It’s harvest time and the busy fall tourist season is almost here. Perhaps you have been too busy with daily winery tasks to implement the marketing plan created back in January. So what can be done now to fill the tasting room, turn visitors into loyal fans and increase sales? Follow the tips below and watch positive things happen.
1. Get found in local search. Make sure your business listing is found when a potential visitor is doing a local search on their PC or mobile device.
Wineries that are winning local web searches have more customers walking in the door and calling on the phone. Optimizing your business listing on Google+ Local, Yahoo Local and Bing Local is essential in today’s wired marketplace. 88% of consumers who search for a type of business on a mobile device call or visit that business within 24 hours
2. Add Google Analytics to the winery website. Google Analytics is a free tool that a web developer can add to a winery’s website. Google Analytics provides the business owner a detailed analysis of website traffic including how people get to the website, either on their own or by referral, what pages they land on, the keywords they use, and much more. It doesn’t matter if your website is due for an upgrade or not, the key now is to gather information that can be used when you do an upgrade.
3. Position a greeter at the tasting room entrance. On weekends and during the fall, winery tasting rooms are popular destinations. If you don’t have a designated greeter, visitors can get ignored by staff who are busy taking care of other guests. Hire a nice “people person” who smiles and likes to chat. A name tag is a must too. The greeter’s job is to welcome people and explain the options available; winery tours, wine tastings, food choices, entertainment.
4. Schedule a customer service training session for the tasting room staff. You are about to have the busiest retail season of the year, and you must make sure that customer service is remarkable. The goal of a business is to get and keep customers and satisfy their needs at a profit. Your company can only benefit from a strong customer service culture. A service focused culture builds loyal relationships with customers and provides a better environment for staff. Happy Employees = Happy Customers = More Sales.
5. Change the Facebook cover photo to promote upcoming events and website. Facebook has relaxed its rules on cover photos and you can now include calls to action and website or address information in the cover photo. There are text restrictions though; you can’t include more than 20% text.
6. Add custom tabs to the business Facebook page. There’s no call to action on a Facebook fan page until you add one. Adding a custom tab allows you to collect email signups, sell products and services through e-commerce, and run contests and promotions. There are also Facebook apps, which allow you to do all sorts of things without having to write code. Up to 11 apps can be added on Facebook, but only four are visible in the thumbnail below the cover photo. The order of these apps can be adjusted, except for the photo. In the photo below, Chankaska Creek Ranch and Vineyards in Minnesota, does a great job of using custom tabs with calls to action.
7. Update the Facebook event custom tab to reflect upcoming events. This is a free Facebook feature to promote your business. If you are using the event feature on Facebook, make sure to add upcoming events. If fans click on the event tab and there are only past events, you are missing an opportunity. Facebook fans may also think you are “closed” for business if there are no future events listed. 7C’s Winery in Missouri, below, does a great job of keeping their event page updated with upcoming events.
8. Shoot video and take pictures with a smartphone during harvest. Harvest is a great time of the year to shoot video and photos to use immediately or to save for the rest of the year when you need material to post on Facebook, website blogs and newsletters. Customers love to see winery action photos and video of a winery task that you think is mundane.
9. Hire a consultant to do all of the above. You need to do what you do best, so consider hiring someone to do what you don’t know how to do or don’t have time to do. Consultants can teach you how to do something or outline what you need to do to stay on top of your marketing.