First thing every morning, Amanda Spurlock checks Twitter to see if anyone’s mentioned The Mermaid Inn overnight. All day long, until midnight, she’ll tweet about the East Village seafood restaurant, how the Gulf Coast oil spill is affecting fisheries and, of course, point out the nightly dollar-oyster specials.
Such are the job duties of a professional tweeter. A growing number of companies, in New York and nationwide, are hiring people like Spurlock to be their hip online presence.
“It’s a new job category,” said Adam Hanft, a NYC-based branding expert. “Companies that are very sophisticated in social media usually have one or two people whose sole job is to pump out clever, punchy little messages.”
One 29-year-old Brooklyn woman spent the past seven months tweeting on behalf of a Williamsburg clothing store. She was paid $250 a month, plus $250 in free merchandise, to maintain their Facebook and Twitter pages. A Chicago finance firm is seeking a full-time social media associate to “be our eyes and ears” and “report chatter occurring in social media.”
“The people who are 21 now will be going out to dinner in three years,” said Mermaid Inn owner Danny Abrams. “If you don’t do it now, you miss the boat on how to reach them.”