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Whisky Makers on Twitter – From #epicfail to #wow

by Oliver Klimek on November 13, 2010

I have been using Twtitter since I started blogging about whisky back in the summer of 09. In this strong year on Twitter I have got to know not only many fellow bloggers and whisky aficionados but also made contact with a good number of whisky makers that have an account.

After a while you will notice that the whisky industry uses Twitter in many different ways. Or the have an account which they don’t use at all. Let me introduce you to a couple of industry tweeps – the selection is not exhaustive but should give you a good overview on what’s happening.

Tobermory

@TobermoryWhisky has joined Twitter on 17 Aug 09. And since then – silence. They follow a lot of people, so they may actually have read access to Twitter. Informational cul-de-sac. #epicfail

Cutty Sark

@cuttysarkblend has at least managed to crosspost a whopping two photo upload messages from their Facebook page. That one happens to be slightly more active. They have posted five messages there since August 2010. #fail

Canadian Club

And now for something completely different: real tweets! @cc_whisky is not exactly ultra-active but they do tweet a couple of times a day. But what they tweet… #OMG

  • A new Friday tradition: CC and ginger for two somewhere with a view. Cheers!
  • Let’s start a Wednesday tradition: CC w/ a splash of soda with a twist of lime. So refreshing…
  • Let’s start a Tuesday tradition: CC and ginger ale, with a slice of lemon. Soooo good.
  • A weekend challenge: Embark on adventure or slow things down? Either way, we have the perfect companion: A glass of CC.
  • Something about fall weather makes CC and ginger ale a natural. Cheers!
  • We’re on the hunt: What’s the best ginger ale brand to mix with CC?
  • Dilemma: Plan the weekend or let it happen. Which is more fun? Either way, bring CC along.
  • Tough choice: CC neat, on the rocks, w/ ginger ale, or…? Make a decision tonight.
  • Washington State joins the union this day in 1889. A toast to great neighbors!
  • Only 50 days left in 2010. Make them count! Cheers to everyone who made the year their own.
  • First airplane flight lasting more than 5 minutes this day in 1904. A toast to perseverance!
  • Louvre museum opens in Paris this day in 1793. A toast to works of art, no matter what form they take!
  • ….

And so on. Apart from these post-war advertising punchlines there are only retweets and “Thanks for the CC mention”. The Candian Club Twitter account is a prime example of an informational one way road. At least we learned that it’s actually possible to be obsessed with ginger ale. Dear Mrs. or Mr.  Canadian Club, may I introduce you to the idea that Twitter is more than an internet megaphone? #conceptmissed

Ardbeg

@ardbeg_com finally do tweet useful stuff like updates on what’s currently happening at the distillery. They inform you about casks being filled or equipment being repaired, all of which might prove to be priceless knowledge in ten years time when the stuff will be bottled. So the actual content is pretty decent, but otherwise they are not much different from Canadian Club. Megaphone only, and they just follow 7 accounts. #youcandobetter

Laphroaig

@Laphroaigwhisky is attributed to distillery manager John Campbell. And here we have the first of the pack who actually got the concept of Twitter right. He follows a decent number of relevant accounts, engages in conversation and answers questions every now and then, but he’s not a power tweeter. #welldone

Richard Paterson

@the_nose is a whisky icon, and he is also very active on Twitter and Facebook with the support of his social media manager Craig McGill. He tries to be as responsive as possible but the sheer number of his followers and the people he follows can make it difficult to get in touch with him. But nevertheless Richard Paterson has to be called the social media pioneer of the Scotch whisky industry. You can see that he understood the concept and is convinced of its power. #mastertweeter

Glendronach

The @Glendronach account is managed by Donald MacLellan who recently came over from Bruichladdich. Donald manages to combine brand marketing with personal conversation. He is not afraid of joking around and chatting with you but still delivers good information and of course promotes his whisky. #socialmediaexpertise

Macallan

@The_Macallan is also very active on Twitter and has a pretty large following as you would imagine. They are intensively monitoring tweets about them and are extremely responsive. I already had some very interesting conversation with them and was flattered of being retweeted and plugged even though some of what I wrote about the company was rather critical. #wow

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

gal November 13, 2010 at 6:58 pm

what about @galg ? :)

as i have more than 25K tweets. i am a powerhouse , ;)

very nice idea . oliver.

nice post…. for the newbies.

i love don and craig. those people undersrand social media. and the macallan is doing a grand job as well.

Reply

Oliver Klimek November 13, 2010 at 7:00 pm

when you opened your distillery, I will add you ;)

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Craig McGill November 15, 2010 at 2:02 am

Oliver thanks for the kind words (and to you Gal). Just as a heads-up you can find Whyte & Mackay and Isle of Jura Whisky both on Twitter too – @whyteandmackay and @jura_whisky.

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Marc Pendlebury November 15, 2010 at 9:06 am

Hi Oliver,

Enjoyed the post. You’re right on, its such a shame that there are distillery profiles that are inactive and miss the chance to interact with their audience, and those that are semi-active but miss the point entirely. The truth is, is that many of us reading their tweets are bloggers or at least very involved in our local whisky scenes, and as such we act as a mouthpiece further disseminating the information and experiences we hear and share on twitter. You think they would realise the value of this.

Neglecting the account reflects poorly on the distillery (not on the person who created the account). If you they don’t have time to update, then fair enough, but delete the profile.

Reply

Oliver Klimek November 15, 2010 at 5:01 pm

That’s exactly my opinion, Marc. A non-existant account does much less damage to your reputation than one that is neglected or handled unprofessionally.

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