At Your Service: A 'Social-Media Butler' Who Tweets for You

Victoria Devine, Owner of Anchor Media, Trailblazes a New Digital Career

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Meet Victoria Devine. She's at your service for Facebook status updates, sending out a flurry of tweets or Instagramming pics of you and friends -- all which can be accomplished without you ever needing to lay a finger on your phone or a laptop.

Victoria Devine
Victoria Devine
The 25-year-old Rhode Island native is trailblazing a rather absurd role in the digital sphere: the "social-media butler."

Ms. Devine -- a young exec who graduated from George Washington university in 2010 after studying political communications and then set up a tiny D.C. firm called Anchor Media -- was called upon to fill this role by a local hotel that's using the service to sweeten a pricey luxury package tied to President Barack Obama's inauguration next week. All for a cool $47,000, you can stay in one of two of the property's presidential suites for four days, get a private tour of the nation's capital with more than 20 friends, a $5,000 Brooks Brothers shopping spree to spruce up your wardrobe, a personal driver to escort you to inauguration events and Ms. Devine to document it all.

We talked to Ms. Devine to see if she's prepared to be a butler, and how the gig will be different than working with her clients, a small roster that includes restaurant chain Johnny Rockets, an IT staffing firm and a yoga studio.

Ad Age: How did this zany position come about?

Ms. Devine: The Madison Hotel in D.C. reached out to me. I think it's a tradition for them to come up with really lavish hotel packages around the inauguration, and they wanted theirs to stand out this year, so they came up with the concept of a social-media butler.

Ad Age: Why did they call upon you for the job? Had you worked with them before?

Ms. Devine: No. I founded a social-media-marketing company called Anchor Media based in DC. And they wanted someone with that background.

Ad Age: What was your reaction to the unusual request?

Ms. Devine: I said yes right away, and I thought the title was really clever. The package they created is smart and very customer-service-oriented. They provide a shopper, a driver for a car. So a social-media butler fit really well.

Ad Age: Has anyone taken them up on it?

Ms. Devine: Nobody yet, but someone is talking them right now, so we'll see.

Ad Age: Do you believe you are qualified?

Ms. Devine: Even though it's a new title, which why it's buzzy, I think we do this sort of work every day. We are representing our clients on Facebook and Twitter. All of our clients trust us to post on their behalf, so it's the same idea, but for an individual not a company.

Ad Age: Isn't posting on a social network like Facebook something personal, and something people like to do themselves? Do you really need someone else to handle that for you?

Ms. Devine: It's a perk; I don't know if someone would want help the entire time. Maybe they just need help recording their memories and I would be flexible ... be an extra set of hands if they need them. Part of the package is touring DC, and I could help document that.

Ad Age: How are you preparing for the role since you've never done this before?

Ms. Devine: I'd have to prepare to be outside for the whole day and have no access to chargers. I'll have to talk to whoever buys it and see what level of service they are looking for, if they need me to be by their side all day long or if they want me to be there for just part of the day. A lot of what I'd be posting would be to record their experience, so it'd be lots of photos and stories and sharing them with their online networks. I could help them come up with hashtags to use and things to say.

Ad Age: How do you imagine the flow of social media activity going from a client? Will they equally be on Facebook, Twitter and Instgraram? What else will you do for them?

Ms. Devine: Whatever they'd like me to post on, but I imagine there would be a lot of activity of Twitter, because it's so in the moment. Facebook and Instagram will be about photos, which we could do too. Maybe I even need to help them to create accounts if they don't have them, or create a photo album to post.

Ad Age: What if they are snobby and annoying and ordering you around?

Ms. Devine: Any job could have people like that. As a good "butler" I will tweet and Facebook with a smile. It's only for four or five days.

Ad Age: What will you need to be careful about?

Ms. Devine: I guess tweeting anything bad from their accounts! If they are giving me access I need to make sure I have permission to post what they want.

Ad Age: Do you think being a "social-media butler" is a service you want to market?

Ms. Devine: I'm hoping this helps get Anchor Media on the map. I see us offering this sort of service in the future -- maybe not just like this, but having someone on hand at an event, a conference or even a wedding to have what happens recorded via social media.

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