Facebook for DummiesThis month I was asked to write a bit about our experience in the world of social media/networking.  I’m at a little bit of a loss, as it’s all still Greek to me.  However, what I do know is that it’s free, it most likely can’t hurt, and it has, in fact, helped in some measure get our word out to, not only our own community, but the world at large.  And that’s a good thing.

Our “associate/intern/all-around smart young marketing guy” Ed first set us up with Twitter and Facebook accounts and then added Etsy, where it is possible to purchase our teas online until our permanent company website is ready to go.  Then he “handed me the keys”, so to speak, and off we drove.  So far it has been a fairly smooth ride.

What seems to be happening now is that the sites are beginning to gel a bit; local Twitter readers are coming in to check us out, Facebook fans are growing as a result of Twitter, and we even had a sale at Etsy…which is the lagger.  Oh, and of course there is the T Ching blog, which also lends some lift-off.

What is most challenging to me is the Twitter part of the program.  I’ve seen and read a bit on technique, psychology, style, and so on, but I am really still in the “watch and think about it” phase.  Much of it makes no sense to my logical mind – such as posting the same phrases over and over again, as one company does, or just putting up links to “How to add 3 zillion followers a day” – but I keep sending out tweets and some links, most focused on the niche we are attempting to make a mark in.

TwitterI would love to hear from anyone who has some good tips on utilizing this new world of social media/networking, especially in terms of retail.  We now have close to 500 followers on Twitter in not too long a time, so apparently something is working.

Being a new business in challenging economic times, in one of the most affected areas of the country (Inland Empire/Riverside County, CA), we love any and every way to get our message and our business out to the public that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and produces results!  Have you done well in this arena?  Please, help all of us by commenting below.  I know Charles Cain must have some valuable insights in this area!

In response to my own tweet asking for input from people more familiar with using resources in this area to market their businesses, I was sent a link with some particularly helpful ideas.