a food/wine/marketing blog that is funny by accident, sarcastic on purpose.

Posts tagged “CA

social media can help sonoma county businesses through the downturn.

Yesterday two more stories were in the Press Democrat about Sonoma County businesses laying off people and cutting back on production.  Agilent Technologies and one of my favorite food brands, Amy’s Kitchen, both have been hit hard by the recession.  Both companies say they are cautiously optimistic about the future.  This got me thinking that it may be hard to stay optimistic when reading these articles (and the many others), but if you look at this era as an opportunity, then you can be optimistic about the future.

Even though hard working people are being laid off every single day, the downtime allows people to assess their situation and do something about it. As Scott Ginsberg, motivational speaker and business blogger says in a recent article titled How to Dance in the Rain of Our Current Economic Storm:

Take advantage of your downtime to accomplish projects and activities you wouldn’t be able to do if you were booked solid.  With this approach, you’ll probably end up accomplishing more than ever…

In tough times, one still has to believe that hard work, dedication, creativity and persistence will (hopefully) prevail.   I am lucky to have inspiration from my father who owns a carpet store in Santa Rosa.  Many other carpet stores are closing down because of lack of sales, but my dad has managed to not only stay afloat, he is actually still doing relatively well.  When this recession ends and consumers start having more confidence to start buying products, he will be the one they will buy carpet from because he will still be around.

Will your business be around at to see the rainbow at the end of the storm?   What?  Too cheesy?  How about will your business stay afloat after the hurricane?

One thing that Sonoma County businesses can do to help make sure that they stay afloat is to invest in Social Media Marketing.   An unfortunate trend I am seeing at both the national and local level is that brands are cutting back on most or all of their marketing budgets to save some money.  This is fine, if you want your competition to hog the spotlight and take away your business.  But, if you want to stay relevant and keep your brand on top of mind when consumers do get their purchasing confidence back, then you need to keep on reminding them that you are still here.

Top Reasons Sonoma County businesses should use Social Media Marketing to publicize their brand online:

  1. It is cost effective
  2. It provides national coverage (especially great in such a touristy place such as this)
  3. It can improve SEO rankings and website traffic
  4. You can be responsive to negative comments (as well as thank those with positive comments)
  5. It also provides the opportunity to connect with other members of your community

Chris Brogan, Social Media guru has an awesome post back in October of 2008 on using social media to help you get through the economic downturn.

New Media Type, a Web 2.0 blog explains that Social Media Marketing is sometimes the first to be cut because of the unknown but that it shouldn’t be.


wine country events coming up.

After a very warm and dry January, we finally are getting some rain in Sonoma County.  Usually during this brief rainy season, us Northern Californians tend to hibernate a bit.  So while there have been a few events going on, I haven’t really been to to much of them.  Maybe because of the economy, maybe the rain, maybe nothing has really caught my eye.

Whatever my reasoning, there are a few things I am looking forward to as we move onto early Spring (it always feels as if Spring starts early here).

This past Wednesday I visited  Napa for a presentation given by Paul Mabray of Vintank, a new Wine Marketing Think Tank.  Here he discussed their introductory project, a social media report about the state of the online wine industry.  I am looking forward to seeing the study when it comes out at the end of the month (okay, this may not be a physical event YET, but it is social media — so it is an event in my eyes).

Mr. Healdsburg is one of the best annual events in our little town.  The event is at the Raven Theater on Saturday February 28th (yes, one week from today).

Start Time: 8pm, doors 7pm
Adults: $25 advance, $30 door – 21 and older only!

Guys from all ages, occupations and popularity participate in a beauty pageant to win the title of Mr. Healdsburg.   It is a great event that the whole town gets a little kooky for.   Be warned – the bars tend to have huge crowds of people after the show!  This year will also be the first that my friend, Samantha Vega, DJ at 101.7  The Fox, will be hosting.

Barn Diva, an amazing restaurant and cocktail lounge just started up Healdsburg’s only dance scene.  Every Friday night (if everyone is behaved) they will be pushing back the tables and playing some great music.  Perfect place to dance, eat some late night food and enjoy great drink specials with your friends.  When it gets a bit warmer and dryer,  they have a gorgeous back patio that will provide more room to play.


Here is a shot of the bar taken from last week’s event.  As you can see, my Twisted rubber chicken is always around.

Now onto the event that in my eyes seems to trumpet over all — Yes it is the Annual Barrel Tasting weekend here in Healdsburg.  For two, count them, TWO whole weekends in March, visitor’s and locals alike will be able to visit all the wineries in Dry Creek, Alexander Valley and the Russian River valley and try samples of wine, straight out of the barrels.

This give wineries the advantage of selling their wines before they are even released.  Though the wine fairly ever tastes the same six months later — It is a great way to get to know the people who make the wine and have some fun.

Okay, before this post gets too long and you get bored with me (like that is even a possibility) I will say  that this event is March 7-8 & 14-15 from 11 am – 4 pm each day.  The price is $20 PER weekend.

Online tickets will be sold January 23 through March 1 for $20 per person.  At the door, the price will be $30 per person.

Since this is one of my favorite events — Be on the lookout for a few more postings before, possibly during and definitely after the event.

I will also be visiting San Fransisco for two social media events at the end of March — The Wine 2.0 and Web 2.0 Expo’s are ironically (or intentionally) planned at the same time.