By Pia Mara Finkell (@piamara)
I saw a statistic recently that blew my mind. It literally hurt my brain to think about.
Social Media has overtaken pornography as the #1 activity on the Web
Ok, so that one didn’t really blow my mind, but I thought it was interesting enough to mention. The one that actually was responsible for the mind blowing was this:
If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 3rd largest (after China and India).
I don’t know if you can get your heads around that folks, but needless to say, social media is here to stay. It is the wild west of marketing, however, where everyone is a self-proclaimed guru throwing out a shingle to offer up some advice. It can be overwhelming to seek out help from a reliable source with so many voices chiming in and trying to ride the social bandwagon.
The wine world is lucky though. We have the ultimate role model in our industry and, unless you’ve been caught under something heavy lately, you likely already know and love him.
His name is Gary Vaynerchuk, or just “Garyvee,” and he is the gregarious host of Wine Library TV. If you’ve never watched one of his Wayne’s World-style wine videos, seriously, do it.
Follow that up with his appearances on Conan. You won’t be sorry. They made me weep the first time I watched them, and coming from experience, they never get old.
So, what are his credentials as a guru? Taking his family’s wine shop from $4 million in sales to $45 million by rebranding it as The Wine Library was good. Creating the now absurdly popular Wine Library TV to both educate and demystify wine to the average wine drinker was really good. Becoming social media’s Tony Robbins and signing a HarperStudio seven-figure 10-book deal, the first of which hits shelves this September…priceless.
This past month, Gary also just hit the satellite waves and launched his very own “Wine & Web with Gary Vaynerchuk” on Sirius Radio. This dude is literally everywhere and when it comes to using the digital world to market his personal wine and business brand, he gets it. The good news is he wants you to get it (whatever it is) too.
So, what can we learn from Gary? In two words, use video. Besides Gary’s success, here are some other good reasons to incorporate video into your viral mix:
1. Get Real, Real Son: If Wine Library taught us anything, it is the importance of being yourself and video offers the ultimate platform for putting yourself (or your brand) out there. More personal than simply blogging, but less intimidating than asking questions at your local wine shop, plus sitting in the glorious comfort of anonymous home viewing, Gary’s hilarious wine videos landed him on Conan, and now attract 80,000 viewers per day. If you offer up real, authentic content, they will come.
2. It’s for Posterity: Gary explains in his now famous appearance at the Web 2.0 Expo in NY, “legacy is greater than currency.” His point is this: videos live online (and are thus viewable) forever, and your great, great grandchildren will remember everything you do because it will all still be out there. But how will they find you? According to Nate Elliot at Forrester, an indexed video on Google is 50x more likely to receive 1st page ranking on Google.
“Not only are video results increasingly common in Google’s search results, but your videos stand a much better chance than your text pages of being shown on the first results page.”
3. Give ‘em what they want: According to the web measurement firm ComScore, 183 million U.S. internet users watched online videos during the month of May 2010 alone. The same month, YouTube achieved an all-time high of 14.6 billion videos viewed. More specifically to the world of wine, according to a study from Lift9, 700,000 people watch wine-related videos each month. Numbers talk, but since I’m better with visuals than numbers, take a look at this chart to see what I mean:
4. You Have to See It to Believe It: Garyvee put himself out there, filming Wine Library TV in his family’s wine shop until we noticed him. Neilsen reports that online video viewing on social networking sites was up 98% in 2009, so the opportunity is there. Show people who you are, or who your brand represents, and point out your humanity rather than remaining a faceless corporation.
5. Follow Your Passion: If you love what you do, it will come through in video and resonate with people. Gary clearly loves what he does, and when you watch him speak, it drips out of every pore in his body. With that, I’ll leave you with his words:
“Social drinking. Social networking. Pop the cork and join the conversation;”