Check-in Deals

In our most recent unscientific survey of 30 Napa Valley wineries, we found that about 40% offer some sort of check-in deal, be it on Facebook, Yelp or FourSquare. Two wineries, HALL Wines & St. Supéry Vineyards and Winery, had deals on all 3 platforms mentioned. Do you have a check-in deal? –Mission Control team


  • 12 of the 30 reviewed have some sort of check-in deal (be it Facebook, Yelp or FourSquare)
  • 6 of the 30 have Facebook check-in deals – 7 of the 30 have Yelp check-in deals – 7 of the 30 have FourSquare check-in deals
  • Only two (Hall & St. Supery) have check-in deals on all 3 of the platforms. Hall’s is the same across all 3 and St. Supery’s varies
  • Of the total number of deals (20), 1/2 include some sort of free tasting (be it just for checking in or for purchasing something including: tour, tasting or wine)
  • Of the total number of deals (20), the other 1/2 are discounts off of purchases, tours or tastings
  • The most interesting check-in deal is St. Supery’s FourSquare deal: The mayor of the location on FourSquare will receive 10% off the entire purchase

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Buying Facebook Fans: A Dirty Word?

Is paying for Facebook fans robbing your page of authenticity?


There are a lot of strongly held opinions about building your Facebook fan base using “organic” strategies versus “paid” advertising on Facebook. By “organic,” we mean fans that find and “like” your Facebook page based on their interest in your content, rather than by targeted ads on the right side their Facebook newsfeed.

One of the arguments for organic growth is “quality over quantity.” Facebook pages with good organic growth are reaching the core audience of your brand, and that audience is deeply engaged in your brand. Quality engagements from brand ambassadors drive recommendations, which help to raise awareness and create more ambassadors.

But this strategy does not necessarily reach far outside of that core audience. Also, there are plenty of examples in the direct marketing world of the benefits of building a sizable database; wineries with successful direct programs want more email addresses, not less.

On the other hand, Facebook pages with too many “purchased” fans often suffer from low engagement metrics, fans dropping out of newsfeeds, etc.

The best solution is a blend. Mixing compelling posts, creative promotions (such as giveaways, where legal), and Facebook advertising extends your brand’s message to like-minded audiences. Now you are reaching out to a people more likely to be interested and involved with your brand

Additional Recommendations:
Modest Ad Buys Work. We have had great success spending as little as $500 in Facebook ads that support larger campaigns, such as a sales push. Tying the ad into page content helps spread the word. And these ads can be highly targeted to reach the audience for your campaign.

Ripple Effect of Ads. You want to leverage the network effect to reach people with similar interests. For example, let’s say you love soccer. Chances are, many of your friends on Facebook also like soccer. When a friend “likes” a new Adidas soccer cleat, you see that cleat in your Facebook feed, and you are more likely to check out the Adidas page. Advertising on Facebook can have a similar effect.

OK, But Does it Last? Yes and no. You will see “engaged users” go down after finishing a Facebook campaign. But that is because clicking on the ad is considered an engagement. Don’t be scared of the post-ad drop. It will level out and be higher than where it was before your ad buy.

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International Social Media Strategy

Should You Develop an International Strategy for Social Media?


Thanks to the low cost and ubiquity of digital media, our view is that wine brands are global regardless of their export strategies. But no one can be Facebooking in every country. Let’s say a California winery exports to Germany and Japan; should it have a social media strategy customized to each market, a single “global” approach managed from California, or a combination? With offices in the US and France, and an international client roster, this seems to be the question du jour.

First, should you have a multi-country social media presence? Note that this does not necessarily imply that you need a multi-language strategy. Wineries meeting some of these criteria are more likely to benefit:

  • Sales goals in specific countries will require greater consumer brand awareness;
  • DTC assets, especially a tasting room, already provide the launching pad for increased consumer engagement and marketing;
  • Cross-marketing opportunities existing within a portfolio of winery brands.

Second, let’s assume you want a multi-country social media program. Here are three options:

Option 1

One global strategy, managed from one location (e.g., one Facebook page for all countries)


– Time savings: only one strategy to manage
– Efficiency: communicate with all fans at once


– Potential miscommunication given language barriers, cultural differences
– Diminished opportunity to develop relationships with fans in each market

Option 2

Local Page Strategy (e.g., a Facebook page for Japan, a separate Facebook Page for Ger- many). These can be run from one location or each run on the local level.


– Content more relevant to local audience and wine culture
– Easier campaign targeting for local areas
– Less likely to encounter cultural misunderstandings (especially if run from local level)


– Once launched it is difficult to change to Option 1
– Time commitment
– Possible overlap in outreach to individuals

Option 3


We recommend combining local and global strategies. Wineries can start this journey by creating a written plan that provides local agencies with broad, directional guidance — e.g., “our brand messaging is focused on innovation.” Then let your local teams creatively interpret and adapt your branding for the local culture. That keeps branding consistent across borders, allows for better in-market campaigns, and adapts to local audiences and wine culture.

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