On Friday, June 7, Summerland was host to a unique group of visitors who came to experience our one-of-a-kind wineries and our local ambience.
Organized by the Bottleneck Drive Winery Association, these guests were wine bloggers on a special excursion tour as part of the 2013 Wine Blogger Conference that took place in Penticton over the weekend.
While they were in Summerland on Friday evening, the bloggers visited Heaven’s Gate Estate Winery, Thornhaven Estates Winery and Okanagan Crush Pad. They then travelled to the Summerland Waterfront Resort where they tasted wines from other Bottleneck Drive wineries as well as wonderful local food products.
You can see many pictures of the evening on our Summerland Chamber Facebook page.
Coming from all over North America these wine bloggers tweet and blog about the wine they’ve tasted here and the experiences they’ve had in the Okanagan.
Altogether the approximately 250 bloggers will have created many thousands of tweets while they were here.
The wine bloggers conference organizers studied these results two years ago and estimated that these tweets resulted in more than 40 million media impressions.
And after the participants have gone home, they will continue to publish blog posts about their experiences here.
That’s a lot of eyes on B.C. wines and our growing Okanagan wine and food culture. Previous conferences have also resulted in more tourism and income to the featured regions.
So if that’s what blogging can do for the wine industry, what can it do for other Summerland businesses?
According to the Content Mastery Guide – a blog about blogging – there are many business benefits to blogging.
Blogging helps you provide value to your customers by providing them with information they can use.
Here in Summerland that might mean blogs about organic baking, techniques for refinishing furniture, the best dental hygiene, bike trails or automotive services.
The breadth of topics is as varied as our local businesses.
Blogging helps customers and colleagues learn more about you – both as a business and as the people behind the business.
This helps you build authentic relationships with a wider network of readers.
Blogging helps you start discussions with your community and gives your readers an opportunity to provide you with feedback on your product as well as ask you questions.
Blogging can help you build confidence as a business owner by sharing your expertise and it will encourage your readers to spend more time on your site.
Here at the Summerland Chamber we have noticed the difference that enhanced tweeting and more blog posts have made to our own website.
That’s why, come fall, we will be offering our business members an educational opportunity that will help them improve their social media marketing as well.
We expect to learn a lot.
We always appreciate your feedback. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or our chamber president, Arlene Fenrich, at email@example.com.
Christine Petkau is the manager of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.