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VinTank and Derek Bromley Release Wine Social Media Whitepaper

Deepest study to-date of social media companies impacting the wine industry vertical provides valuable resource for wineries wading into "Web 2.0"
May 08, 2009
Napa, CA May 7, 2009 -- VinTank, in partnership with wine industry consultant Derek Bromley, has released a whitepaper profiling social media companies impacting the wine industry. Researched and written with the intent of helping wineries make sense of a vast and confusing medium, the paper looks at the largest social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) as well as the almost 30 wine social networks battling for the attention of online wine consumers, ending with an overview of the wine blogosphere. The free whitepaper is available for download at

"Consumer embrace of social media literally turns the tables on marketers," said Tom Wark, publisher of the Fermentation daily wine blog and Partner in Wark Communications. "With millions of consumers, particularly those of the Millennial generation, now frequently using social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace, brands are being built and defined as much by consumers and communities as they are by marketers and suppliers. The degree of change this represents can't be underestimated."

It is estimated that social media is generating twice the online content of traditional media, and wineries have been struggling with how to engage their current and potential customers in this medium. (a VinTank portfolio company and contributor to the whitepaper) estimates that each day in April 2009 there were 153 blog posts, 1,420 forum posts, and 7,896 microblog (Twitter) posts on the topic of wine. This whitepaper offers some practical tactics, recommendations and best practices on how wineries can begin to engage in those conversations.

Some key findings of the whitepaper
- According to, the top 20 wine bloggers in aggregate represent a larger audience than the Wine Spectator online, and are growing at a faster rate. However, the wine blogosphere is highly fragmented and difficult for wineries to navigate.
- Wine social network memberships number in the hundreds of thousands, although it is near impossible to determine how much overlap exists across networks.
- The two top-rated wine social networks, CellarTracker and VinCellar, started as wine cellar management tools that over time have added social networking functionality. This deeper level of value has paid huge dividends in terms of customer loyalty.
- A key challenge for all wine social networks that have achieved any kind of scale is data quality. Duplicate and incorrect data affects all of these sites to varying degrees.
- Online advertising models for the wine industry have more challenges than other verticals due to outdated alcohol regulations.

About Vintank
VinTank is the first digital think tank for the wine industry, providing expertise and analysis where technology and the wine industry intersect. With these tools VinTank provides strategic consulting and business development for companies looking to add wine to their offering and for wine companies looking to succeed online. Visit for more information.

About Derek Bromley
Derek has spent his career innovating in and around the wine industry. A former sommelier, co-founder of "Web 1.0" ebusiness BevAccess and winery sales/marketing executive, Derek advises a select group of wine industry clients on strategy, branding, marketing, sales, channel management and online tools including web, email and social media. Visit for more information.

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