More Tea & Social Media

Seems there’s more social media these days than any reasonable person could be expected to keep up with. I don’t live under a rock, but until recently I hadn’t even heard of one of the latest and greatest. It’s called Vine, and you could sum it up by saying it’s an app that lets you create and share six-second looping videos. For what it might be worth – and I’m sure there are clever souls who have figured out how to make it an art form.

Social Media (Photo source: The English Tea Store)
Social Media (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

As a tea person I’m not sure how you could turn this one to your advantage, but of course other social media can be beneficial to your mission – if used properly. I don’t claim to be an expert on social media or tea, but I guess I know enough about each to be entitled to an opinion. The first thing I’d say about social media is that, if you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything. Which is to say that there are probably people who are more inclined toward social media than others and, if you don’t feel that you’re one of them, then maybe you shouldn’t bother.

In my own case, writing a tea blog that will turn eight this year, I decided a few years back that I’d stick a toe in the waters of social media. Facebook was getting big at the time, and Twitter was making a rapid rise. The former didn’t really appeal to me, and I didn’t want to spread myself too thin, so I decided to go with Twitter, which works quite well for sending out updates about the site, as well as the articles I write here, other tea news that seems fit to print and whatever else.

I don’t create any of my own video content, so I never really bothered with YouTube, and when Pinterest came along, I once again invoked the rule of not spreading myself too thin and decided to abstain. But I do use plenty of YouTube content at the site, where you can see plenty of interesting, amusing and off the beaten path tea-related videos.

But to get back to Twitter for a moment, I’ve run across hundreds or thousands of tea-related Twitter users over the years and I’ve noticed a few things I’d caution against – not that I’m the reigning expert on this sort of thing. First and foremost, if you’re not able to keep up with your Twitter (or any other social media) account, then it might be best to kill it off or never even start it. For my money an abandoned social media presence seems to present a worse impression than none at all.

On the flip side, and this is geared mostly to merchants, is a caution against using social media as your only presence or perhaps your primary one. I’ve seen this done a few times and, while I’m no expert on tea and ecommerce, it seems to me that running your merchant site on Facebook or a Yahoo or eBay store sends an impression to users that perhaps you’re not so serious about your product.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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