Pizza…its the conversation that makes it!

I’m not really a big pizza fan, its not something I’d ever buy in the supermarket or make at home. Up until four years ago I’d never really been that fussed about pizza. So what changed that? Well I moved to Newton Abbot and discovered The Pizza Cafe.

The Pizza Cafe is quite simply the best restaurant in Mutant and without doubt the best pizza for miles. They have been operating for 22 years, get ingredients from local suppliers, deliver locally and have a restaurant open for lunch and dinner.

My current favourites are Porkys (Westcountry pineapple and apple chutney, slow roasted Westcountry pork, caramelised onions, crispy bacon, chorizo and fire roasted yellow peppers) and Thunderball (Sweet chilli sauce, Swedish meatballs, jalapenos, red onion, peppadew and roquito sweet peppers). You can have a nose at their menu on their website – if you are into pizza there is some great inspiration there.

So, why am I waffling on about pizza? Well this blog isn’t really about pizza, it’s about social media. The pizza cafe joined twitter last September and I tweeted all my friends to tell them about it, I regularly signpost people to them, encouraged twitter friends who were coming down from Exeter to visit them and generally spread the Pizza Cafe love.

Over the past 9 months I have regularly replied to the Pizza Cafe tweets, I’ve bantered with them, I’ve sent tweets when I’ve enjoyed their goods etc and had finally got myself into a dilemma! My favourite pizza cafe had *never* replied to me; now I understand that people use twitter differently but they had got to the stage where I wanted to share the love but (drama queen alert)….I was feeling a little rejected! I love twitter, I love the idea of social networking and making those connections with people….I was struggling to keep the love when I never heard back. What was particularly strange to me was that there was lots of banter over on facestalker whenever I checked in there but I try not to these days.

So this weekend I intended to sit down and write a blog about my dilemma to get everyone’s opinion about it. Should I stop frequenting the pizza cafe (I could certainly affect their profits if I did that)? Should I go in and try to have a chat with whoever runs their twitter account? Should I just accept that some people use twitter differently? This Friday a couple of us headed in for dinner and as ever, the staff were lovely, the pizza was amazing, good evening all round.

So imagine my delight yesterday as I sat eating cold Porkys in my garden when I got a reply on twitter from the pizza cafe:

Since that tweet we’ve exchanged a couple, they were able to identify my cold Porkys from the above photo, shared the info that the pork is slow roasted for ten hours and generally just joined the conversation. So I’m delighted to be able to end this blog post with a happy ending. I’m delighted that I don’t have to start boycotting my favourite pizza cafe…although I might need to reduce my intake for waistline reasons as summer is fast approaching 😉

The realisation I had yesterday was that we’re all still learning with social media but it all boils down to conversation. This week our organisation went live with a twitter stream on the home page of our website. I’m sure this isn’t of note for most organisations but it was a big decision for us – for that feature to work, and our partners to feel valued, we need to ensure that we work to build the conversation and that we sustain it. This is a bit of a leap of faith but I don’t feel that you can ‘learn’ social media without trial and error; we’ve sat at the edge watching for a while and now we’ve dived right in…fingers crossed everyone in my small team will join the conversation and we’ll build even stronger links with the people we work for and with. We might not have pizza on our side but conversation we should be able to manage.

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