Re: your most recent blog post…this is what happens when the lines of reality cross.  

Oh, how true, how true!!  A faithful reader, Jim from Ohio, sent this to me, compliments of his friends at Dorothy Lane Market.

It's the perfect segue for today's post because….

I am drowning.  When I say drowning I mean swamped, swimming, sinking. And, no amount of coffee can give me enough hours in a day to get it all done.  I'm like a duck…above water, I look cool and composed but down below I'm paddling like hell just to keep my head above the surface.  

I'm not talking about wine sales.  Or, even profits--although improvements could be made in both areas.  I'm talking about trying to keep up with the way business is conducted today.  Our round the clock, 24/7, electronically connected world has made it impossible for people to catch up, no matter how many hours you throw into the work week. Frankly, it's not the actual work during the “work week” that is the problem.  It's the sheer VOLUME of correspondence that accumulates from emails, phone tag, meetings, and follow up meeting to those original meetings--in both work AND personal life-- that creates all the havoc.  (Heck, even my mother emails me now.)  To top it off, everywhere I look and everything I read indicates that “today's savvy business leaders need to fully embrace all forms of social media, especially Facebook and Twitter as these are vital to connecting with future customers.”  

You have got to be kidding.  Does anyone else out there besides me wonder how this is humanly possible?  Clearly, I'm a twirp (an old fashioned term that seems fitting for us twitter resisters!) and if I hear it one more time, I think I'll scream.  Or discombobulate, which I've been accused of doing a lot lately, if you ask my kids.  Don't get me wrong. I completely agree with the idea of connecting with customers through the use of the internet.  It's fast, it's cheap, and for small family companies like ours, it's a great way to communicate with a wide group of people.  That is why I started this blog.    But I'm not sure it's possible to add Facebook, Twitter, and Lord knows what next to an already full in-box when one wears a hundred different hats—and who doesn't these days?!

And, apparently to do it right it needs to be personal and authentic.

At least that's the message I got from a seminar I attended last week.  Put on by the Luxury Marketing Council (yes, I too, saw the irony in their name which is probably why for $50 bucks I decided to make the trek to Napa to pick up some pointers!), this gathering focused on how to grow our tasting room business and attract more visitors to the winery.  Or, as one panelist stated: “how to separate the wealthy from their wealth.”  The panel was impressive.  And, on most of their recommendations, I'd give us high marks.

Authentic?  Check.

Personalized? Check.

Service oriented? Check.

But, is the owner on Facebook?  No and that's where I'm clearly falling short.  Luckily, I can delegate this function, which is exactly what I've done to my 30 something marketing assistant.  But the pressure is all around me, as is the feeling that I'm NOT KEEPING UP.

While I picked up some good tips, I left the seminar still not sure I want to add Facebook Diva or Twitter Tramp to my list of winery titles.  Sure it can help spread “the word” to a new audience.  And, it seems to be growing like wild fire.  But isn't there a bit of irony to the whole Facebook thing?  While everyone agrees that being authentic is important, wineries using Facebook in their marketing are working awfully hard to make sure it doesn't actually LOOK like marketing.

And to me, that's not being very authentic.

| | Comments (8)


Charlene Kleiner said:
March 9, 2010 3:25 PM


I'm with you 100%. I REFUSE to get on Facebook or Twitter as I too, cannot keep up with everything else and add that too!

Kim (aka Wilma) Author Profile Page said:
March 9, 2010 10:52 PM

Here's to those of us who prefer doing things the old fashioned way! It's great to hear from you Charlene.

Jim from Ohio said:
March 14, 2010 3:50 AM

Dear Wilma/Duck/Twirp/Madam V.P. of 38 year old Family-Owned Winery/Queen of Quality-Price-Ratio/Femme Fatale of Fume/Mom/Wife/Daughter/Authentic,Honest,Human Being/...oh yes, Kim;

Just a word of thanks for the "look" inside the winery. Better than any tour. Not unlike your tag line, Elegant & Classy. Don't change.

[Full disclosure: No Free-Trade coffee beans or Heritage Zinfandel were harmed in the making of this photo.]

Kindest Regards ~ Jim from Ohio

Leslie Author Profile Page said:
March 14, 2010 1:37 PM

I don't blame you for one second for not getting on facebook or twitter. I have facebook and I'm slightly addicted. I will say it is a great way to simultaneously send pictures of the kids to all of the grandparents and to keep the everyone up to date with everyone else. But I'm sure I would drop it if I got too busy.

JohnLopresti Author Profile Page said:
March 14, 2010 2:16 PM

Ducks are bouyant, it's just their heritage is to be endowed with only the basic size paddles; they are also seen to have some water ski gifts as they take flight from the pond or estuary.

Maybe there is a sociopolitical movement afoot well adapted to some industries, the most prominent demonstration of which seems to be those peaceful protests which usually involve a few leaders gathering around a small incinerator to burn twirp cards. Let them. They will regret their brash decision when the 140 character limit is reached and the sender has yet to state the reason for the message.
Footnote: the foregoing two paragraphs total 101 words, according to the online freeware site called wordcounttool at http://www.wordcounttool.com/

Kim (aka Wilma) Author Profile Page said:
March 15, 2010 9:16 AM

I guess I'm not alone as it sounds like many of you share my sentiments. While I definitely see the value in using Facebook/Twitter to keep one's friends/family members up to date, there's a fine line that people cross when they habitually update their "status" and tweet about their comings and goings endlessly. In pyscho-babble, I think they call it narcissism!

Leslie Author Profile Page said:
March 16, 2010 7:48 AM

It also leads to robbery. I have a friend who tweeted that she would be out of town for a week and someone broke into her house and stole a lot of her electronics. The scary thing about twitter especially, is that anyone can see what you tweet.

Kim (aka Wilma) Author Profile Page said:
March 16, 2010 7:05 PM

That is dreadful Leslie. After hearing that, you'll never find me on Twitter!

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This page contains a single entry by Kim published on March 9, 2010 3:07 PM.

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