Twitter reminds me of David Lynch: many say it’s the best thing ever, others show hatred to the platform and its quasi-sectarian users – they have their own jargon, and codes according to which you constantly have to talk to peers, and use lots of hashtags – others simply don’t get it.
Whether you like or not, though, Twitter is an unavoidable tool if you have a digital presence. The problem is how you use it. According to an article published by The Verge, ‘Millions of people use Twitter on a regular basis, but how many of them are bona fide masters of the microblogging medium? If you ask them, more than 181,000.’ Brace yourself, for here come the Twitter Gurus again. The truth is, I’m afraid, that usually Twitter is used by brands for customer service-related matter, or as an extension of Facebook and Tumblr, or as a hub for links to other destinations and platforms, but it is rarely exploited as an engaging tool per se.
Let’s face it, usually tweets are nothing but “Hi, click here, go there and check that out”.
Look at Rebecca Minkoff: a visually rich and engaging Facebook page and an absolutely inspiring Pinterest, with lots of interesting content, about music, art, culture, travel, food and other cool stuff. But the Twitter account is dull. No fun. No sparkle. No good. ‘Look of the day (link)’, ‘Loving this (link)’, ‘Here’s a bright idea (link)’, ‘Spotted at Pre-Fall appointments: (link)’, ‘A little #prefall sneak peek! (link)’ and so on and so forth.
I was a bit disappointed. But then, roaming around the Land of the Holy Twitterian, I found, thanks to Ms. Serendipity, one of the best accounts ever. And it’s not Gucci’s, or Obama’s, or The Stones’, or Brett Easton Ellis’. Nope, this is @Mangal2, a Turkish restaurant, in Dalston, north-east London. Here’s a selection of the funniest tweets they came up with, lately:
‘This weather makes me so happy! I could just do something really nice today like give staff a raise or free kebabs to customers. But no.’
‘Ideal #CBB list: 1) a masochist 2) a sadist 3) Nick Griffin 4) Somebody physically imposing and aggressive of an ethnic origin 5) Hasselhoff’
‘Nothing more infuriating than approaching a Turkish customer in Turkish, only for them to reply in broken English ‘I no Turkisch’.’
‘Turkey has been trying to film their own version of ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ since 1983. Still can’t find a lead for the ‘good’.’
‘Don’t complain about ‘tiny portions’ when you’ve arrived with that huge belly. In context, everything is small. Trees are small.’
‘Turkey has just entered 1972.’
‘Customer pays, gets up to leave: oh wait, did the bill inc. service? Me: No. Customer: ok, good. *leaves*’
‘Family arrives. They order wine. Two 12 year old kids want a glass. Kids, don’t make me bring my belt out. Be good.’
‘Don’t over-estimate how liked you are. You reserved a table for 25 for your birthday but only 6 of you turned up. Know thyself.’
‘If you manage 10 Turkish men at your job you’re pretty much over-qualified for any position at London Zoo.’
”In my next life I want to come back as a Turkish man’ – nobody.’
‘Being a bouncer in Dalston must be the easiest job in the world. Hipsters don’t fight.’
(On Xmas day) ‘Everyone is tweeting about ‘Turkey in the oven’ and that’s really racist and insulting.’
‘Hipsters originate from Instagramistan. I know this sounds like a war-torn nation, but unfortunately it isn’t.’
What is so good about it, then?
First of all, it is bloody funny.
Secondly, I doubt they hired a hip agency in Shoreditch or a moustached freelance to take care of it. Too many self-proclaimed Gurus or Ninjas will never reach this level of engagement.
Last but not least, they show you can use anything to bring grist to your mill: the environment you work in (restaurant-related tweets), the people around you (customer or hipster-realted jokes), puns (Turkey the country vs Turkey the bird), and so on and so forth.
If a Turkish restaurant can come up with engaging tweets on a daily basis, and define a strong strategy for a powerful presence, why not a fashion brand, with much bigger resources and an army of Gurus at their service?