Bin Ends located just down the road in Braintree, Massachusetts is a discount online wine and spirits retailer who has started to stream live online videos of wine tastings with pros that consumers can view via the Twitter social network
To watch a live tasting all you need to is create a profile on Twitter, then receive notifications of upcoming events via the social network. The wine tastings also are promoted on the retailer’s web site and through social networking site Facebook.
When the wine tastings are happening, you can log into Twitter to view the broadcast of a panel discussing selected wines. Viewers can ask questions or offer comments online during the live broadcasts. The tastings are promoted at least two weeks in advance so that consumers also can order featured wines from Binendswine.com and taste along with the experts, Bin Ends says.
The first online tasting, held last week, drew 200 viewers from around the globe. About 10% of them ordered the promoted wines in advance from the company’s web site, according to a company spokesman. Shoppers who live in states that don’t permit direct shipment of alcohol to consumers can use the site’s “virtual sommelier,” which directs them to in-state retail locations where they can purchase the wine. That way no one has to miss out on a tasting, the spokesman says.
This is a great example of a small company using social networking to expand their market reach. Instead of just targeting wine drinkers in the greater Boston area, Bin Ends is able to reach potential wine buyers worldwide. They joined Facebook and Twitter and then thought outside the box on how to stand out in these social networks. A virtual taste test is very creative and I am sure that the 200 viewers was several times more than what they would have expected for an in-store event.