We couldn’t help ourselves – we’re fascinated with this social media success story.
What do you think of when you think of Denny’s? A diner for senior citizens? Runny eggs? A 70-year-old chain-smoking waitress named Trish? How about a loyal and highly interactive Twitter following of 182,000 people, most of whom are millennials or late gen x-ers? (By the way, that’s an increase in followers by about 450% since 2009.)
Take a tour through their tweets and you might figure out why, but be warned – the tweets are weird. Personally, I think they’re pretty funny, but weird. Pop culture references, Internet culture references, subtle references to breakfast food…but not as many as you’d think for a diner. The tweets, on one hand, appeal to tumblr-obsessed high schoolers that actually talk this way on the Internet and on the other hand college students/millennials that make fun of them by also talking this way on the Internet. (Ex: @DennysDiner: “*drinking coffee, working from the diner* *cracks knuckles* *begins typing* Did Brandspeak Cause The Snowpocalypse?”)
I mean, these tweets are insane, right?
But they work, and somehow, the agency behind them (Erwin Penland) manages to sound authentic, rather than sounding like a team of old account execs trying to appeal to the kids these day.
I’m certainly not saying that we should start tweeting about cats and stop using capital letters, because that’s not the audience we’re trying to talk to. I think the real lesson here is that is pays to be genuine, it pays to know your audience really well, and it pays to be silly sometimes… People like to know there’s an actual human on the other side of that Twitter account, and that they don’t take themselves too seriously all the time.