French wineries, like over-tired children, are kicking and screaming but slowly making their way onto social media, a survey has revealed.
The survey of 528 wineries in the United States and France conducted by ABLE Social Media Marketing found that while 94% of U.S. vintners were on Facebook, only 53% of their French counterparts were.
But the French are slowly coming online. A similar 2010 study by ABLE’s corporate predecessor mysocialwinery.com reported less than 20% of French winemakers were using Facebook.
Meanwhile as the use of social media has climbed, France has seen its wine production and consumption decline. The report also noted a steady slide in wine consumption by the French, which it said could be traced to a combination of government anti-drinking campaigns and adults substituting other beverages.
A little more than 70 percent of winemakers on both sides of the Atlantic have websites, the survey found, but less than half of the French wineries use them to sell wine.
"The wine industry has been one of the slowest industries to adopt Internet-based technologies, barely edging ahead of pawn shops, bowling alleys, and dry cleaners in having web sites, e-mail addresses, and actually using them both," Alder Yarrow noted on his blog, Vinography, last month.
Anyone who has been following this blog for the last few months will know my feelings on the relevance of Social Media to wineries. Therefore, I don’t want to get into extensive detail right now on the subject…. What I will say is that a bottle of wine begs to be shared, already making it possibly the most social of all beverages. However, what people must understand (with wineries) is that for the most part, and particularly in Europe, we’re dealing with a bunch of farmers. It’s easy to see how they can fall behind the times, but not that it should be condoned.
This “social media stuff” is new to all of us, and so this is the best time to get on board. Either that, or they can be dealt the same fate as the Quarterly Review of Wines magazine who in their demise complained “…the wine world changed, evolution was inevitable. Wine became so commercially successful that romance was lost along the way.”
I call bullshit on that. I’m sure when the telephone was first invented, it was greeted with a certain amount of apprehension. Progress in communication is inevitable, and shouldn’t be resisted.