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July 25, 2014 | 3:03 PM

Have you checked out the July 2014 issue of Wine Business Monthly yet? Read the Month in Review below for a preview of what is in the issue:

A Focus on Technology

How much time should your winery allocate to social media? Which platforms should you take the time for? These questions come up all the time and there’s no one-size fits all answer. However, the technology survey in this issue shows what social media platforms wineries are on in general and how often they update their various social media accounts.

Some of the results aren’t too surprising. Facebook is used nearly universally, while other platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram are being used by relatively few wineries so far. Only 8 percent of wineries don’t have a Facebook while 35 percent aren’t on Twitter.
Of those using Facebook and/or Twitter, 82 percent say they respond to customer comments and concerns on those platforms within 48 hours of the original comment. Wineries have that figured out. I was a little surprised to learn that wineries aren’t blogging that much.

Many wineries—more than half—are designing their websites specifically for mobile. Wineries are on it but the survey shows most don’t track where their website traffic is coming from. There’s room for improvement.

Wineries aren’t just using digital technology to reach consumers for marketing, branding and direct sales: An article in this month’s issue covers how some are using it to create educational sales tools specifically for distributors as well as on- and off-premise accounts. That’s because of the flexibility mobile devices offer and because the cost of creating these tools is becoming more affordable.

Over the years, WBM has published product reviews covering software categories for every facet of the wine business: in the cellar, the vineyard, for direct sales, depletions, POS, accounting and more. These product reviews are a great resource and can be accessed online. The various trade channels, increasing complexity of software systems can be intimidating, though, so where do you start? We happen to have that one covered this month with a primer on the process of evaluating your needs and selecting the best options.

Cyril Penn, Editor

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