Jill Merriam Key Hyundai Blog

It’s a Small Twitter World After All

May 13, 2011

Twitter recently rocked our corner of Connecticut.

It started small, with a prom invitation that netted a young Romeo in trouble, and united a world virtually to make it right; and subsequently, made a believer out of me about the power of Twitter (and Facebook) to connect and empower our community.

As a business owner, I didn’t go easily to Twitter as a way to reach Hyundai CT car buyers.

I couldn’t figure out the how or why I would bother customers with Twitter: 140 character details about me, Jill Merriam; Key Hyundai; my kids; restaurants; the weather; how much gas costs in Hartford. Who would care? Why?

Apparently, lots of people do. Or don’t. That’s the thing about Twitter: you can tune in, tune out, participate or communicate on topics you’re interested in. Or not. It’s up to you.

But people, or tweeple, this whole Shelton High School prom fiasco has opened my eyes – wide. If for some unknown reason, you’re in the dark, here’s the skinny: boy (James Tate) asks girl (Sonali Rodrigues) to prom with large and creative invite posted on adhesive letters affixed to the outside of his school: breaking the (draconian…) rules. Administration disciplines by barring James Tate from prom.

Uh oh.

Facebook exploded with reaction. And Twitter. And across Connecticut students, parents, local businesses, community members, and local media rallied support for Tate and created momentous public outraged at a punishment that far exceeded the crime.

It is heartening to see the local news anchors tweet and comment about the news. It is reassuring to see parents stand by this teenager. It is invigorating to see kids rally in support and come up with various options. And Key Hyundai and many, many local businesses responded – with force.


Twitter is like a Facebook coffee shop, except in real time for the whole town, state, world where you can listen, participate, or observe what’s going on in what matters to you.

I get it now. And I’m going to use Twitter to share deals and news and conversation and alerts to my Key Hyundai customers and my community at large.

Twitter is where I can communicate with customers and Connecticut about great diners and oil changes and gas mileage and movies and pollen. On Twitter, I’m @KeyHyundai and it’s me, Jill Merriam, the tweeter for the people. And I tweet about Hyundai in general, Key Hyundai specifically, and hope to connect with our customers in a conversation about their cars, their service and quite often, the good stuff happening here in Connecticut that makes CT a great place be.

Twitter suddenly made small-town Connecticut feel very, very large. Perhaps the support of #TeamTate and his prom night will make a difference.

Perhaps not.

But the comradery of community supporting this kid is inspiring as a business owner, a mom, and community member. It leads me to believe that Twitter is not squelching human contact, but in fact be enhancing it.

I don’t know if the Shelton High School administration will budge. Right now, doesn’t look so good.

But the unleashed power of connecting to my community, fellow businesses, customers, fans and foes is so very, very impressive.

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the whole social media thing doesn’t make life virtual, far from it. but somehow creates a small town out of the whole wide world and it’s fun being part of it.

shelton prom key hyundai equusPS: For the record, Key Hyundai promises a professional chauffeur and pristine Hyundai Equus so James & Sonali can arrive at prom in style … if and when cooler minds prevail. Go Team Tate!

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