You can call Steven Rojas cool, confident or even a bit hubristic; whatever you call him, you can’t deny that he has an uncommon energy that sets him apart from us mere mortals. With equal parts vigor, passion and ease, he’s the kind of guy you could easily chat up with at the local bookstore, ask for directions at a random street corner or have an in-depth conversation about 60’s French indie films at a local bar at two in the morning. In short, Rojas is the kind of person we all gravitate towards. He has a great eye, great style and great instincts. Plus he’s inherently social.
Not surprisingly, it’s that last “social” bit that has taken him far in life.
So far, that at the mere age of 29, Rojas is the head of the social media department of one of the chicest New York hospitality brands known as GrandLife Hotels. We recently had the opportunity to hear Steven Rojas discuss his views on the evolving New York City underground scene, the hospitality industry and the business of social media.
One of the things that set you apart from a traditional marketing executive is your connection with the New York underground scene. Tell us about your involvement.
From a very young age I was fascinated by the unconventional, whether it was art, fashion, music or people I was drawn to those individuals and places that offered something unique. From going to CBGB’s punk shows to art galleries, then evolving into culturally charged youth at hipster Mecca Misshapes parties where I began DJ’ing, to eventually becoming entrenched in the Tommy Saleh’s international creative events with GrandLife. Keeping company with these characters in the underground scene has kept me on the cusp of listening, seeing and being involved in everything that is emerging from this cultural niche, which is significant because it is much larger than I could have ever expected.
On your personal Twitter account, your subhead reads: “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” Break this down for us.
This is actually a Mick Jagger quote, but anyone that knows me can attest to the fact that I have a tendency to overdo things. As far as I’m concerned, what’s the point in doing anything if you aren’t going to FULLY do it with all your heart?
In this day in age, everyone is producing online content. What do you think businesses ought to do to stand out above all the noise?
We all have a digital responsibility and I believe companies need to stay true to that idea. Too often we see businesses trying to become someone else online in order to raise numbers and ‘Like’ followings, however this tactic will eventually lead to the digital demise of a brand’s voice and consumers in this social age are far too intelligent to fall for such duplicitous actions. Maintaining a distinguished brand voice that readers can connect with is extremely important for standing out in the jumble of online content.
What are some successful social media programs you’ve implemented for GrandLife Hotels?
Here at the GrandLife Hotels we are constantly meeting and discussing ways in which we can make the digital world work better for our guests. In the past year we released a GrandLife Insiders App, which allows guests to access our insider information. This app pulls information directly from the GrandLife site, which we are consistently updating. We also recently launched a 24-hour digital concierge, you can tweet at us anytime and we will take care of it. It is priority one for us and (me) to make sure everyone is taken care of on and offline.
As a leader in the industry, give one solid piece of advice to a hospitality brand just starting out in social media.
Figure out what your digital voice is and then address it as closely as you can.