Maize Valley Winery: TKG’s Client Spotlight for October 2012

The internet today is really a maze of opportunity.

And one of my favorite TKG clients, Maize Valley Winery, is knocking at everyone’s door.

Navigating a corn maze is no mystery to Bill Bakan, the ‘Fun Tzar’ of Maize Valley Winery located in Hartville, Ohio.

In fact, creating and 8 acre corn maze is one of his yearly triumphs, in addition to producing some great Ohio wine.  Maize Valley Winery is not our biggest client, but by far Bill Bakan puts out the biggest effort, and definitely wants to be found.

You may have seen him recently on CNN, because some of their reporters went online, found him, and came out to his NE Ohio farm and winery to interview him.  CNN wanted to sample the local flavor of Stark County Ohio and find a place where they could get people’s thoughts on the upcoming election in a swing county in a swing state.

There are dozens and dozens of pumpkin farms to be found on the web in Stark County.  But because of the online and social media marketing plans Bill has put in place over the past few years, and with some help from our own #TKGenius team, Bill has navigated his own corn maze and made himself very easy to find on the web — and now national TV.

CNN’s Miguel Marquez came out to see Bill during one of the busiest and most hectic events of the year, the day Megasaurus comes to Maize Valley Winery.  To promote the event each year, Bill uses social media marketing like a pro.  He has the event posted on his website well ahead of time, and is constantly updating his Facebook page to let his Facebook friends know what’s happening at the winery, and on the farm.  He blogs about ‘Ohio Wine and More‘ and also has a Facebook page dedicated to being a ‘Fit Farmer‘.

You can find videos about Maize Valley Winery on YouTube, see his Google Plus page, and even download a Maize Valley Winery app for your smartphone.  All of these efforts make Maize Valley Winery a very easy place to find.  He has no fear, works hard to please everyone, and has lots of Facebook friends.  As you can see, Bill and his team make trying everything part of their daily routine.

The Megasaurus event went very well for Maize Valley Winery last weekend.

But as expected you can’t make everyone completely happy, and there were a few people who may not have expected the crowds. Having  two young children myself, I can understand how that must have been frustrating.

Thankfully the Fun Tzar’s social media marketing efforts paid off as his Facebook friends came to the rescue!  When comments were posted about the crowds not being suitable for young children, friends poured in their support, and praise of the event.  The daily effort Bill puts into being found in this internet maze showed, and his fans responded before he even had a chance.  I think even more people will visit the event next year, your humble author included.

I had another client tell me last year that he did not want a Facebook page for his business because Facebook friends would be able to post negative comments about him and his business.

My response to this was twofold.

First, you have to put yourself out there if you want to be found.  And second, if a Facebook friend finds you and they are not happy, they are giving you an opportunity to prove your worth and solve a problem.

Remember, a maze of opportunity has dead ends as well as paths to success.  You can’t be afraid of what may or may not happen; but you should be afraid if you don’t even try, because your competition will.

Bill Bakan’s story is a perfect example of how to use social media marketing successfully, and why I chose to shine our Client Spotlight this month on Maize Valley Winery.  And, if you are thirsty while cruising through Hartville, they also make great Ohio wine!

As Director of Client Services, David manages our motley crew of marketers, developers, & designers, as well as all development and marketing projects on a high level. On the blog, you’ll find him spotlighting TKG’s awesome clients and talking general “web stuff.”

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