Social Media Engagement

January 13, 2011

No, I have not gotten engaged, unless you’re referring to the act of people and organizations reaching out to me via social media. And if that’s your point, then it’s true, I’ve had some engaging situations recently.

1 – Jet Blue has allowed me to deride them for their policy of asking everyone on board to shut their electronics off completely. I’m still waiting for them to provide me with an official quote on why this happens. But it seems that it’s in the name of safety. Seriously. Think of your mother driving the car to summer camp and threatening to come into the back seat to stop you kids from fighting or fooling around. That’s the theory – as I understand it – behind airlines’ urge to have all distractions put away during take-off and landing. Makes sense. Would make more sense if the airlines had enough forethought to explain this to their passengers.

2 – Aria Hotel in Las Vegas made me fat and happy. During the Consumer Electronics Show last week, Aria took it upon themselves – with a little prodding from my friend Kevin Palmer – to invite me to a world-class dinner at Jean Georges Steakhouse onsite. The evening was divine in both the way we were treated and the food that was served. Thinking as a food critic, I can count on one hand the number of meals I’ve had that were even close to the quality, presentation and taste of the items served that night.

From a social-media standpoint, what a great way to get a true foodie (me) to notice your product. From a pure customer-service standpoint, they delivered better than most places I’ve eaten in the past year. Here are some of the shots I took that night…

…and I’ll put a full review up on WithJeff and JeffsNotes.

3 – Ford Motor Company – via Scott Monty – was kind enough yesterday to clarify their decision-making process in their Ford Focus Rally reality TV program. When the project was first announced, a number of folks got phone calls to let them know they had been automatically placed on the fast track for auditions. I was one of those people.

So imagine my surprise when after I performed multiple sessions with different partners (auditions, not the other thing) I heard nothing about the selection of teams. Silence. While it was likely incumbent upon me to keep an eye on the process, there were folks who received phone calls and notes letting them know they hadn’t made it. My phone didn’t ring and my email box remained unvisited.

This isn’t a failure of Ford or Monty or even the production company. But it’s a situation where expectations could have been managed better – especially if there was extra effort on the front end to create buzz and then nothing in the way of closure once the teams had been chosen and my usefulness as a mouthpiece for the promotion was complete. Simply put, I would have liked a note letting me know I didn’t make the cut, instead of having to find out by looking at the list on the¬†figurative locker-room wall that is Facebook.

What have you run into lately that’s made you take notice of how companies and people are engaging? Share your stories here or write your own post and link back.