A very large number of people are predicted to be at the Presidential Inauguration, and The Madison Hotel is keeping in mind how much their guests will want to document everything that happens. This is how a “dedicated social media butler” came to be added to the historic Washington D.C. hotel’s VIP package but only during the inauguration weekend.
The package includes a stay in one of the presidential suites for four nights, a private tour of the capitol with up to 22 friends, a private Lincoln Town Car with a driver, a stay for one night at the Landsdowne Resort that includes a massage for the couple, a $5,000 Brooks Brothers shopping experience, and of course the social media butler. This is all priced at $47,000.
The hired butler, Anchor Media’s Victoria Devine, will chronicle the inauguration experience of the guests, which will be tailored to her clients’ social media needs. The hotel says Devine will post on all of the guests’ accounts so they don’t have to try to catch the perfect photos. The guests will also be able to choose the content in their posts and how frequent the content is posted.
VIP guests will be able to choose to have the butler act like a paparazzo by taking pictures and posting the experience in real-time. However, there is also the option of sending the butler updates via text or email if the guests don’t want the butler following them everywhere. The Madison Hotel’s managing director, Jim Horsman, says that this time in D.C. is special, and they don’t want guests to miss anything.
Anchor Media says they were approached by The Madison Hotel about the job. On its website, the company says they laugh every time they hear the title for the butler job. Now they are offering their own butler services to other inauguration attendees as well. They say they are ready to record memories in real-time from Facebooking, to Tweeting, to Instagramming for family and friends so they can also enjoy the historic event.
Although it looks like The Madison Hotel is the first to offer the management of social media for its guests, such services are actually used by corporations already. Rather than butlers, these people are more commonly known as social media strategists, and they usually work for companies to increase the number of followers for various websites. They are also paid to act like promotional ghost writers for politicians and celebrities. Their average annual earnings is $55,000, but they can earn an average $79,000 if they work with a corporation.
President Obama and president candidate Mitt Romney are two politician who have had their own “social media butlers”. Their strategists were responsible for Tweeting and updating the status of their campaigns for a couple years. Laura Olin was the strategist for Obama’s Twitter account. In a previous interview, she said the job was kind of terrifying. All decisions were made in-house, so they weren’t being directly ordered from the White House. Her team handled the Twitter account for Obama, which was possibly the most vulnerable to really silly and embarrassing mistakes. She can’t believe they never really had such a mistake, she added.