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?
That was another point I'd made years back when an "influencer" list came out for social media wine accounts and all the top people on it were well known from other endeavors whether it be lengthy writing careers or as you said, being an MS.
Social media does give you another avenue, but so do things as old school as mailing lists or, god forbid, a functioning and updated website!
As for the "influencers" in general, I find that their time is nearly up given how many of them are most likely frauds https://www.hudin.com/how-that-wine-influencer-might-very-well-be-a-fraud/
I moved from Central Ohio to San Francisco and have not noticed much in the way of social media impact on either location. But I’ve worked in classic fine dining in both places, I’d think if anything you’d see more of an impact in retail.
I think it does for more of the inexpensive bottles for the casual wine drinkers, but in a high end restaurant I have not experienced anyone ask for something on Instagram. However, I do feel that other buyers see wines from say.. Rajat Parr and other famous wine personalities and then instantly go to 750.com or reach out to their distributor and buy the wines.