It was with hesitation that I opened my account on Twitter some 12 months ago. Skeptical is the word that comes to mind. But buoyed by the encouragement of a fellow small business owner, I decided to embrace this new social networking craze. After all it could turn out to be an interesting, and hopefully lucrative, way to promote my second hand bookstore. I started out enthusiastically building my list of followers, but my eagerness fizzled as the weeks rolled by with little Twitter action despite lots of effort. Over time, the annoying tweet noise from TweetDeck served only to remind me that another seemingly useless piece of information was heading my way. One year on and I was well and truly jaded. Sure, I got the occasional tasty morsel of information, and as far as networking with like-minded people in the trade it proved handy, but on the whole it was a dud. Yesterday, I decided to pull the plug and end the misery!!
And I almost did! One last visit to TweetDeck proved it's saviour. After months of fruitlessly searching for a book titled 'Little Dream' by Cynthia Leonetti for a new client with no success, Twitter finally came through for me. One of my esteemed followers located a copy, and the next thing I know I had completed a transaction and the book was on its' way to my client. The profit for me was very little, but the buzz I got out of actually locating this hard-to-find kids book was definitely worth it. Whilst, this one transaction hardly makes up for the effort I've put into Twitter it has reminded me of the value of keeping your feelers out there. Second hand bookselling is often a tough business and locating rare books can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. It's fun, but frustrating at the same time and without a good network of contacts it's almost impossible. So, whilst I am not exactly pro-Twitter I do acknowledge that it won't hurt to keep my presence out there.....even if it only helps me please one customer every twelve months.