In social media we are looking how to write the best blog headlines and article, the most effective way to build our community, the best way to interact on the social media platforms. We sign up for webinars, listen to podcasts, attend conferences to be sure that we are in the know on how we can put our best foot forward to run a successful social media campaign. We pay great attention to those that have proven to be social media leaders to try and figure out their winning combination or their secret sauce.

Creating Signals in Social Media

My dear friend and someone I admire greatly @TomMartin has captured the true essence of social media and how we create signals or just make noise. We all are guilty of noise at one time or another but when we think of those that stand out in the social media space, we notice they all have one thing in common, they create signals. These signals are there for us to interact and engage with them.

Creating signals in social media is not very difficult. We have always been talking as in order to create meaningful relationships we have to talk. Social media is not a creating a new conversation, it has paved the way for us to be able to communicate on a larger scale. We have watched brands large and small rise and fall via Twitter. We championed Old Spice and have yearned for a new Twitter darling.

The Big One of December 2010

We have all heard about the blizzard that pummeled the east coast, leaving holiday travelers stranded and residents stuck in snow drifts over five feet high. A NFL game was canceled due to the snow which garnered some final thoughts from Pennsylvania Govenor Ed Rendell as he prepares to leave office in a few days. Mainstream media had their crews all over New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Boston. The coverage was sensational for those of us not in the thick of it and are happy to open our doors and see concrete but what has been more sensational is the Twitter stream of Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker.

The City of Newark

Cory Booker is the Mayor of Newark. Newark, the largest city in New Jersey is home to Newark Liberty International Airport, roughly 280,000 residents, numerous hospitals and trauma centers, the county courthouse, the performing arts center, 40 city parks, 75 public schools, Rutgers Newark, NJIT, Essex County College and let’s not forget a very large mass transit system of trains and buses. All of this is contained within 24 square miles. The city, already one of the poorest cities in NJ, has faced debilitating budget cuts and has received much attention for the recent layoff of 167 police officers and the gun violence that has erupted. Now let’s add a blizzard.

Social Media’s New Twitter Darling

Mayor Booker has once again has taken to Twitter to help manage the clean up efforts. Last year he caught the eye of many when he personally shoveled the snow for a resident who was unable to do so. This year he has not disappointed and is out there shoveling, moving/pushing stranded cars, delivering diapers and almost a baby. He responds to residents on Twitter and if they are in need of help, he makes his way over. If a street has not been plowed, he asks for the location and gets the crew over.  There is not a team behind his Twitter that is monitoring the tweets and responding on his behalf. No, he is one man on Twitter that is making a difference.

He is very successful in his customer service as his response time is very fast, he is answering all questions and he is assisting all that reach out to him. This is a great lesson for brands that are seasonal, in crisis communications or have an event that would require constant and immediate responses. In social media this is what we strive for but he also takes it a step further, he not only is thanking the people that are making it all happen, he is out there with them and keeping residents up to date with his location and what they can to to help with the clean up efforts (ie do not throw the snow back into the street). I guess there is some personal branding in politics.

Mayor Booker cares about the people of Newark. There are a lot of main roads that need to be cleared for emergency vehicles to be able to maneuver their way around and also to transport patients to the hospitals, people needing to get to the airport via city streets, fire hydrants that needed to be dug out, etc. but he is ensuring that each street is being plowed for the people that live on them. The parking is not very plentiful leaving many cars on the streets which makes it harder for the plows. There is just so much snow with not a lot of room for it.

Kudos to you Mayor! Your love for the City of Newark and the residents has once again been a role model for us all on Twitter. Your continued dedication to making Newark a prettier, better and safer place does not go unnoticed. Though, I have to say that a breakfast of Advil and Diet Coke is not the best. Advil and Diet Pepsi would have been better. Tell me you love the JETS and we are friends for life.