Over the years in my career as a wine writer, and as a marketing consultant, with the help of my business partner Michael Perlis, to restaurants, bars and wineries, I’d like to believe I’ve built a reputation based on trust. (I know I’ve been told that I have, and have received awards and nominations based on this.)
By helping non-profits for free with their events, working with for-profits (not for free) and designing events for both, one thing I’ve learned is how to use social medial to promote any business I want to promote, whether they are paying me to do it or not. In most cases it has been the latter, hence how my reputation has been cemented and my followers loyal.
Now, the crux of this article, there are a few people in the wine and public relations industry that don’t work this way on social media. They make comments that are passive aggressive, comments to steer traffic to themselves, comments that simply don’t make sense with the post, comments that are self-serving, know-it-all comments, and some that are downright nasty and seek to provoke an argument.
I have to admit that I sometimes get upset by a post and may start to write a comment until the angel on my shoulder taps me. I get that. People are guilty of acting too quickly – but those in the industry should know better and I believe know exactly what they are doing. And it’s a disservice to us all.
To be clear, what I’m ranting about here is that person that makes these types of comments over and over and over again. Part of me wants to explain social media to them, but the other part of me wants to just leave it alone and hope that Karma will serve well enough.
So let me do it here, for those of you that are still reading. These are a big no-no from me on social media, especially if the post is trying to generate business for a for-profit or a non-profit:
- Do not comment with your own hyperlink and drive the conversation to your agenda. This would be looked at as self-serving and tacky.
- Do not advertise a different event in your comment on a post that is advertising an event.
- Don’t comment that you can’t attend – with adding in the better event you will be attending (and are marketing) instead. Egads.
- Don’t leave a comment that has nothing whatsoever to do with the post. Walk away or make yourself understood. Social media, just like texting or an email, can be misunderstood. Read your comment back to yourself before hitting that return button, and for the LOVE OF GOD NEVER USE CAPS BECAUSE THAT MEANS YOU ARE YELLING.
- Being passive-aggressive in a comment is also self-serving. Example, “LOL, you spelled that word wrong!” or “LOL, I can’t believe you didn’t know that.” Everyone knows you are tooting your own horn. When I see a spelling mistake on someone else’s post I privately message the person so it doesn’t hurt the business or the non-profit.
- Do not provoke an argument. If you feel the need to comment argumentatively do so in Facebook messenger, or whatever private message system the particular social media platform uses.
- Please remember that if someone is advertising something on social media, whether for profit or simple goodwill, they are trying to do a good job of it. There is no need to mess it up for them or for the business they are working with.
- Don’t be obtuse or vague. There’s actually a word for that on Facebook and it’s called “vague-booking”, which means you are fishing for a conversation. Which in essence, again, drives traffic away for the point.
- If your experience with an event or wine I’m marketing is negative, feel free to message me but don’t feel free to derail my positive post into a negative one. Tacky and self-serving. Write your own post, on your own page, and in your own group…which leads me to:
- Don’t comment in someone else’s group in any of the ways I’ve already described. Get your own group and advertise yourself there.
And lastly, if I’m the culprit, please private message me so that I can edit or delete my offending comment.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in the first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Las Vegas Proof Awards, LA Wine Competition, Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.