Do guest ever come in and say "hey, I saw so-and-so's post on Instagram and now I want a bottle of whatchamacallit!"? If so, what are they asking for? And who are those "influencers" who are inspiring them to drink more of Brand X or region Y?
The only people I've ever heard say it has a truly amazing means to sell are those selling social media services. Stating this in an article has even earned me a troll I can't shake.
As Sean mentions above, it's not any one thing. Social media good on its own? No. As part of an over-arching presence, sure, why not.
I think the problem with people selling social media services in general is that it removes the authenticity of it. Social media, done well, can feel like a personal recommendation from an established sommelier. Say you’re an MS who owns a wine bar, and you want to post about a wine you’re excited about and obviously carry on your list. Can be very effective. But a social media service doesn’t help you at all, the MS themselves is the currency that matters here and them paying someone else would be a waste of money. Now if I were to open a wine bar, a social media service wouldn’t help me sell more wine because I’m not an MS with credibility. So in the day of free advertising through your personal accounts, I fail to see where these companies can help you. I’m sure there’s something to it for other industries but not in the proposed question above of guests coming in to a specific establishment.
Also, I’m sorry to hear about your troll.