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Are Brands on Fleek With Slangy Tweets? IHOP Explains Its Hip New Voice

'Back that stack up'

IHOP backs that stack up on Twitter. Photo: Getty Images

Who knew IHOP was so hip? The pancake chain has found its voice on Twitter, and it sounds an awful lot like a teenage hip-hop fan. That's why most adults might not have any idea what the food company is saying in its messages, but the kids do.

So, this week, IHOP sent a tweet that really got us wondering, who is behind this account?

"Pancakes on fleek," @IHOP tweeted, which means "these pancakes are on point." When your food "on fleek," your tweets get more love. Wendy's used the word first in a tweet, so it's catching on, but the question is does it resonate with the intended audience or alienate it? Some commenters are put off by food chains talking in a way that might not be genuine. Still, the level of engagement does speak for itself. (See retweets and favorites below.)

Kirk Thompson and Darrin Kellaris are the digital marketing experts at IHOP, and they work with MRM/McCann, IHOP's digital agency, which handles the Twitter account. They both said the restaurant's Twitter voice is authentic and it's working.

"Twitter for us skews younger so it's important to talk the talk when it comes to that fan base," Kellaris said.

Indeed, IHOP is connecting. "Pancakes on fleek" got more than 20,000 retweets and was picked up by people like Funkmaster Flex.

Burger King is another fast-food company trying to talk the Twitter talk. This recent tweet captures a certain youthful syntax, for sure.

IHOP's twitter tone is not a random strategy but rather something Thompson and Kellaris work out with MRM in advance. Both men, over 40, aren't quite the target audience.

In the last 60 days, IHOP has grown its Twitter following 18 percent, Thompson said.

"There has been a refinement of our Twitter voice," Thomspon said. "We've gotten more specific, more targeted about how we speak."

While the "fleek" tweet performed well, IHOP had another winning message earlier this month with a play on lyrics from Missy Elliott's song "Work It." The hip-hop star was even among the people that retweeted that one.

Here's a look at IHOP's Twitter on fleek:

 

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