Getting Started with Twitter
( A Guide for Wineries and any other small business)
July 16, 2013
• What is Twitter?
• Followers and Following
• What to Tweet
• RTs and MTs
• Twitter Chats
What is Twitter?
• Twitter is what they call a micro-blogging site
• Allows you to build a network of “like-minded” people who
may be interested in you, your winery, and your wines.
• Allows short (140 character) messages (called “Tweets”) to
– Readable by everyone
– Unless you lock your account (but why would you want to do
• “Tweets” appear on your profile and on the Home page of
– Followers are people who have expressed an interest in you and
your tweets by deciding to follow you
Who Should I Follow?
• It is easy to find people to follow. Just use the Twitter search and search
for terms like:
– Ontario Wine
– NOTL, Prince Edward County, Lake Erie North Shore, etc.
• Look at that persons profile and their latest tweets. If it seems interesting,
– You can always Unfollow people later if they are not interesting and/or spam
your twitter feed with derogatory or boring messages, etc.
• Find a few Ontario wine supporters that have public Twitter Lists
– Mine is at https://twitter.com/UncorkOntario/lists (“Ontario Wine Tweeps”)
– Rick Van Sickle (@rickwine) follows several lists
• What do you mean “Who is Rick VanSickle?”?
• People will start following you back. Relax. It isn’t creepy, it is normal.
(Well most of them are normal)
Now That You’re
• Twitter, like other Social Media, is about being “social” and
engaging with others
– A continuous stream of one-way tweets from your account is a good
way to lose followers
• First build relationships with the people you engage…
• Just like in real life you wouldn’t walk up to someone new and start selling
• Ask questions, respond to others tweets, and RT the good
stuff that you see that you think your followers may be
• Now mix in your own tweets about what you are doing
around the winery, your customers, your staff, and
– Try to keep a balance between your messages and engaging others
• When someone replies to a tweet, their tweet will start with an
– Ex: I tweeted this: “My tongue in cheek experience with BIG Ontario
reds at the Expert’s Tasting #ccovi uncorkontario.com/?p=2214”
– Jennifer Hall (@fashionfood) replied to me: “@UncorkOntario I love
– See how Jennifer’s Tweet started with @UncorkOntario? That means
it was directed at me (a reply), and here’s the important point:
• I can see it in my feed, because it is an @ reply to me.
• Others will only see it if they follow both @fashionfood and @UncorkOntario
– There is a way to reply that everyone sees it, and that is to start the
reply with something other than the @ symbol.
– In our example then, Jennifer could have typed: “.@UncorkOntario I
love this” <- The period placed before the @ symbol makes all the
difference. Everyone that follows Jennifer will now see this, regardless
of whether they follow me or not.
Retweets (RT & MT)
• A ReTweet (RT) is a way of taking someone else’s message
and sending it to your followers.
• For example – I tweet about a great wine I just had from
@KarloEstates. Sherry Martin (who runs that account) RTs it
to her followers so they see my tweet
• Most folks will usually reply to the originator as well
• Twitter on mobile devices allows you to “Quote” or
“ReTweet”. Quoting allows you to add colour commentary to
the RT, as long as the combined message is still <140
• A variation of this is a Modified Tweet (MT) where you may need
to abbreviate or shorten the original tweet in order to add your
• It is courtesy to mark it MT in case you muddle the original
DMs (Private Messages)
• Sometimes you want to send a quick tweet to
someone but don’t want everyone to see it
– For example, sending your cell number or your
home address to a friend
• DM stands for Direct Messages
– A DM is like a text message on your phone (or a
short email). It ONLY goes to the one person
intended. No one else can read it.
• The “#” sign is the sign of a hashtag.
• It allows multiple people discussing a topic or
event to follow all of the conversations that are
occurring, even if they are not following the
– #ONWineChat, #WineChat, #BCWineChat, #i4c2013
– #Sens, #Leafs, #Bluejays
• Can search hashtags in Twitter Search, OR use a
tool like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to follow the
conversation (more on that later)
• Chats are an interesting way of having
a discussion with a lot of people, but it
can be difficult to follow just using the
twitter Search and having to refresh
• Dashboard tools like Hootsuite and
Tweetdeck make it much easier to
follow an ongoing discussion, scrolling
updates in real time.
• <Insert shameless plug for
#ONWineChat every Wednesday at
• I know you are all thinking: “But doesn’t this take a
lot of time?”
– Yes, but some of the busiest people I know take the time
to engage with their followers
– It only takes a few minutes a couple times a day to check in
and see what is new with the people you are following and
engage with them
• You answer the phone, answer email
– Social Media is just another means to talk with your
customers & potential customers (not at them)
Time – cont’d
Brian Schmidt, President VQA,
winemaker and all-around farm
hand has made his “Twactor
Tweets” somewhat famous as he
engages his followers in all aspects
of the grape-growing and wine-
making at Vineland Estates. I’m
pretty sure no one told him this was
If Brian can find time to engage, so
• Anything I can help with?
• Easiest ways to reach me:
– @UncorkOntario (Twitter)
– Shawn@UncorkOntario.com (email)