Staying Connected to the Local and Global Coffee Culture Using Twitter

Handshake 2.0 asked Russell Chisholm, owner of The Easy Chair Coffee Shop, "What have been the business results, if any, of your one-month use of Twitter?"

From Russell Chisholm:

One month in the Twitterverse – as @baristanomics – has impacted The Easy Chair Coffee Shop in ten critical ways:

  1. Immediate sales.  Within one day of posting about a new Ethiopia Sidamo coffee we were roasting, we sold out of that day’s production.
  2. A new program.  After Tweeting about a used book exchange we were offering during the Independence Day holiday, we received hundreds of books, all traded for cups of coffee and specialty beverages.  This was a great way to launch our new used book section.
  3. Increased website traffic.  Direct referrals from Twitter to our websites have resulted in a 37 percent increase in traffic to
  4. Increased brand awareness.  One of the most common responses to our coffee-related Tweets has been, “I didn’t know you guys roast your own coffee.”
  5. Competitiveness.  A Tweet alerted us that a national coffee chain is now purchasing coffee from a small farm with whom we deal.  We will re-examine how we market those beans.
  6. Education.  Learning from industry leaders like @IndieBoundMeg, @CoffeeGeek and @SherriJohns has compelled us to stay focused on improving our skills.
  7. New networks.  Staying connected with local entrepreneurs like @RecycleNRV and @BRCmagazine has enabled us to gain more followers.
  8. New markets.  Following media and public service users like @Bburgevents led to opportunities to sell our coffee outside of the shop.
  9. Growing existing networks.  Employees, customers, friends and family stay in touch and retweet relevant posts.
  10. Supporting our customers.  Spreading good will by retweeting posts from our wholesale customers has kept the experience fun and helped promote our coffee through those businesses.

I hope to see more customer feedback, new product requests, and referrals so that @baristanomics continues to be a fun and effective way to stay connected to the local and global coffee culture.


The Easy Chair Coffee Shop and Nova Roast Craft Roasters are located at the University Mall, Blacksburg, Virginia.

All-Twitter Handshake
Barista Handshake


  1. Wow, Russell! Those are tremendous results from just one month of Twitter use. Can’t wait for the recap on coffee tweets 11 months from now!

    A lot of people wonder about the ROI of using Twitter (while it’s free, as you know, there is time involved in making it work for a business), it looks like you’re already showing a strong return on the the time invested in using Twitter.


  2. I’ve been shouting that there’s a ROI – quantifiable and not – for some time, but Easy Chair has taken it a step further and identified some of that return. One of the reasons I frequent Easy Chair now is not because they have the best coffee (they do), but because they engaged me in the soc med space first.

    Even if there isn’t a quantifiable ROI, however, I still contend that reaching out to your community and providing connections – handshakes, if you will – is still the right thing to do.

  3. I’ve passed by too often. I’ll visit. Blame it on the blog.

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