Amble Resorts talks to Jon Goldmann, Social Media Manager for Jetsetter.com and a member of our Panel of Experts for the Island Intern Contest.
In the midst of never-ending hype surrounding social media and its implications for businesses, I keep forgetting that social media did not invent the concept of “social.”
Long before it became standard practice for companies, products, and services to have a presence on both Facebook and Twitter, I’ve enjoyed connecting with my favorite stuff in more interactive ways.
Take one of my favorite shows, Seinfeld.
For me, TV gets better on DVD – and I own enough Seinfeld seasons to prove it. Why? Mainly because of the special features that allow me to engage with the behind-the-scenes production and connect with the actors as individuals.
The same goes for my favorite musical groups and artists. Where possible, I appreciate the opportunity to connect with the creators of my favorite audio media. So I go to those loud, sweaty social events – concerts – to find a more interactive way to listen to my favorite songs. And at all the truly memorable concerts I’ve attended, the performers seem to be having the time of their lives on stage (the Flaming Lips do it best, I think). The less-than-stellar shows I’ve caught featured those painfully introverted musicians who bend their heads down and sway awkwardly to the sound of their own singing.
What seems to make the “social” aspect of media work? The human element. Genuine people who aren’t afraid to be themselves. Wayne Coyne having a blast doing what he does onstage, Jason Alexander telling me what it was like to play George Costanza. It’s idiosyncrasies, distinctive voices, interests, and passions.
So for all of today’s social-media-savvy professionals, that means holding on to what makes you you, even when you are using a social media platform on behalf of your employer.
Sound tricky to pull off? Luckily, you have a great example to follow: Jon Goldmann, Social Media Manager at Jetsetter. He just so happens to be a member of our Panel of Experts for the 2012 Island Intern Contest, so applicants for the internship have the added advantage of his valuable input and advice as they vie for the dream job opportunity on Isla Palenque in Panama.
Jon spends his days on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites chatting with people, answering questions, replying, retweeting, and sharing content that he knows fans of Jetsetter’s “invitation-only travel community” will enjoy. When it comes to social media, marketing, and travel, Jon knows his stuff.
But as an individual, he’s much more than the sum of his areas of expertise – and this shows in the way he utilizes social media on behalf of his employer. He doesn’t hide his passion for music (especially bluegrass), his penchant for mandolin-plucking, or his ambitions of becoming the foremost whiskey connoisseur.
It’s what makes him such a standout in his field. Rather than dissolving into an arm of the marketing and sales department, Jon comes across online as a whole person. He lets his experiences and interests inform the work he does for Jetsetter.com. We’re so privileged to have him on our Panel of Experts because he’ll be taking the same personal approach in his guidance of this year’s Island Intern candidates.
We’ve already had an early submission come in from an Island Intern hopeful who’s promising to produce an entire album of songs from his island experience… which got us wondering if Jon’s travels have ever inspired him to compose anything for his mandolin. So we asked him!
“While I have traveled quite a bit to satisfy my appetite for new musical experiences,” says Jon, “following bands on tour, driving cross-country from bluegrass festival to bluegrass festival and taking a month in Ghana to study an obscure drumming idiom under a Master drum chief, I haven’t yet written songs about those travels.
“I tend more to try and soak up the music of another person’s culture, incorporating the things I hear and learn into my playing style and improvisation techniques. Just getting outside of my comfort zone (whether it be with a stern Ghanaian drum master or a fierce Irish pub band) provides me with enough satisfaction to last a lifetime. There is an entire world of music out there just waiting to be experienced and I want to absorb as much as I can before giving back. That said, I can’t wait to hear what they come up with!”
Neither can we, Jon!
So what have we learned about social media? Strangely enough, people seem to like people. Or at least people who use social media do. (Marketing to misanthropes has got to be a real challenge these days). So take note of Jon Goldmann at Jetsetter.com and don’t be afraid to be yourself, whether you’re using social media for personal or professional purposes. It’s the only way to really relate!