My Marketing Thing

May King is making tea on Twitter

may King Tsang of MayKingTea

May King Tsang operates MayKingTea (as in may…king tea, get it?). May King (her first name) is one of the top 50 tea specialists and speakers certified by the Specialty Tea institute (or maybe that’s Special..tea Institute – boom boom!), based in the US.

Okay, I have a confession. 

I’m a bit of a tea junkie, so the interview (below) had a personal motivation. I saw May King at a Brisbane Woman networking event, wearing the most stunning Chinese jacket. As she looks Chinese as well, the outfit seemed…well, fitting. But it was when she opened her mouth and an English accent came out (Manchester, for those into accents) that roping May King into an interview…any interview…became irresistible. Over tea, naturally.


May King’s a delight to talk with, even if she didn’t have an endearing accent.

Fresh from London to live in sunny (though somewhat flooded) Brisbane, May King sells amazingly exotic, all-natural teas from her website to a variety of countries.

May King also gives tea tastings, much like wine tastings. First and foremost, May King is an ‘enthusiasm igniter’. i was going to say ‘educator’ but her personality is so much more entertaining than that.

Not fond of tea? Ten minutes with May King and tea and you’ll wish you had a permanent IV drip to the stuff.

In the world of May King, next to tea is Twitter. May King’s Twitter name: @MayKingTea. I’ll let her tell you the rest…


  1. What made you decide to use Twitter to promote your business MayKingTea?

    Like many people, I heard you can make lots of money through Twitter. I created an account, Tweeted a bit and – again, like lots of people –  didn’t make lots of money and didn’t do anything else with it. Then I decided, as I’d created the profile, I would do some research about tweeting and try to make it work. I read lots of articles about it and before too long, I had a huge network of tea folk!While I already know quite a lot about tea, I can always learn more. And so by reaching out to other tea specialists, I learnt more. At the same time, I established myself and educated others about tea. Tea consumption is growing all the time. People are generally striving for a healthier lifestyle. So by working with other tea specialists on Twitter we raise awareness about tea and health. 
  2. Your profile page looks great. Did you employ someone ‘Twitter savvy’ to advise/set it up your profile page for you?

    I did it all on my own! Thanks for the endorsement. I looked at other people’s pages, and learnt from what I saw. It’s all through learning.
  3. How often to you use Twitter (per day or per week)?

    I say to myself “1 hour to 1 1/2 hours in the morning” and “1 hour in the evening” to reach out to other time zones like the UK. But the reality is, I’ve never timed it, but it’s probably much more than that. I must confess that I’ve become a little addicted to Twitter.
  4. Has Twitter be helpful for settling into a new country?

    When I came to Australia in July, I knew one Australian: Suzie Jacobs. I met her through the Athena Network when Suzie was living in the UK. I arrived in Australia at 6am after a 24 hour flight and met up with Suzie that morning! Through Suzie, I had 4-5 other networking appointments scheduled that week – with people who were mostly advocates of Twitter. After each meeting, I tweeted about it. Before long a significant network had started! If I take the time to understand another person’s business and see an opportunity where we can help each other.I didn’t even know where to buy batteries! Tweeting helped me find where I needed to go. 
  5. We both live in Brisbane which has recently been flooded. Did Twitter assist in anyway during the flood?

    #bakedrelief has been the number 1 or 2 most talked about hashtag in Australia in the past few days.Baked Relief is a movement started by Danielle Crismani who is known on Twitter as @digellabakes. Separated from her boys during the floods and who are currently with her mum (and whose property was affected by flooding) she came up with the idea to start baking for volunteers around Brisbane. So after learning about it I starting cooking for Baked Relief!Twitter has been an important medium to be kept abreast of where food and beverages have been taken to and where they need to go. To date, I have taken goods to Volunteer Queensland HQ and to Queensland Police and plan to bake more and take them to volunteers who have helped with the clean-up.


  6. What other social media tools do you use?

    I’m starting to use Facebook (May King Tsang) more. I believe a lot of Brisbanites use Facebook. I began using it for personal reasons, but now use it more for business, tapping into a consortium of tea folk. I have a blog (see May King’s blog), but don’t blog enough! And I use LinkedIn, which is great to find people in the tea area – again for education but also to learn more about business.
  7. Which social media tool is your favourite and why?

    Twitter! But I do like Facebook  – lots of discussions can be had there. I recently launched a group called Queensland Business on Facebook (Megan note: Queensland Business already has 153 members…and counting).
  8. Would you consider hiring someone to make Twitter comments on your behalf? (if yes/no, why?)

    No, because I love Twitter. But some people don’t have the time. It’s okay for another person to make Twitter comments on your behalf if the two people involved (the tweeter and the person they are representing) have similar personalities and knowledge – and have the same mission and values. You have to inject your personality into the tweet. So you can’t pretend to be someone else unless you have these things in common.
  9. For all the time you spend using social media, do you feel you get the same value (or more) in return? If so, how?

    Absolutely. I’ve been learning a lot about tea, business and people through social media. I have got clients through Twitter and have organised Tweet Ups for others.

    Megan note: I had no idea what a ‘Tweet Up’ was (I am still to earn my feathers, obviously). May King explained that it’s when you are introduced through Twitter and then meet up face-to-face – or elsewhere – afterwards for a proper chat.

    Being a tea specialist, social media has its limitations. You can’t touch, smell or taste tea on the internet. People’s comments about my teas are only their personal interpretations. Face-to-face is important for me, so that’s why I have my tea tastings.
  10. Do you have any words of wisdom/nifty tips for people who are having trouble getting into the Twitter thing?

    There are 3 common complaints about Twitter:

    1. “It’s too short!”
    The main complaints I hear is about the 140 character limitation. But you can use Twit Longer. If you want to Tweet for longer than 140, type your full message then Twit Longer sends the first 140 characters as a tweet and the rest as a hyperlink.

    2. “I don’t have time to Tweet”
    Tweeting doesn’t take long. If you text, you can Tweet. 140 characters isn’t much. You can even take a quick photo with your phone and tweet is with Twit Pic

    3. “I don’t know what to say”
    Be yourself. What you are experiencing can help others – even if it’s just tweeting about a film you’ve just seen. You don’t always know what will resonate. I remember tweeting something I thought was really important and only got one response. Then I made a passing comment about something I thought was pretty unimportant and received 40 responses.Say you are having a coffee (or tea) with a colleague and they need to take a call. While you are waiting, you can tweet about what you are discussing (which can promote the project you are working on, for example), the cafe you are in (using Foursquare to promote the cafe) and who you are meeting (which helps to promote their business).Twitter isn’t difficult. It doesn’t require much to learn how to use it. Here are some other tips:

    What’s your specialty?
    I’m a tea specialist, so that’s what I’m known for and what I help people with. However, I also end up helping other with business development – and with how to use Twitter!

    Don’t push, share instead
    Don’t use Twitter to directly promote yourself, rather see it as a opportunity to help others.

    Give credit to others

    Promote other people on Twitter (Twit Longer is great if the person you want to acknowledge has a long name!)

    Don’t give up
    It’s important to acknowledge that it’s not an overnight success. Don’t give up after the first month!

    Michael Q Todd (@mqtodd) gave the following advice about Twitter:

    Twitter is hard work by yourself – but as a team we can make a massive impact.
    I recommend 10-20 tweets a day for a decent presence.
    This should take you no longer than say 15 minutes
    – 1 tweet about yourself or your business or event
    – 3-5 tweets sharing good info in your niche
    – 3-5 tweets promoting other people
    – 2-3 tweets that are conversational
    – 1-2 inspirational or fun quotes


  11. Is Twitter for everyone, do you think?

    Yes, it can be. Again, if you text, you can Tweet.


May King finishes the interview with a pearler:

“Social media is democracy at its best. Being a tea specialist, I’m competing with the likes of Lipton, and so on. But social media shows that I can do just as good a job.”

If not better, I say. May King proves it.

May King Tsang is thinking about giving a talk about how to use Twitter. If you are in Australia and interested in attending, please send her your expression of interest.

Tweet May King: @MayKingTea

Send a Facebook message: May King Tsang


This post was written by Megan Hills (with the help of May King, of course). Megan is a writer, cartoonist and marketing consultant who can finally see the point of Twitter. Find out more about this almost-feathered Megan

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  1. Vera

    Cool, what a great example! Must have been a fun interview. I will look her up.

  2. Ahh May King … she's sweet, transparent and comforting, just like a trusty cup of tea. Seems like the two of you had great fun putting together this piece and I'll bet there was copious tea to go with it! :)

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