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#ChicagoForOne: A Guide to Social Media Management

Posted: September 14, 2015, 2:20 p.m.
by Shelby Bonner.

You arrive in Chicago excited to spend the weekend with your friends, only you look around the airport and they aren’t there. What would you do? Robbie Chernow, 28, decided to make the most of his friend Jake’s bachelor party — alone.

Chernow arrived in the Windy City on a JetBlue flight from New York City. Meanwhile, his group of friends had their Delta flights cancelled, which left Chernow to wander around Chicago alone for 48 hours.

Chernow opted to stick to the bachelor weekend schedule and set out on an adventure of the loneliest variety. He posted a series of sad, forlorn pictures to his Instagram page documenting his experiences throughout Chicago. Chernow even created the hashtag #ChicagoForOne to help people follow him on his excursion. While he waited for his friends to arrive from New York City, he went to a Chicago Bears game, took a boat cruise and visited the John Hancock Tower.

Got up early to try for a nice shot of "Cloud Gate" aka "The Bean" at Chicago's Millennium Park. It was raining and over cast most of the morning, but I held up hope and didn't venture too far. So when the rain cleared and the sky (briefly) showed some blue I was able to get a picture. Lost the warm glow of sunrise, but a little bit of lens flare helps to spice up what would otherwise be a blown out white area.

These impulse actions catapulted Chernow into the eyes of over 14,000 new followers in just one weekend. Chernow is now an Internet sensation and hinted at another #AdventureForOne to soon follow. So, what social media management lessons can we learn from Chernow and his solo stag party?

The first thing to remember when navigating the mystifying world of social media is that people love when you can add a little playfulness to a situation. Everyone appreciates someone who can see the humor in things; don’t be afraid to use that approach for your company.

On his Instagram, Chernow constantly posted captions about how sad and alone he was, making light of his situation. One caption read, “According to Theresa, ‘These sandwiches are normally meant to be shared, but you seem sad enough to finish one by yourself.’ Thanks, Theresa!”

This is one of the shots that was on my idea list for my 366 project, but I didn't actually get around to it during the project. It wasn't until last week, when I happened to be downtown just after sunset, that I shot this. The John Hancock Tower is one of the most distinctive landmarks on the Boston skyline, and one of the more fun buildings to photograph around here.
Photo courtesy of Tim Sackton (Flickr)

Let’s not forget that with social media, consistency is key. Try to have a constant stream of updates on your site. Don’t go missing in action; it’s important to keep your brand in the public eye.

Not only do the posts need to be consistent, but the content should be as well. Make sure to keep your site geared toward one theme. Don’t start rebranding unexpectedly because that can confuse people.

As with anything you set out to do in life, be authentic. If you enjoy something, then post about it; if not, don’t bother with it. Be sure to communicate with your followers, which will help to build relationships with them. Retweet what they send you; people love when their tweets get acknowledged by companies.

You can follow all the how-to’s of social media, but at the end of the day it’s your call. Make the decisions you think will work best for your specific target audience and run with it. Don’t be afraid to do something unprecedented — that’s how Internet stars are born.

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