As a Minneapolis-based company, we love the city that surrounds us. Sure, you’ve heard it all – we’re one of the healthiest cities in the US, as well as the most bike-friendly city in the nation (take that, Portland!).
We're also one of the world’s top ten summer destinations, and conversely, we have the coldest average temperature of any major metropolitan area in the nation.
We’re certainly no stranger to holding the top spot on various lists.
Folks around here are quite friendly and social. For those of you who don’t live here, and for those that do - we figured we’d pull together some info on some top Twitter users around the cities.
Considered to be “the cornerstone of the Midwest music scene”, First Avenue is a household name ‘round these parts. Featuring incredible acts from all over the globe, attending a show here is a must for any Minneapolitan. Made famous by Prince in the 1980’s, First Avenue was his stage of choice. It’s even quite heavily featured in his 1984 film “Purple Rain”.
Music venues are a social space, and since First Avenue plays such a commanding role in the music scene, it’s only natural that this role spreads to Twitter as well. First Avenue provides their ~13,000 followers with all kinds of relevant content on a consistent basis.
Heading to a show at First Avenue? Make sure you jump on Twitter before you get there. First Avenue holds a contest called “Tweet Table” on big nights, where winners get upgraded from a main-floor spot to a VIP table. This contest is usually run in the form of a trivia question, and the first one to respond with the correct answer scores a free upgrade.
This isn’t their only tactic – they tweet the evening’s set times, engage with their followers, and are quite active with ticket giveaways. For example, here’s a recent ticket giveaway tweet:
First Avenue understands and embraces social media incredibly well. As a commander of the scene, First Avenue is dripping with potential to command the Twitterverse as well.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, Minneapolis was recently rocked by a considerable tornado, which is a pretty rare event. As a city dealing with an emergency situation, the City of Minneapolis has turned to Twitter to get the word out on disaster recovery centers, advice for hiring contractors, shelters for tornado-displaced families, and neighborhood barbeques.
In times of emergency, social networks like Twitter can provide the immediacy and broad reach that other conventional channels cannot. The City of Minneapolis certainly understands this, and continues to use the service in an incredibly valuable manner.
In non-emergency situations, the City of Minneapolis tweets about community meetings, neighborhood festivals, roadwork status, and other relevant information for citizens of the city. As a large metropolitan area, Minneapolis has done a fantastic job of using Twitter to enhance the quality of life for its many citizens.
Ever heard of these guys? I'm constantly surprised by the reach they have. I was in Germany this past fall, and I mentioned that I was from Minneapolis. I was then locked into an hour-long conversation with a group of about five Germans, discussing the merits of various Rhymesayers artists.
In the hip-hop world, they've certainly put Minneapolis on the map.
Founded in 1995, Rhymesayers Entertainment (RSE) is an independent underground hip-hop record label based here in Minneapolis. With top local talent like Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Eyedea & Abilities and many, many more, it’s no wonder these guys have such a strong following.
RSE is incredibly active on Twitter – adamantly responding to fans, providing information on new releases, upcoming shows and events, and generally interacting with other users. They do an incredible job of transcending the fan-artist relationship in such a crowded channel.
Additionally, RSE throws an annual music festival every year, showcasing their talent among others in the hip-hop scene. Dubbed Soundset, this year was the largest yet – with over 20,000 fans in attendance from across the globe. RSE was all over social networks, interacting with attendees, posting videos and photos, and information regarding the event. They hosted meet and greets with their top talent, and threw a massive afterparty at First Avenue.
RSE certainly understands their customers, and engages with them in an incredibly innovative manner. If you’re in to hip-hop – follow them. You will not be disappointed.
Jason DeRusha is a reporter and anchor for WCCO news, a local television station. He runs a segment called “Good Question”, which is a daily feature during the week. Good Question is a segment that tries to find answers to some of life’s good questions submitted by viewers – such as “How does a travelling circus travel?” and “Why are there so many dandelions?”
DeRusha has been on the forefront of social media outreach for some time. He is constantly engaging with his many followers, and requesting their input on news stories on a frequent basis. He brings a fresh perspective to journalism by maintaining an open dialogue with his viewers. He essentially has created his own brand of quirky, hilarious, and entertaining news segments.
He is also a blogger, and a freelance restaurant critic for Minnesota Monthly magazine. He’s certainly not the only news anchor that’s active on Twitter, but he certainly differentiates himself by being incredibly social, and providing great content for us to follow.
R.T. Rybak, the thrice-elected mayor of our fair city, is credited as the first mayor in the United States to use Twitter. Rybak does a wonderful job of providing his constituents with timely, relevant, and interesting updates from city hall. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Rybak on a few occasions, and worked with him directly with a non-profit that I co-founded. I can say that his genuine and kind personality shines through in his tweets.
He seems to be everywhere, chatting with people, weighing in on decisions, and genuinely providing an incredible level of service to those who pay his bills.
Rybak also runs TheMayorBlog, which is filled with insightful posts regarding mayoral operations and decisions, in an effort towards transparency.
When the status of your employment is determined by hundreds of thousands of voters, it’s kind of difficult to please all of the people all of the time. Rybak spins his own brand of likeability – by simply being there for the members of this city.
In his first run for mayor against incumbent mayor Sharon Sayles Belton, he won 65% of the votes, setting the record for the widest margin in city history for challenging an incumbent.
I’ll just leave it with this tweet, regarding the May 22nd tornado that hit Minneapolis.
So, there you have it. Five local Twitter all-stars. We’ve covered a hip-hop label, a news anchor, a music venue, the entire city, and the city’s mayor. Quite an interesting blend of users, which is appropriate, considering the diversity of Minneapolis.
Photo Credit: Tim Wilson's Flickr via Creative Commons. Image created by our own designer Amy Aaron.
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