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Im a member of the Hanacore!

I'm a member of the "Hanacore!"

My favorite local sushi joint – Hana Japanese Eatery – understands that it has a league of loyal customers who rave about their food to friends, family, colleagues, and, probably, complete strangers. In the marketing world, we call those people evangelists. At Hana, they call them “Hardcore Hanacore”.

From Hana’s Blog:

Our fans are… special.  They wait for our tweets each day and then flock for the sushi. They start fan groups. When one of them spies us bringing in a full size bluefin tuna to butcher on the sushi counter, cell phones all over town light up until there’s a crowd here like a circus.

Like I said, special. So we’d like to acknowledge that kind of crazy by branding you a Hanacore.  Feel free to post this sucker to your blog or site- paint it on the side of your car, or hey- see what your tattoo artist can do with it.

We’ll be paying special attention to these suckers, and we’ll be watching our Hanacores. Who knows what surprises may come their way?

They have embraced social media as a tool to amplify their Word of Mouth, but they are doing it right (mostly). Hana begins – as all good Word of Mouth stories do – with an amazing product. Chef Koji-san selects only the best fish, and takes pride in what he serves. Plus, they take great care of their customers, often serving a complementary appetizer and a dish of pickled wasabi. I don’t want to turn this post into a restaurant review, but, the other night, Koji-san served me a perfect plate of tuna sashimi and some uni that was buttery and subtle. The star dish, however, came from the hot kitchen; when you go, if they have a special called “scallop edamame,” don’t miss it.

A great product and great customer service then turns to relationships. If you’ve heard me talk about social media before, you know that building relationships – on- and offline – is the key to successful Word of Mouth. Your loyalists gain a vested interest in your success when they have a relationship with you. Customers at Hana are treated like family, and, in turn, are even more driven to help the restaurant succeed.

They also embrace their customers’ evangelism by offering tools on their blog to help their customers share, like the “Hardcore Hanacore” logo and even linking to a customer created Facebook group. This is a wonderful way to reinforce the passion of their Hanacore. However, Facebook is the one area I’d like to see them improve. A group is not the best way to use the most effective communication tool on the web. They should start (or ask their loyal customer to start) a Facebook fan page. The fan page will push their posts out to fans’ news streams and also allow fans to tag them in a status post (creating a hyperlink to their fan page). It’s a great way to stay connected with customers, whereas a group page usually sits there unnoticed.

Hana’s Word of Mouth – both online and off – has been a success story for the restaurant and the neigborhood. I’m definitely a member of The Hanacore, and I urge all of you to rush to Hana to give it a try. The only downside of their Word of Mouth success is that I can’t get a seat there anytime I want anymore.

This morning, my Facebook account was hacked. The hacker, pretending to be me, instant messages my friends telling them I’ve been mugged in London and need money wired immediately. This isn’t true, of course. I have no access to my Facebook account for now. If any of you knows someone at Facebook who can help, please put them in touch with me.

Needless to say, if anyone ever asks you for money over the internet, even if it is a friend, you should be very suspicious. If it’s real, the person should have another way to communicate it to you. Here’s a link to an article with details on this particular scam.

Tons have been calling me today to make sure I’m okay. I’m fine, thanks for your concern. I may have to recreate my Facebook account or rebuild my friends list, so look for a friend request from me in the near future (hopefully “near” future).

The best response of all came from my 13-year-old nephew who, while chatting with the hacker, said, “Uncle Jeff, I say this with all respect, F**K YOU WE KNOW ABOUT THE SCAM MOTHER F**KER.”

The second in my growing list of things that bug me on Facebook:

When you are labeling a picture of yourself and your mother, the correct caption is NEVER “Mom and I.” That’s bad grammar that was incorrectly jammed in your brain as a child. Subtract your mother from the equation, and it’s just a picture of you. Would you label it simply “I” if mom weren’t there? Of course not, you’d say “Me.” The picture of you and mom should be “Mom and me.” The exception is, “Mom and I went to the Eiffel Tower.” Again, subtract Mom. “I went to the Eiffel Tower.” See, it’s easy.

Okay. There, I’ve said it. I feel better, and I do have to say… That was a really nice picture of you and your mom at the Eiffel Tower.

Is there a Facebook Pet Peeve you’d like to get off your chest? Vent in the comments below.

Okay, I can admit it: I enjoy Facebook. I like keeping tabs on people without having to keep in touch with them. I like seeing pictures of people I went to high school with. I even like reading and writing status updates. And, I love playing Scrabble and Word Challenge.

But, there are some things about Facebook that absolutely drive me crazy! I’ll rant about them here, periodically, when I just can’t take it anymore.

So, without further delay, Facebook Pet Peeve # 1:

If you have time to get on Facebook and update your status to let everyone know how busy you are, then you aren’t that busy. You know the status I’m talking about. It’s not “is working hard today” or “has a lot on my plate,” it’s “will never finish these 3 reports and overdue projects.” Of course you’re never going to finish them, you’re always on Facebook telling people how busy you are!

Okay, that’s my first Facebook rant.

Surely, I’m not alone here. What are your Facebook pet peeves?