Lexus is coming to dinner, and it’s bringing 150,000 of its friends.
That’s what the luxury automaker has told five customers since October, when Lexus began its #LexusDinner hashtag on Twitter. An executive comes to the customer’s house, a renowned chef cooks dinner, and everyone on Twitter gets to participate in the mealtime conversation.
“I start off every dinner apologizing for my rude behavior, but explaining that we’re having dinner with another 150,000 people,” says Nancy Hubbell, prestige communications manager at Lexus. “My standard line is, ‘Bon appetweet.'”
In addition to the dinners, Lexus regularly holds Twitter chats, which the company tags with #LexusChat, to answer customer questions and get an idea of what folks are excited about. Though it’s difficult to draw any direct lines from the chats to growing follower counts and online chatter, Hubbell says they seem to be doing a world of good.
Lexus joined Twitter in August 2010. Soon after, Hubbell pitched the general manager, Mark Templin, the idea of visiting a customer’s house for dinner and posting the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.
“I didn’t know that he’d go for it, but he did,” Hubbell says.