They’re taking getting social seriously finally but there is still a long road to travel until corporations understand what small businesses, artists and musicians have been practicing on twitter for years now.
Facebook is failing, there are too many chefs in the kitchen and they’re spoiling the broth that made my college experience and all of our years coming to age as adults so special. There is a generation that is growing up getting social on the internet. Hell, friends and family members have set up their children’s profiles on Facebook long before they exited the womb and entered this turbulent world of ours.
What makes us unique, Gen Y, Millenials unique is that as the phenomenon which is social media has developed into a multi-billion dollar business so have we turned into a generation of men and women that have embraced the foreign to become the first group of people to embrace it as a lifestyle 24/7. We changed the way our older siblings and parents have done business. We have changed the way we look for jobs. No longer is it enough to hand in your resume, it’s not enough to go on a company’s website and apply for a job we have to be a part of the corporate dialog way before we click “apply” on Taleo. Who cares if you have the right amount of experience it’s about how much of yourself you are willing to share. You are your own brand first and foremost in a social media world and that brand has to mirror the culture and message of the company you want to work with.
That being said the focus of this stream of consciousness is Twitter. I have begun to reach out to brands that I enjoy using. I am a huge Pandora Radio fan. I can’t really function without the site. I wake up in the morning and I allow my mood to dictate what channel comes on. There’s “Weezer Radio” when I’m feeling totally 90′s, “Bobby Watson and the Horizon Radio” when I want to hear contemporary Jazz, “Deadmau5 Radio” when I feel like having the bass drop on me, “Phoenix Radio” gives me the hipster start-up office vibe I need to get work done and the one I listen most to when I walk through the city, “Charlie Parker Radio” and “Leonard Bernstein Radio” when I am feeling a little classy. I’ll even play Pandora when I’m in the shower. Hell you haven’t lived until you have taken something as mundane as flipping a grilled cheese sandwich and played Deadmau5 “Ghost N Stuff”. OVER SHARE!
Recently I gave a shout out to @Pandora_Radio telling them how much I love their variety button that allows me to toss in similar bands to diversify my playlist; I got a little tired of having my experience immediately open up with Phoenix and tested the option. Now my insides are burning from the new bands that I am listening to. Two Door Cinema Club, The Xx, Passion Pit, The Temper Trap, The Kooks, Flight Facilities, RJD2, Ratatat, Nightmares On Wax. Not to mention tracks like “1940″ Amplive Remix by The Submarines if you don’t know check it out on Soundhound.com and “Stroker Ace” by Lovage a relative oldie in this Hipster/Geek Pop genre but a goodie. Pandora’s community manager Aaron didn’t miss a beat and began following my twitter feed thirty minutes later. Remarkable considering that if you were to do that with a less in tune company the compliment would have missed the radar; not to mention the fact that they have over 103,000 followers! It pays to get social. I’m not sure what that follow will turn into but hopefully something positive.
My friends who really know me know that I love food. I can’t get enough of it. I wish my parents had an appetite for food like I do because there is just so much to try. A common fast food stop for all of us Millennials is Chipotle. I have left my home, office, cubicle; where ever I am working at, to run for a burrito before my stomach implodes on itself. I couldn’t get enough of it once or twice a week as of late however I have stayed away while my friends have flocked; the stomach wants what the stomach gets and the organic quality food they provide is definitely delicious. CEO Steve Ells is to fast food as what Steve Jobs is to the digital age, point-blank and period.
I remember seeing him on NBC’s “The Next Great Restaurant” and the passion and respect he had for the food and customer really solidified my purchasing habits until one day my stomach sad ”Oh Hell No!” and I was sick for four days. The first thing I did was contact @ChipotleTweets “Your food got me sick” and an hour later I received a response on my account with a link directing me to state my grievances with customer service. Just like that I had a member in their Colorado office contacting me with his business email and direct phone line to discuss the situation. My business meant that much to them. A big thank you to them for that. They investigated the branch and it turned out I was the only reported case but they still apologized for the inconvenience and I learned something.
No matter if the message is positive or negative companies have to hedge their bets on twitter in terms of contacting and communicating with their brands super fans and super foes. As Facebook’s popularity ebbs so will Instagram, Zynga and Spotify. The way to communicate with your brand and your brand to communicate with you is through 140 characters. If its good enough for Mark Cuban its good enough for me. These experiences; while probably common place, have invigorated my passion to continue to live social and create that dialog with the people and things I love.