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Twitter profile: @sobonwine

12 July 2009

(1) Why this site?
@sobonwine is a Twitter handle that I am including in my research because Sobon Family Winery is a small winery that joined Twitter recently, but has accelerated its visibility on the network because of a conversational, rather than promotional approach to communications.

(2) Screenshot:

(3) Data on tweets – TBD

(4) Stats:
Date data downloaded: August 1, 2009
Industry sector: Wine

Twitter ID: @sobonwine
Followers: 1,680
Following: 1,926
Ratio followers/following: 0.87
Posts: 2,703
Joined Twitter: April 22, 2009

Twitter bio: “Spreading the word on Sobon Estate & Shenandoah Vineyards wines of Amador County. Sustainably Farmed & Solar Powered Wineries. Wine Tweets by Robert Sobon.”

Bio link:
Facebook: N/A
MySpace: N/A
LinkedIn: N/A
Org Blog: N/A
Org Web site home:

About: Shenandoah Vineyards in Plymouth, CA, was founded in 1977 by Shirley and Leon Sobon. They moved from Los Altos, California, where Leon was a senior scientist with the Lockheed Research Lab. Leon’s gift for home winemaking led him to leave Lockheed and begin a new career as a winemaker. They were one of the first four wineries in Amador County’s now well-known Shenandoah Valley appellation. From the first offering of 1,200 cases, the winery has continued to thrive, adjusting the portfolio of wines over the years. It is now producing about 25,000 cases per year. (Source:

5. Analysis
A. General
(A.1) Background: The profile background is a custom, low-resolution picture of grapes growing on the vine. Grade B.
(A.2) Avatar: The @sobonwine profile picture is an image of two bottles of wine for which the labels cannot be distinguished. The bottles are appropriate but a more legible logo or label would be helpful. Grade B.
(A.3) Bio: The bio provides the mission of the Twitter profile, identifies environmental differentiators and the person tweeting, Robert Sobon. Grade A.
(A.4) Transparency: Robert Sobon is identified as the person Tweeting.
Bio Link: The bio link points back to the winery homepage. Grade A.
(A.5) Bio Link: The bio link points back to the winery homepage. Grade A.

B. Tweets: Grade A.
(B.1) 183 were @ replies
(B.2) 31 were retweets
(B.3) 0 requests
(B.4) 4 hashtags (#ff, #wine)
(B.5) 3 favorites (Random)
(B.6) Sobon mostly writes retweets and @ replies, which implies that he looks to continue or encourage existing conversations rather than start new ones. Original tweets often include what Robert is eating and/or drinking, which usually but doesn’t necessarily include a Sobon wine.

Tweet totals (via TweetStats)
-22.1 tweets per day
– @ replies are 27.15% of tweets
– ReTweets are 52.02% of tweets

C. Questions/Suggestions:
(C.1) Outstanding questions:
(C.2) Suggestions: @sobonwine needs to improve its look and feel on its Twitter page to compliment the quality tweeting.

D. Analytical Services TBD.

E. Conclusion
(E.1) Being a small vineyard with more than 1,200 followers, Sobon Family Winery appears to use Twitter effectively since joining the network just a few months ago. This is the result of Robert’s frequent and interactive approach to communication on Twitter. Very few tweets could be categorized as “marketing,” and thus the profile has a personable rather than promotional vibe. The profile itself is complete and transparent (identifying Robert as the voice), but lacks visually and could use an overhaul that includes more compelling images and links to other online locations, if any.

(E.2) Scorecard Summary:
Background: C
Avatar: B
Bio: A
Transparency: A
Tweets: A
Overall: A-

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