A close friend of mine John McGuire is a big macher in the wholesale fish business in NYC. He owns Gotham Seafood. Mac, as his friends call him, can tell you how many lbs. of salmon Google serves at its NYC cafeteria on any given day. A lot. After the BP oil spill I asked him what was going to happen to the price of Gulf shrimp. If there’s a fish futures analyst, it is he. His smart answer prompted me to suggest he start up a Twitter feed and begin tweeting to top chefs in the city. He agreed. Quarter-heartedly.
Though we never completed the strategic plan (read: brand plan) he did dabble with a tactic or two — busy is the modern day fish monger. On one seemingly normal day, Mac got a call from a boat in the sunny Fire Island Inlet. A fisherman had caught 200 pounds of fresh bluefish – a delicacy to some, a punchline to others. (Bluefish must be eaten the day it’s caught or it becomes gamey.) Mac asked the fisherman, with seagulls squawking in the background, “Are the fish in rigor?,” meaning curled and stiff, a sure sign of freshness. Hearing they were, he asked the fisherman to take a picture and text him. In minutes the picture and bluefish avails went out over his Twitter feed. You could almost smell the salt air. Guess who moved all the blues in one lot? Guess whose restaurant had a high margin, low cost menu special by 6 P.M.?
Twitter, in the right hands, properly targeted and properly used, is one of the most powerful arrows in the marketing quiver. Peace!