Name: Victoria Rea
Company: Owner, Harley's Tea Rooms
Running a popular tea room in Rothbury means that Victoria Rea finds it difficult to fit social media into her busy life but that hasn’t stopped her from winning a nomination in The Journal’s search for the North East’s Most Influential on Social Media.
Victoria, owner of Harley’s Tea Rooms, admits that if she ever begins tweeting during business hours it means it’s a quiet day for tea drinkers but she does manage to keep the business’s Twitter profile up to date by tweeting on her way to and from work and in the evenings.
She said using social media hasn’t helped win her customers per se but it has been useful in building relationships with current customers, many of whom she now regards as friends.
She said: “Twitter is good for business but it is not essential. The main things is when people do pop in we have made a connection. We will keep in touch with them and will know their face. Some of the people on Twitter have been our customers for years but it is only since we started tweeting that we are now in touch with them out of work. It is about community support both locally and in the North.”
Victoria, who has ran Harley’s Tea Rooms for 12 years, said she likes to keep tweets for her 2,000 plus followers, light hearted and sociable. She admits that when businesses tweet about special offers it puts her off so she veers away from talking too much about what is happening the tearoom.
Instead she concentrates on highlighting some of the events happening in Rothbury and giving helpful information about other businesses in the area.
Among Victoria’s recommendations are Pr man Stephen Waddington ( @wadds ), who is a regular visitor to the shop, Andrew Bothamley who tweets as @ynorthumberland and Linda Taylor ( @NorthumberArt ) who owns an art gallery in Rothbury.
Victoria’s top five recommendations are:
Stephen Waddington - @wadds
Linda Taylor - @NorthumberArt
Martin Cowell (Cowellsgate Garden Centre) - @CowellsgCentre
Karen Walker - @1karenannwalker
Andrew Bothamley - @ynorthumberland