How Did Humphry Slocombe Amass an Award-Worthy 300K Twitter Followers?

Humphry Slocombe's Jake Godby (left) with chief tweeter Sean Vahey.
​Two San Francisco-based businesses, ice creamery Humphry Slocombe and messenger bag stalwart Timbuk2, are vying for the honor of "Best Small Business to Follow on Twitter" at the first Bizzies Awards, hosted by online small business community Bizmore.

We've long enjoyed Humphry Slocombe's tweets, and realize they've gotten a lot of attention from national press, but we were still astonished to learn that the shop has amassed over 300,000 followers ― a Twitterific feat for anyone in San Francisco (except maybe Gavin Newsom). To compare, the lines are often longer a mile away at Mitchell's, but they've only got 30 followers (and appear to have abandoned updating their Twitter stream).

So how did this awesomely punk parlor snatch up that many groupies? We posed the question to its chief tweeter, operations manager Sean Vahey.

"I honestly don't know," he said. "We first started using it because we didn't have any money for advertising. And when we started, we thought it was kinda boring and so we wanted to do something kind of naughty and fun, maybe put a little comedy into it."

Whether he's demanding, "Oink, bitches!" for some Boccalone prosciutto ice cream, or riffing on how people are dying for their Rosemary's Baby flavor, it has worked. Vahey also started posting pictures of staff members, and found that individuals started getting their own fans within the feed. "I feel like people have kind of gotten to know us," he observed.

"I still haven't figured out the mystery of Twitter," he conceded, "but we'll just keep doing what we're doing and hope people follow us."

The public has until next Tues., March 16, to vote for the winners; please do consider a quick lick of a click for team Slocombe.

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