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James Jory
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James Jory

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New enhancements are now live on +VinTank to support organic/biodynamic/sustainable practices in our wine data syndication network.
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James Jory

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VinTank raises the bar on our SMM features. This enhancement addresses a couple popular requests from our users: publish on-demand or schedule posts.
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James Jory

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More SCRM tools for the wine industry
If you're a regular here, you've probably heard us preach that anyone who mentions your brand online should be considered a customer. We call them social customers and they can come in many fo...
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James Jory

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What we've been working on this week...
Are you trying to better understand your competition? Want to see how you are performing vs them in both earned media (mentions of your brand) or in owned media (your Facebook Fan Page vs. Their Faceb...
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James Jory

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So as the wine industry continues to doubt the viability of millennials as a valuable demographic, we have this. It seems that not only is the "young crowd" not buying enough wine, now they're actually hurting business!

From the article:

He [Bruce Cousins of Armida] lost business because serious wine buyers didn't have the patience for the traffic, he added.

"People think 'Oh my God,' and they turn around and keep going. So they (the young crowd) kind of scare business away," he said. "In the past I've said . . . these tasters are our future customers and we need to take care of them and service them. But there's just too many of them. You just can't do it."
http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_20122298/wineries-call-cops-younger-crowd-gets-out-hand
While the first of two Wine Road Barrel-Tasting weekends was fun for thousands of wine lovers, the event was not without problem revelers.
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James Jory

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The article below is an excellent post by +Paul Mabray on the ascendancy of the new wine critics.

I was particularly drawn to the screenshot at the end of the post where Paul searched for +Cornerstone Cellars on Google. Notice that all results "above the fold" are based on Paul's social activity. No organic search results to be found! Think about what this means for SEO. This is a perfect example of how SMO (social media optimization) is at least as important as SEO. If your brand's content, message, and locations are not socially engaged and shareable, they will not find their way into your social customers' social graphs and search results. This is incredibly significant.

The traditional "Field of Dreams" thinking of throwing up a website, adding some SEO tweaks, and expecting search referral traffic to find you is outmoded. The influence of the social web is finding its way into all corners of the Internet. Not even the mighty Google search engine is immune.

http://grandcrue.com/2012/02/move-over-here-come-the-new-critics/
Yes, we are seeing epic changes as it relates to the professional critic. The decline of print magazines and wine columns in traditional media coupled with the ever increase of free content being pro...
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James Jory

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Now anyone can tap into the winery and wine data in the VinTank data network with just a copy/paste. Check it out.
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Really digging the LBS features we've been rolling into VinTank lately. Building up to some killer features that deliver real-time customer context to businesses.
As we hinted last week we are on a roll with an objective to bring location-based services (LBS) channels to VinTank to help you get closer to customers when they are at your winery. Today's release (...
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Love it since +Paul Mabray show me how this tool work.
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James Jory

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A KPI to help wineries with their social media efforts...
The Winery Social Index was built as a tool to help you measure your Social Media Efforts. We have been building feature after feature in our software for the wine industry. Two of the most common que...
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James Jory

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Congratulations, Matt!
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James Jory

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Some quick thoughts on today's announcement[1] from Google that Google Analytics will now be measuring conversions from social media traffic sources and more specifically how this development impacts the wine industry.

My initial reaction? Meh. Sorry, GA hasn't morphed into the BFG 9000 that will finally put down all the Social Media ROI "Walkers" that have risen from the dead en masse recently[2]. (Sorry for that Walking Dead reference... Sunday's season 2 finale is still lingering.)

As a technician, the GA enhancements have the appearance of merely tagging, tracking, and segmenting referral traffic from known social media sources that may eventually convert into sales on owned websites. This is a good thing but it's nothing revolutionary. It's a step in the right direction[3] but large digital properties (should) have already been doing this for years now. Bringing this capability to small(er) businesses, though, is a big deal and Google should be rightly applauded for this advancement.

When it comes to the wine industry, though, there are far bigger obstacles to reaching online DTC nirvana than an aggregation of data into venn diagrams and line charts. The vast majority of wineries are small and individual relationships with customers matter most. As +Gary Vaynerchuk likes to say, it's small town. Due to the daunting barriers to purchasing wine online (three tier, most winery e-comm bites, wine is heavy/expensive to ship, it's breakable, sensitive to heat, winery direct pricing has to guard against channel conflict, no immediate gratification, and on and on), nearly all wine transactions still occur offline. This doesn't mean that activities in social media can't impact wine purchasing behavior. Quite the opposite actually. Wine is ideally suited for social media as an experiential, consumable, luxury product. But the measurability of how these digital activities impact the full range of wine transactions is still not at hand.

We're making progress but we still have a lot of work to do.

[1] http://analytics.blogspot.com/2012/03/capturing-value-of-social-media-using.html
[2] http://www.vintank.com/2012/03/unraveling-the-mystery-of-roi-in-social-media/
[3] http://susanetlinger.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/google-social-report/
Measuring the value of social media has been a challenge for marketers. And with good reason: it's hard to understand exactly what is happening in an environment where activity occurs both on and ...
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I firmly believe the wine industry can learn a lot from the transformations that are already occurring in other industries as a result of social media.

If you're in the wine industry and are a social media skeptic (or even a proponent), please take the time to watch the following video. To make this a more interesting experiment, substitute recording industry terms with analogous wine industry terms as you watch and listen.

Substitute "recording industry" with "wine industry".
Substitute "tv" with "distributor controlled selection" or "control state".
Substitute "grammy awards" with "traditional wine scores".

Granted the substitutions above aren't perfect and the wine industry has its own unique challenges. However, I think they're close enough to assess similar impacts, and more importantly, the opportunities in front of us.

Your thoughts?

The GRAMMY Awards 2012: How social media changed the DNA of the Recording Academy
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Love the tsunami analogy, Rich. I think it's dead on. And yet there are those who believe the wine industry is immune. Certain wine critics come to mind here.
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Tech guy at VinTank, Powering Social Intelligence for the Wine Industry
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Family, technology, and wine. These are the things that drive me.
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