Tweeting Gone Wild: Napa Winery Gets Spammy

We’re fans of Twitter, especially when it comes to learning about events (found coupon codes for Rhone Rangers and Pinot Days) and communicating with other fans/writers/wineries.  However, we are not fans of Twitter abuse.  Over the course of our short existence on Twitter, we’ve kicked two people out of our feed and are on the verge of a third.  These three accounts have something in common – multiple tweets a day that often include duplicates.  Worse, they tweet as if it’s the first day we followed them, and the tweets aren’t even that unique.  It’s like one of your friends consistently telling you every day about something you’ve already heard.  It gets annoying after a while.

The third account in question will remain nameless, but I did track its Twitter activity over the past month.  I looked at the total number of tweets, number of retweets vs. original tweets, number of duplicates, and the number of posts with a commerce element (sales, events, etc.).  The graph below tells the story of why I’m thinking of blocking them.

Literally 43 tweets in one day!  235 tweets over 8 days, an average close to 30/day.  During that same 8 day period, roughly 25% of their original tweets were duplicates.  Over the course of a month, more than half their tweets were RTs while only 9% were about commerce.  13% of their original tweets were duplicates within the same day.  If we analyzed duplicates during the whole month, this number would skyrocket since there seemed to be a few go-to tweets about their tasting room or Facebook account.

There are some different opinions on repeating tweets.  Guy Kawasaki, an author and co-founder of Alltop.com, has talked about the click-through benefits of repeating tweets 4 times a day.  I can understand this strategy since Twitter feeds can get full quickly, people don’t check the same time each day, let alone in the same timezone.  This makes sense, but I’m not a fan.  With Guy, his 4 repeats changed daily since they were topical subjects.  With wineries, I just don’t think there’s enough wine news to warrant a daily 4 tweet repeat.

This winery also seems to have the practice of RTing anyone who mentions them.  As someone who has included winery names in tweets, it’s nice to have them respond and give our name exposure to their followers.  However, I think there’s a difference between regurgitation and communication and adding value.  I’d rather see a winery follow me and send me a DM saying thanks and potentially inviting me to visit or interact with them in another way.  If I do say something unique or share something special about them (photo, blog post about a wine, etc.), then that’s fair game to share.  I enjoy seeing other people’s photos of events (regardless of the wine in the photo).

All that said, it’s early days with the social web, so best practices will be in flux for a while and will most likely change as more people participate.  I may decide to reach out to this winery to get their take on my reaction.  My guess is that there isn’t a clear strategy, but they want to interact with their customers rather than ignore them.

It’s funny though.  Even if they spam me on Twitter, their product is still world class.  My taste buds don’t care about social media.  They care about what’s in the bottle.

Social Media, USA

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