Given that my area of interest IS rather niche, I found it difficult to find some stats and figures on the tea enthusiast population. But I have found some interesting analyses about online news and niche sites in general. Last week, The New York Times stated that online users are shifting to niche sites to get their fill of news, mainly because they are getting exactly what they are looking for.

    “as news surges on the Web, giant ocean liners like AOL and Yahoo are being outmaneuvered by the speedboats zipping around them, relatively small sites that have passionate audiences and sharply focused information.”

Nevertheless, it’s hard to ignore  the popularity of Facebook. How many of these niche sites employ the marketing effectiveness of Facebook and Twitter, I’m not sure. But the 2009-10 Communications Report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority shows that the use of Facebook is not slowing down.

“In terms of the individual sites identified, Facebook continues to dominate the social networking/UCG market in Australia and also overseas, in markets such as the UK and the US. Collectively, 121.3 million persons accessed Facebook in the US, UK and Australia during June 2010 (6.8 million in Australia).”

 

The stats on the traffic to WordPress was far less (less than 700,000 in Australia), which leads me to think that niche sites could benefit greatly from creating a fan page for a particular topic on Facebook, or somehow advertising their blog/site on these fan pages. But as Millward Brown points out, these sites can’t just put in a token effort – they need to go all the way when using social media as a tool:

 Unless brands are genuinely committed to building
real relationships and sharing the space with consumers, they
may seem like the slightly odd guy in unfashionable clothes,
standing by himself at the party hoping someone will talk to
him.

So how can tea publications utilise this? There are plenty of tea fan pages on Facebook – try advertising on these pages, or get involved in the conversations on these pages and link other fans to your site!

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