Handwritten Thank You Notes: The New Social

When is the last time your company decided to thank customers? Normally this occurs after a sale, holiday, or conference you both attended. Do you make a practice of planning your outreach “thank you” efforts? If you do plan this type of campaign throughout the year, do you measure the results of your efforts? Do you know if your customers were “wowed” by your thank you? Without a plan or a method to measure your strategy, how can you move your business forward?

How do you thank your customers, affiliates, and peers for their support in the age of social media? If you are like me you tweet your gratitude, post thanks via a wall post or message on Facebook, or contact them on their favorite social network. The result is a nice response in return. But how memorable are these outreaches when they are so common?

Go Postal: How Do You Do That?

Do you want to make a memorable impression on your customers? One that creates the “wow” factor? Sit down and write a thank you note and send it via old fashion “snail mail” Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Card Stock: buy simple, clean notes made of quality (heavy) card stock
  • Content: include a story or shared experience in your thank you note
  • Handwriting: write legibly
  • Business Card: place your business card inside the envelope

Social Can Be Offline

We mailed 40  Thank You cards to customers, affiliates, and industry peers in December. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and warm. We have received phone calls expressing gratitude and surprise, Twitter messages with pictures of our card, and face to face handshakes and hugs. Without a doubt going “old school” is, in today’s world, considered going the extra mile.

ROI Architect: Measure Social Media Marketing’s Return on Investment

WARNING: DO NOT watch the above video until you have read the following article:

Inner Architect’s focus is Social Direct Marketing based on the integration of social media channels with direct marketing strategies. We focus on producing positive measurable results for our  wine industry clients. Do you know how to hire a consultant?

You are your winery’s GM, COO, Marketing Director, or Direct to Consumer Manager and you are in charge of creating, executing, and maintaining a social media marketing plan with Twitter as your centerpiece. You understand the following challenges in executing this task:

  • Time: you do not have the time to execute and maintain your winery’s social media marketing plan
  • Expertise: you do not have the expertise nor the background to leverage Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Foursquare, etc.
  • Expense: you do not have the budget to hire, train, and pay benefits to a new employee to execute your marketing plan

What Are You Getting From Your Social Media Consultant?

What are you getting when you hire a social media consultant to run your company’s Twitter presence?

  • Goals: have you identified your goals for Twitter? Do you want to drive traffic to the tasting room, sell wine club memberships, network with wine journalists, broadcast events, develop new leads, or create offers?
  • Strategy: do you have a specific strategy that you want the consultant to execute?
  • Plan of Action: did you receive a written plan of action from your consultant on how they will achieve your desired goals?
  • ROI Measurement: Is your consultant explaining how he/she will measure their efforts on Twitter to provide a clear picture of the ROI for your investment in their services?
  • Progress Reports: Has your consultant set up a schedule of regular reports detailing their progress?

Are You Ready to Participate?

Are you ready to provide the critical cooperation and help to your consultant to ensure success? Are you ready to authorize:

  • Tasting Room: allow your consultant to brief tasting room staff on your Twitter action plan
  • Measurement: require your tasting room staff probe visitors to understand which channel provided the motivation for their visit ie. Twitter, Facebook, email, postal literature, telesales, catalog
  • Database Integration: are you ready to bring all your data points POS, eCommerce, telesales, email, Twitter, Facebook all together in order to create life-time value for your consumers in each marketing channel

Conclusion

If you are not receiving the service and planning from your consultant then it’s time to reevaluate your decision. Review and use this article as a check list for what you should expect from your marketing consultant and from your organization. And please watch the video.

Twitter Strategies: Tell a “Tweet Tale” To Influence

Twitter hashtag events, #Winewednesday and #Followfriday, have been a mainstay in helping wineries network with their consumers and affiliates, raise awareness for their brands, and open lines of communication. The most important strategy to ensure success during these events is to understand how to write creative tweets that illustrate why you are recommending a person or brand. One such strategy is what we call a “tweet tale.”

Tweet Tale: A Short Story

What is a Tweet Tale? The object is to create a micro-story that showcases the people or brands you wish to recommend to your followers. The following example of a Tweet Tale:

This Tweet Tale is based on a question asking readers if they have visited the Bardessono Hotel a fantastic Napa Valley resort, dined at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry, enjoyed St.Supery wines, danced at Napa’s newest event facility Uptown Theater, and visited vaunted Napa art gallery Cordair Gallery.

Tell a Tale:

If you get creative your  tale  will take the reader through a wonderful micro story, recommend your favorites, and create goodwill for your brand.

How Do You Measure Twitter ROI?

Full adoption of  Twitter as the choice social media engagement super tool is still in progress. Although many first adopter business niches and industries harnessed the power of Twitter early in the platform’s development, without demanding  white paper or ROI analytical proof, many American companies still lag behind. When the light does go on, some very important steps often are overlooked before launching a successful Twitter presence. One of the examples of an industry that still struggles to understand how to measure the ROI of Twitter is the wine industry.

Steps to Measure ROI of Twitter in the Wine Industry

  • Direct Channel: understand that Twitter, as well as Facebook, is a direct marketing channel that can be measured
  • Life Time Value: realize that consumer purchases can be attributed to Twitter, as they are for traditional channels, creating a bench mark and life time value for each winery’s customer utilizing Twitter
  • Control: institute employee processes to capture consumer purchasing information in the tasting room
  • Train: train all tasting room staff, within the conversation with visitors, to uncover which channel brought them to the tasting room. Was it a Twitter offer, a Facebook page announcement, a telesales campaign, a email notification, advertisement etc.?
  • Integrated Database: the biggest challenge for wineries is to create one place where they can house all of their customer purchase information ie. tasting room, email, telesales, advertising, postal
  • Measure: even if the challenge of finding one database to hold all customer purchases across all channels is currently improbable, there is a set of services that can measure interactions, responses rates, and CRM campaigns within the Twitter environment

Introspectr: Finding Your Social Footprint

A personal search engine that keeps track of your social footprint for future reference? It’s here in Introspectr.com. Introspectr’s motto: “Stop searching, start finding. Introspectr makes it easy to find messages, documents, and links from every part of your online life.”

Introspectr Basics

  • Provide Introspectr access to your Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail accounts
  • Introspectr indexes your Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail messages along with links and attachments
  • Search with any term and the results returned are your past Twitter tweets, Facebook messages, and or emails related to your search term(s)

#Hashable the Future of Connecting Now

Who are you connecting? What promises to be the next generation way to connect people with synergy, former Quigo entrepreneur Michael Yavonditte launched #Hashable.com. Hashable, according to Techcrunch’s Erick Schonfeld, “lets you introduce any two people via Twitter or email, and then follows up to see whether those intros were successful.”

How’s it work with Twitter?

Simply include the Twitter handles of the two people you want to introduce as well as @hashable, and the hashtag “#intro.”

If  I want to introduce maverick wine industry veteran winemaker Cathy Corison to innerarchitect.com CEO Susan Hanshaw I would:

  • You tweet: “@CathyCorison meet @SusanHanshaw I think you both have common interests and synergy #intro cc @hashable”
  • Hashable would tweet to both parties with a link to their Icebreaker page with bio information for both people and fast way to reply on Twitter

How’s it work with email?

  • Send email: email both parties and Ccing post@hashable.com
  • Private introductions: email both parties and CC dontpost@hashable.com

Game Changer

The real fun begins as you accrue points for each introduction you make. The more people you introduce “successfully the more HashCred you get.” HashCred is a point system that rewards you for particular actions that lead to a successful introduction. Hashable will provide incentives and rewards like Foursquare but with a true altruistic intention.

For more information watch Michael’s interview on Techcrunch TV.