When my wife points something out to me on social media I take notice. She is not a geek like me at all. She is technically savvy sure, but more like a typical consumer in her behavior, thus I can learn a lot about how more regular people respond and react to various kinds of Internet marketing. She is the one who told me I needed to look at what iHop was doing on Twitter. ‘I really want to go to iHop now” she said. That was the kicker.
It turns out the iHop account on Twitter (@ihop) is a thing of pure brilliance. The iHop account is following and responding to all it’s customers and potential customers in real-time on Twitter, especially on Saturday. People post a photo of their breakfast and iHop chimes in. “Yum! Looks like you have the perfect mix of sweet and savory. Which plate did you polish off first?!” Notice the nice open ended response with a question at the end, an invitation to continue the conversation. This goes on all day and all week. The responses are fun, light and whimsical. This is is not a canned script or a computer bot. It’s a real live person with a personality and a real love for the company and it’s customers. There is no way you can read these tweets and not smile, or in my wife’s case, feel the desire to go to iHop.
The reason you are on Twitter in the first place as a company is to engage with your customers. Did you think you were there to sell? Sorry. How much direct selling is iHop doing on Twitter? Very little by my count, but how many more people are visiting the restaurant as a result? I dont’ have the data but I will put my money on quite a few. I am delighted when I see companies really get it and use services like Twitter to their fullest. Bravo iHop, you earn an A+.