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Haiku Branding: Keep your message concise for new and traditional media

The New Media Revolution will not be televised ... because Tweeps are getting there first. What does this mean? While the basic approach to branding a business, product or service in the 21st century remains the same, recent developments in technology have drastically changed the world of communications. Enter the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and YouTube and their transformational impact on media and marketing.

Why should you care about social media? Because it’s personal. People want to know as much about your unique story as you’re willing to share, and social media encourages a more direct interaction with consumers. For the wine industry in particular, effective social media strategies are paramount in enhancing direct interaction with consumers, which begets loyalty and increases direct-to-consumer sales.

Consumers are now intent on interacting with the “source” of messaging (i.e. you). They want to engage in a meaningful “straight from the horse’s mouth” dialogue about what sets your brand apart. Today, the populace controls the message.

Social media as artillery

If Facebook were a country, it would be the third-most populous nation in the world with more than 400 million inhabitants. Add the 30-plus million Twitter users, and you’re looking at a huge opportunity for direct-to-consumer engagement.

Facebook users log an average of an hour a day, and Twitter now generates more than 50 million Tweets a day – is your message in this mix? By creating and maintaining clear and concise brand messaging in the social media sphere, you can cut through the noise and provide information that can easily be grasped.

How does one go about engaging social media-savvy consumers in thoughtful and meaningful discussions about a brand? Begin by developing press materials with an eye toward brevity.

Instead of a long-winded press kit, you need a Media Kit v.2.0 (Twit Kit) – concise informational materials that can be used as sound bites for reposting across various social media platforms. Use Facebook and Twitter as artillery to direct consumer attention to your website, blog or tasting room, where consumers can learn more about your brand. Facebook Fan Pages also allow consumers to interact with each other, and your products, in a branded business environment. This results in spontaneous content that strengthens consumer ties to your brand.

Embracing the differences

Simplify your message. Successful branding depends upon how well your audience can understand and redistribute the essentials of your brand with both traditional and social media. Effective social media strategies utilize redundancies in disseminating the message. Maintaining concise and relevant communication engages the interest and support of social media “influencers” across multiple platforms. This ensures your message ricochets through the blogosphere, gathering the momentum of an avalanche.

But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Traditional media still hold tremendous sway. Most have made the transition into social media and can be reached through Twitter and Facebook. Access to them is now possible through comments on their blogs, in which they can be engaged in meaningful discussion pertaining to your brand and its relevance to the news about which they are writing.  Social media enhances, not replaces, traditional media.

Some things never change

Regardless of the era, develop a marketing and PR strategy designed to both promote and build a solid foundation for your brand. Begin by digging deep in identifying authentic brand themes and answering these three essential questions: Who are you? How are you different? Why does it matter? Other core branding exercises include shaping a strategic plan, creating a corresponding budget, defining your audience, weaving your authentic story with consistency and communicating effectively to launch the brand, which now means targeting both traditional and social media to relay your message. Keep in mind that social media is less capital intensive but requires more focused, ongoing effort.

It’s all about relationships

Your brand is only as strong as the relationships you cultivate and continually nurture with gatekeepers. With traditional and social media communication, target your message to appropriate outlets by researching what media are saying and make sure the story angle is relevant, consistent and defendable. Follow through is key in building and maintaining strong media relationships.

In closing, we suggest you practice the art of Haiku Branding. Keep your message concise and easy for traditional and social media to pass along. In that vein, here’s a summary of this article ...

Thoughtful branding reached

In social media world

Through distilled message

Now go out and encourage your distilled essence to go viral.

•••

A leader in wine and food industry marketing and public relations for more than 27 years, Marie Gewirtz Public Relations and Marketing (MGPR) in Healdsburg specializes in launching and repositioning the images of national and international wineries, vineyards and appellations with a commitment to land stewardship, sustainability, education and community involvement. Julien Gervreau is an account manager, and William Allen is MGPR’s social media and marketing consultant, who also publishes a Wine Country review blog at www.simplehedonisms.com. You can reach Julien and William at julien@mgpr.com and william@mgpr.com.