion are two of the 4 P’s of Marketing.

Published in: on June 13, 2009 at 4:32 pm  Comments (7)