August 24, 2011 at 21:26 #6091
I have been thinking about this for a while and thought I would bring it to the forum. I have seen many tea traders with followers in the thousands and wondered is this a benefit. My numbers are small but they are a select crew, mostly tea focused people and those who rely on me for tea information and guidance. Has anyone found increasing your base advantageous?
August 25, 2011 at 12:19 #6092
The eternal debate of quality over quantity.
I don’t think there is a single/simple answer to this question.
August 29, 2011 at 19:54 #6093
I use twitter to interact with people, not just to promote Tea Trade. Particularly @leafboxtea is a social account if you like, for me to chat with other tea people. I do follow pretty much only tea people with just a few exceptions. So the number following is just under 1000, and that”s manageable. My conversations are with a considerably smaller number of people, but they vary, sometimes I talk to some people more, then again to others.
@teatrade is newer, and a little more focused on what we do here, and you’ll see that in my tweets. Again, I only follow tea people really. I think it does help to have a large base of followers, but the large base is no good to me, or our business, if they’re not interested in what we do. So I rarely go after new followers, usually they discover us, and if from their tweets I think they’re seriously interested, I follow back.
I actually enjoy reading what others tweet about, and getting to know them online, so I’d find it hard to follow back people indiscriminately – I’d be bored. Choosing carefully who you follow, and follow back ensures you find your timeline interesting, and helps others enjoy their timeline with you in it.
One other thing, if you do get to have a large number of followers, which you may well do over time, use lists! Lists are essential if you need to keep up with certain groups of people.
August 30, 2011 at 13:23 #6094
August 31, 2011 at 13:43 #6095
I have to thank Jackie for guiding me on using twitter 😀
I hesitated for a long time about using twitter, because I had no clue how to use it – I mean, what am I suppose to announce to the world every day?! :-p
With helpful tips from Jackie (Jackie, probably you should write an article about it!), I had much better idea and started to enjoy twitter. I don’t carry a cell phone and sometimes don’t get onto internet frequently during the day. But still I enjoy twitter very much.
About business benefits, I think, like a lot of other things, when it works for you, most of the benefits of twitter are not fast, direct gain, but rather indirect and long-lasting. Especially for small businesses, I wouldn’t expect it to bring a sudden influx of website traffic or sales (unless there are some secret weapons which I don’t know about yet…). But it’s very helpful for me to catch up with what people are into, what kind of tea drinkers fit the style of my store (and vice versa), etc. Sometimes, people’s conversations also give me inspirations on store ideas or blog topics.
September 5, 2011 at 08:46 #6096
Thank you all for your comments
October 4, 2011 at 10:33 #6097
I try to stick to just tea related folks on my twitter accounts with some exceptions. I follow my alma mater for college info and some local businesses because they are potential customers.I dislike it when the spammers sneak in there….
October 4, 2011 at 11:41 #6098
Uh, if you’re interest on Twitter is chatting with other tea people, then obviously it doesn’t matter how big your following is.If you’re trying to sell tea – why would you be marketing to the same 300-500 other people on the internet that are trying to sell tea as well???
October 4, 2011 at 13:04 #6099
I follow tea companies, but I also follow a lot of folks who are on Steepster so they are my target market.I also have found that lots of folks already in the tea business are more than happy to share how they got going and tend to offer tips and other help to folks like me who are just starting out.Basically Twitter is what you make it to be.
October 4, 2011 at 14:02 #6100
October 5, 2011 at 18:32 #6101
From the consumer end of the Twitterverse, I enjoy following the brands and the shops that offer dynamic content – Samovar, even though their offerings are expensive – have a very smart Twitter marketing routine. They tweet offer videos, interviews, and articles on tea philosophy, interviewing people in all different kinds of fields like Dr. Weihl and Craig from Craigslist. The tea almost seems secondary, but it manages to still be a part of things – it draws people in.
There are other independent tea vendors that also do a good job of keeping interest going.
Examples I see that don’t really work/appeal to me/motivate me to purchase, mostly from the huge behemoth brands:
Re-tweeting someone else’s random “I like Brand X” tweets and not expanding on the context, just letting it hang there.
“Follow us to win a lifetime supply of Brand X Tea” every two days, and never tweeting the result when a winner is chosen, and only tweeting about contests, not about the tea.
Changing account names every few months after gaining a few thousand followers and not informing anyone of the change. (Only just noticed this week that Revolution Tea changed to Rev Tea and they only have a few dozen followers, but are tweeting to “everyone” as if the thousands were still on board – not sure what happened there.)
Bottom line I guess is that if you’re going to be serious about a Twitter following, you’re more likely to get people interested if you engage them with content and interaction and not treat Twitter like a simple message board or coupon classifieds. It’s not an easy thing to do, but there are those who do it well.
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