Recently I wrote about the emergence of Twitter in the wine industry (Twitter and the wine industry: Micro-blogging, marketing and waxing poetic). It seems like 2009 is the year that wine and Twitter get serious, or so it appears on the surface. More wineries are joining the ranks, tweeting all sorts of fun and mundane stuff. Same with wine trades people, reviewers, enthusiasts and just about anyone who enjoys typing and tasting at the same time. 

So it was with great interest I read the latest experiment, this time to promote a book, “Passion for Pinot: A Journey Through America’s Pinot Noir Country” by Jordan Mackay. On March 14, he will host a live Twitter tour of some of the country’s best Pinots. I’m guessing he will tweet regularly through the evening on his thoughts and opinions on the wines, and those interested can follow along on Twitter.

You know, I kind of like the idea. You can read more about it here and let me know what you think.

I thought Alder Yarrow of Vinography did a good job tweeting while at the recent Symposium for Professional Wine Writers in Napa. Following along, I felt like I was almost in the room watching the presentations, taking in the information, and sharing the enthusiasm of people who work in the industry. But there is a knack to getting it right, so that people find your tweets useful.

Here are my top 5 things you can do to Tweet right with Twitter:

5. Tweet quality, not quantity

The concept is similar to blogging. Too many updates can amount to spam, especially if they’re not well thought out, informative or amusing. There is no need to tweet every minute, every hour or even every day for that matter. Tweet for quality.

4. Yes, Twitter can be useful for marketing, but don’t be in my face about it, please

I’m guilty too. I like to use Twitter from time to time to tell people about an interesting blog post we have here on SSC. But I don’t do it all the time. Like other social media, Twitter is tit for tat. Provide something useful, compelling. Then you can, over time, earn the right to subtly tell people about your site, your product, or your new philanthropic endeavour.

Keep in mind, if you’re as fascinating personality as you think you are, people will invariably click on your profile page, or Google you, eventually discovering more about you in the process. You can lead a horse…

3. Don’t be boring about it

There is enough dull 7/24 junk out there. Talking heads. Factoids. Gossip. It’s just all so mundane. If you want to stand out on Twitter, be interesting. Really interesting. Tell me something I didn’t know. Be creative. Make me laugh.

But don’t turn 140 characters into a license to put me to sleep… you know, “in car driving home”… “wating the stars”… “wonder where Angelina Jolie is?”… “filled up with some gas, then help up a supermarket”… (well we might be on to something with the last one, Twitter and Live Crime!)

2. Yes, we know you’re important

To the narcissist, Twitter is another excellent self-promoting weapon. I wonder when I tweet about a wine I’m drinking or a show I’m seeing if I fall into this category sometimes too. Maybe not, because I’m too self-aware perhaps. I don’t know.

Either way, do not use Twitter as a megaphone to tell the world how important you are… yes, we know, you have a Wikipedia entry on yourself. Yes, we know, you were just featured in another YouTube interview. Yes, we know, another “cool” link about your company. We know, but should we care? 

1. Wine is about more than scores, tell us stories, tell us about people, tell us about experiences

Hey, we all love a score. Thumbs up, thumbs down. Top this, top that. Best of lists. It’s part of our culture. Even this list is a “Top 5”. It just sounds better and people get it faster. 

But when it comes to wine, emotion is involved. Do you remember the last time you shared a really great bottle of wine with friends or family? How did you feel when you last toured a vineyard, walking the vines, taking in the sun and the breathtaking panoramic vistas?

This is what it’s all about. Capturing the essence of wine and life with wine is more art, than science. So must be your tweets. Capture the moment, your thoughts, your feelings and share it with us. If you’re genuine, it will come across and people will be more interested in what you have to say!

[Article inspired by: New Book on American Pinot Noir Inspires Twitter Taste Live Online/Offline Wine Tasting]

Clinton Stark
Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear