Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hot Pockets and the Mayor of Newark, NJ, show how to win at social media

If you don't follow Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, on Twitter, you may want to start. In addition to being a Rhodes Scholar, the man absolutely rocks the medium of 140 characters or less.

For example, Time reports:

There’s barely been a disaster, natural or otherwise, that Booker hasn’t responded to personally, often via his very active Twitter account. After Hurricane Sandy struck, hundreds of Newark residents sent pleas for help to their mayor — and many of them got a speedy response.
Booker also used Twitter to get the home addresses of families in need, answer questions about local schools and even respond to his critics. According to the Gothamist, Booker averaged 100 tweets per day from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1.

The interaction above was one of many. But it was a weird one, using language (and a user name) that make the guilty white guy in me twitch, and sent by someone who was probably attempting to troll Mayor Booker for shits and giggles.

He actually Tweeted at the Mayor twice:

What does he do? He responds in an amusingly patronizing way, with teacher language of which child expert Barbara Coloroso would approve. It was a beautifully executed response. And that might have been that.

But it's rare that a consumer brand gets mentioned by a major public figure without that brand's owners hearing about it — either through online "listening" tools, or secondhand from fans.

Nestlé, owner of the Hot Pockets brand, saw the interaction and sent the Mayor this letter:

Which the Mayor then Tweeted:

And then he told Tyree Humes:

So, Hot Pockets get a Mayoral endorsement. The Mayor gets to look cool in front of everyone.

I'm not a huge fan of Nestlé as a brand, or of this kind of junk food, but professionally speaking I am now a huge fan of the anonymous person or people at the company who pulled this off.

And the Mayor? Buzzfeed followed the aftermath, and caught Mayor Booker slaying a political troll with kindness and humour:

Via Buzzfeed
And hopefully Tyree Humes is enjoying his 15 Minutes of Fame:

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