By HEATHER LALLEY (AP) – 4 hours ago
CHICAGO — People around the world interact with Alecia Dantico all day. Usually, though, they don’t know whether she’s young or old, male or female.
What her followers on Facebook and Twitter know is that’s she’s a friendly, sometimes sassy, blue and gold tin of Garrett Popcorn. That’s the icon of the popular Chicago-based snack food that has tourists and locals lining up around the block at locations here and in New York City.
And when Dantico sends out a “virtual tin” of popcorn to a fan over Twitter, she’s breaking new ground in the way companies market themselves, joining a growing number of social media experts hired to man Twitter, Facebook and similar sites.
“My day starts on Twitter and it doesn’t really end,” Dantico says. She keeps her BlackBerry on at all hours to respond to followers in different time zones. “It’s driving my family crazy, but that’s OK.”
Best Buy Co. Inc. riled up the social-media world earlier this summer with a job posting for a senior manager of emerging media marketing. One of the job requirements, as originally posted, called for applicants to have more than 250 followers on Twitter.