The Social Media Scene, Act 1, Scene 1: Chicago

By Angelo FernandezFor the month of August we are running a Friday feature of the social media scene in cities across the United States.  We will be covering Chicago (of course), Miami, Austin, Las Vegas and we’ll squeeze in an extra city if we get enough suggestions for another city you would like to be covered.  We begin in Chicago, the largest city in the Midwest and the third most populous city in the United States.

But what people often forget is that not only is Chicago a huge city with a dense population but they are leaders in the media industry as well.  They rank only behind New York and Los Angeles in terms of the largest media markets.  Every major television network has a subsidiary in Chicago and they are also home to The Chicago Tribune and the Chicago-Sun Times which are two of the larger newspapers running across the United States.  Both newspapers have online versions and are also produced in mobile-friendly for phones, iPads and e-readers.  By staying on the cutting edge of technology and realizing the mobile and social media scene isn’t a passing fad they’re able to reach a larger audience and get more interaction.

By moving online you assure yourself of more readerships because even if those in your area may not be die-hard mobile users or fans of reading online you still have the print version and are covering all of your bases.  The online version has the ability to be around the world simultaneously and get you new readers.  Reaching an audience you didn't know existed is the power of social media, you just put yourself out there and if you’re confident in what you have to give and show to the world there’s a great chance good things come your way.

Take for example this small-time owner of Domino’s pizza joint in Chicago.  On a terribly rainy day in Chicago a pizza was delivered an hour late, which ended up being the wrong pizza, to Amy Korin who tweeted, “hardly any room for human error, but still a mistake.”  But little did she know one of the managing partners of the Chicago-area Domino’s was watching and Ramon DeLeon responded back to her saying, “The correct pizza was on the way and he was going to make it up to her and WOW her.”  The next day he did just that sending her a video apology for the error on their part.  And as if that wasn’t enough he then provided 350 free pizzas at the Chicago Social Media Club’s next event which Amy was a member of.  What must have floored Amy then turned viral and the video response was quickly shared across the web in many different languages resulting in nothing but good times for the Domino’s pizza chain both in and out of Chicago.  By being personal and quick with social media he was able to truly connect with a base which is so hard to do.  And as DeLeon says “The only way to put out a social media fire is with social media water.”

And if you don’t think you have a base that uses social media you should check again.  Simply Google social media _(your city)_ and you may very well be surprised as to how many results will pop up.  For example the Social Media Club in Chicago that has over 2,000 members isn’t just a local club; they have been popping up across the United States and the world the last few years.  If you visit the global website for the Social Media Club you see that they’re located in South America, Africa, Europe, Asian and Australia.  This is a growing group and as technology gets more advanced and the lower end devices get cheaper the base who have access will only grow and make social media that much more of a force.  Big or small social media is something that has to be nurtured and taken care of to be a truly successful and effective tool.  Because you’re engaging your customers you have to be sincere and have your heart behind your efforts or else they will see right through you and you will never connect with them.  Well I hope you enjoyed this week’s article and I’ll see you next Friday when we talk about how Miami is using social media to spice it up!