A few nights ago, I went to Ümloud, a charity event at DNA Lounge. They had a raffle, and I bought a few tickets. The lady selling the tickets happened to have a Square device on the phone she was using to accept payment, and I thought it was so cool that I decided to pay by card instead of cash. Shortly afterwards, I received my fancy email receipt and tweeted about it.
Since then, that tweet’s been retweeted by Keith Rabois, an investor recently hired by Square, and I’ve been followed/mentioned by Sangeeta Narayan, a recruiter also working for Square. This is part of a social media strategy, that’s for sure, but I really wonder if scouring the Internet for nobodies like me and boasting about it on your Twitter stream is really an effective use of time.
I’m assuming I’m being used as yet another example of a satisfied customer, thereby enforcing the strength of their brand. That’s fine – they can use something I’ve publicly posted on the Internet – but I’m sure there are other, more influential Twitterers (companies that use the product, for instance) who can be courted and formally quoted. I guess more press doesn’t hurt… but for someone like me who has seen social media make its place on the Internet, the simple act of being retweeted by an investor gives me an uneasy feeling. If you’re going to subjugate me as a consumer, I’d prefer you do it in private, like it used to be in the good ol’ days.
The weirdest part, though, is the fact that the recruiter wants to talk to me. What more could they possibly want from me? I called the thing “fancy” and that I’m “fond” of the payment method. Do they want to mail me release forms so they can put my quote on their website? Or, since this person’s a recruiter, does the mere fact that I put
“web developer” on my Twitter profile bio mean that they want to hire me for their web software engineer position? Why would simply using and talking about their product make me cut out for that position? That’s like hiring someone who likes eating McDonald’s to work as their VP of marketing (shudder).