Wines of Ontario

30 Days of Wine Challenge

Sideways Movie I am a wine lover. Admittedly. I have proudly arrived at the level of consumption which laughs in the face of the ever-dreaded wine hangover. I like to believe I have a fairly open-minded pallet, and love trying different regions and blends as they catch my eye. When I saw a tweet for the 30 Days of Wine Challenge (#30DOWC), daring Ontarians to drink nothing but Ontario wine for 30 days, I immediately stepped up to the plate. I believe that Ontario produces great wines, and that these wines are often overlooked for seemingly more exotic and worldly vineyards. I wanted to become more educated on what my home region has to offer. At first glance, the Wines of Ontario campaign has all the social media  elements needed for success. They are active on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, and have a semi-interactive website. Participants also receive regular e-mails providing tips on serving, tasting, and purchasing wine. However, three weeks after signing up, I realized I hadn't bought a single bottle of Ontario wine. I quickly ruled out any decrease in my overall wine intake and focused on the campaign itself. It seemed to be missing connectivity and engagement. The following is a list of possible remedies:

1. Make the 30 days start at the beginning of each month. By setting a unified start date the community can solidify and build from a certain point—working together towards certain goals within that month. Right now there is no start/end date, which left me feeling a little disconnected and not part of a greater movement.

2. Give each month a general theme. This will encourage people to participate for more than one month and will also provide people with ongoing information and sense of commitment.

3. Add content to your Facebook page. There are currently 145 fans but very little content on the page itself. No posts, links to videos, events, photos, or other content. There is no reason for fans to check the page. This is easily remedied by highlighting new promotions and engaging fans in discussions on their favourite Ontario wines.

4. Encourage user-generated content. Ask for submissions of photos and videos of taken of participants during the challenge, possibly even following one or two key fans on their 30-day journey.  Post these to the website, Facebook page, YouTube, etc.

5. Send me tips on brands of wine—e.g., Five Wines To Try This Month. I am less in need of "how-tos" of drinking wine (this part I think I have down), and more in need of different brands and wineries in the Ontario region and which blends to look out for. The Twitter feed has some good suggestions, but more could be done to highlight specific wineries and blends.

6. Link all of the content (and communities) together. So far the website only provides a link to the Twitter stream, which might be why YouTube and Facebook pages are suffering from lack of content and viewers. Linking the content and communities together will increase awareness, interest, and engagement.

7. Results, results, results. At the end of each month provide me with some numbers. Did sales increase? How much? Are we making a difference?

Overall, I think the 30 Days of Wine Challenge is a great idea, but it needs more continuity, engagement, and a boost of WIIFM (What's In It For Me) factor.

What are your thoughts? Agree/disagree? Other suggestions?