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The face behind the Crooked Crust Twitter account

The face behind the Crooked Crust Twitter account

The face behind the Crooked Crust Twitter account
July 24
13:11 2019

When Azriel Harrison, a communications sophomore at UNT, started the Crooked Crust Denton Twitter account, he said he did not expect the amount of attention it would receive. He definitely hadn’t set out to do it when he landed the job at Crooked Crust.

After being hired, Harrison became good friends with his coworkers, who began talking about the original Crooked Crust Twitter account. Despite being a business located in a college town, he and his coworkers felt as though the original Crooked Crust account was tweeting in an outdated style. Harrison joked that he should start his own Crooked Crust account, and his co-workers encouraged him to do so.

“Originally I did it as a little joke thing, but I also kind of wanted to prove a point,” Harrison said. “If you’re going to run a business, don’t ignore who your target demographic is. The reason why giant corporations like Wendy’s are so good on social media is because they realize, on Twitter, the best way to market yourself is to be funny. I like to think I’m reasonably funny, so I was like ‘let me see if I can make these people some money.’”

Harrison holds up his phone showing his favorite tweet he has posted for Crooked Crust. Photo by Kara Dry

No one except Harrison’s coworkers knew he was running the account. Harrison said he didn’t tell his boss out of fear that the idea would just be disregarded, so he tried to keep it as anonymous as possible. Harrison began tweeting about five to six times a day about promotional events happening at Crooked Crust mixed with his own sense of humor.

“I just say whatever random thing that won’t get me fired and post that,” Harrison said. “I just use my own natural sense of humor and mix with the business side of it. I kind of step into a character. I give a human quality to the restaurant.”

After a few weeks, people began to pay more and more attention to the account. Communications junior Madison Plunk said she began noticing the tweets on her timeline, as many of her friends were engaging with the account.

“I ended up following the account because the tweets were funny and to keep up with Denton news through there,” Plunk said. “I think that as a generation, we look towards those restaurant social media accounts and expect to see something funny and snarky like Wendy’s and Potbelly’s Twitter. I think him trying to follow that trend is really smart marketing.”

Harrison said he was amazed at how fast the account was growing and promised that there would be a surprise if the Crooked Crust Denton account reached 1,000 followers by the end of the week. The next day after waking up at 1:30 pm after an evening of doing homework all night, Harrison saw that his Crooked Crust account passed his 1,000 followers requirement. One of the new followers that Crooked Crust attracted was UNT alumnus Julian Perry.

“I believe I found the account because other local businesses I follow had engaged with him first. I noticed the quick wit and promotional savvy right off the top,” Perry said. “I followed because of the follow challenge they were hosting as well as just to support an active local social media that really seemed to have a knack for connecting with the community.”

A man of his word, Harrison bought a $50 Crooked Crust gift card and started a giveaway contest, but in order to avoid any legal trouble, he tweeted that his personal account would be the giving the card away. In order to enter, Twitter users simply had to tweet why they love the restaurant with the hashtag #ILoveCrooked.

“You got to see the support for the restaurant plus the people were kind of advertising,” Harrison said.

Submissions for the contest poured in, and Harrison eventually announced that Twitter user Bianca was the winner of the gift card. She tweeted that she took a picture of her significant other outside of Crooked Crust on their date. Two years later, they’re still a couple and have a family together.

The trouble for Harrison began when Bianca went to go pick up her gift card. Harrison forgot to text a coworker that the gift card was in an envelope in the back, so when Bianca showed up, the person working the counter told her he didn’t know what she was talking about. A few minutes later, Harrison received a call from his general manager who thought Harrison promised a random gift card with no money to a customer. Harrison told him he still had the receipt for the gift card and explained what he had done, including the account and the giveaway. His general manager told him to delete the account and clock what seemed like his last day of work. Harrison made a video saying goodbye to the account, but he didn’t completely delete it.

Ten minutes and a few unfollows later, his manager called to say that the vice president of Crooked Crust wanted to talk to Harrison about coming on as a franchise social media representative for the Denton branch. The vice president had been following both the Crooked Crust Denton account and his personal account for quite some time and was impressed with what he was doing.

“The way I went about it was honestly was not the best method I would say looking back,” Harrison said. “But I saw a gap that needed to be filled, and I decided to fill it. I just decided to take some initiative and it paid off.”

Featured image: Azriel Harrison, Crooked Crust social media intern and communications major at UNT, has only been with the pizza joint for two months but has contributed to a spike in their Twitter engagement. “It’s more so humanized the shop since I’ve been on,” Harrison said about the shop’s social media interaction with customers. Photo by Kara Dry

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Plamedie Ifasso

Plamedie Ifasso

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