I’ve never used Facebook. My reasoning for not doing so is that because of the nature of the service, it seemed kind of redundant for a blogger. Twitter, on the other hand, is another story. I decided to give it a try some years back and found it quite useful for sending out short updates on what’s going on at my site, attracting potential new readers, sharing tidbits of tea-related news, and whatnot.
Although most people tend to focus on the big players, social media channels seem to be as numberless as grains of sand on the beach these days. Businesses should only ignore them at their own risk – and that goes for tea merchants, too. Perhaps it’s possible to get by without social media nowadays if you’re blessed with the perfect combination of skill at running a business and luck. But a well-executed social media strategy certainly can’t hurt, and I can think of a couple prominent tea merchants who have climbed to lofty heights using such a strategy.
It would take more space (and expertise) than I’ve got to give a comprehensive look at social media and tea. But I can point out a few things I’ve noticed, as I did the last time I wrote about the topic. Back then I noted that a couple major goofs, in my opinion, were starting with social media and abandoning it, leaving behind what could be thought of as the Internet equivalent of an abandoned building. The other was to have a social media site as your only web presence, which might cause people to question (as I sometimes do) your commitment to your business.
More recently I’ve noticed another mistake some merchants and others make that makes it tough for interested parties to share pages, products, or articles that they like. If you look at the bottom of this page you’ll see nine buttons that allow readers to share this article with users at most of the big-name social media sites. These are fairly easy to set up, and you can include as many relatively obscure social media outlets as you’d like, but if you ignore any of the big names, you do so at your own risk.
I’ll share just about any interesting tea-related item I see with my Twitter followers, but only with my Twitter followers, since that’s really the only social media I actively use. But on numerous occasions I’ve run across those tea merchants, news sites, or bloggers who either have no sharing features at all or have omitted Twitter which, as you may know, is one of the big players in social media these days.
While it’s not going to make or break you that I haven’t shared your tea item of interest with my Twitter followers, it sure can’t hurt to get the word out to a few thousand more people. So I guess the moral of this story is that whether or not you engage in social media yourself or what you might think of it, it might be a good idea to make it easy for those who do want to share your stuff.
See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.
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