How a Local Washington DC Specialty Wine & Beer Store Could Use Social Media To Build Community

I was up at Target in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC the other day looking for pants.  As I was leaving, I noticed a specialty wine & beer store across the street called D’Vines.  Being a pretend wine & beer connoisseur, I walked over there to check it out.

What I found was a plethora of craft beers.  Jack pot!!!  There was everthing from Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout to Old Chub to Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale.  Who knew that Stone Brewery made an Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale ?!?!?!

I was talking with the guy behind the counter and it sounds like they have a guy who’s their beer scout.  He travels, tastes beers, and then orders them for the store. (What a sweet job)  I asked how often they got new stuff in.  He said it varies.  They don’t have anything on their Web site, accept an address.

I think this is the PERFECT opportunity where they could use social media as a way to build community around beer & wine and their store, which will ultimately increase sales.

People that love specialty beers and wines LOVE them.  So you need some way to keep connected with those customers.   You need to win their hearts and minds so that when they’re looking to drop $15-20 for a six pack of beer that they do it with you and not someone else.

Simply, the store could get something like a Twitter account or a blog just to tell people about when they have new kinds of beer that come in.  I’d love this.  I’d know when I needed to go back and check stuff out.

If they had wine or beer tastings and I knew about it, I’d definitely head up there and probably spend more money.

So… that better connects me with the store.  What about connecting me with the other store patrons?

They should go to the kids at Living Social.  They have their AWESOME beer review app, where you can log and review what beers you like or want to try.  It’d be awesome if there was some way for the store to say within the app what kinds they had in stock and let you see what other store patrons had said about those specific beers.

By doing this kind of stuff, I’d think you could take what would seem to be an occasional trickle of customers and turn it into a steady flow of regulars.  It’s building a community of passionate users.

2 thoughts on “How a Local Washington DC Specialty Wine & Beer Store Could Use Social Media To Build Community”

  1. The challenge is in explaining the need for these kinds of services to some of these store owners.

    Many are still stuck with the mind set that as long as they have a few static pages that look pretty, that that’s enough.

  2. Jim – I’ve thought about this idea before, in fact I have even told De Vinos on 18th Street that they should do it. But when you are running a new venture there are always a lot of balls in the air and often this creates hard priorities. That raises the question whether we, “the people (who drink good beer)” should establish an independent virtual group – perhaps akin to the eating and drinking clubs of Europe!

    Last night I created a group on Flickr (
    Good Beer DC: for people in Washington DC that like to drink good quality beer. I use my camera-phone to keep notes of beers that I like and where in the District I found them. If you are interested please feel free to join and share what you know. I’ve linked to this interesting post for the group.

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