When Clinton Cooper moved to Mumbai in 2010,he attended a cigar clubs gatherings held on a Thursday every month. What he found slightly irksome during these meetings populated by expatriates was that hardly anyone was smoking cigars. The visitors were,instead,concentrating on talking business and exchanging cards. Passionate about cigars and single malts,the chef from New Zealand decided to host a small group of co-workers at his Worli flat.
A whole year passed until he saw that gourmet consultant and blogger Nikhil Merchant had just tweeted about opening a bottle of scotch. Ill bet a cigar would go well with that, he tweeted to Merchant. Conversations in 140 characters or less were thus exchanged as others too joined in. This resulted in Cooper inviting his new Twitter buddies to the next cigar night at his home. Meeting people in Mumbai is very different compared to other parts of the world where you can easily make conversation with people in clubs and bars, he says.
The social scene can be a little cliquish. Twitter has helped me get in touch with a lot of like-minded people,and many of them are now key members of cigar nights, he adds. The group,calling itself Cigar Aficionados,now has 22 members their acquaintance grew through tweets.
This is not the only Twitter-driven community in the city. Diageo Reserves brand ambassador,Tim Judge has started the #BombayCocktailClub in which the group meets for cocktail demos and discusses unusual mixes. Travel photographer and wine connoisseur,Aneesh Bhasin,has initiated #WineWednesdays where each member brings along a bottle of wine and participates in a blind tasting session.
Inspired by the scope of the medium,the once Facebook-driven Pet Pujaris,a group of foodies,has also hopped on to the Twitter wagon to attract new members.
According to Semiocast,a social media monitoring tool,India is the sixth highest user of Twitter. Many brands are recognising this and also creating unique TweetUp a real-life meeting organised on Twitter to cater to their target audience.
Twitter more open and up-to-date than other social networks is perhaps most effective when it comes to generating interest. It helps that guests at these events share their experiences,post photos and tag their friends on their timelines.
Last October,The Dewarists gave their Twittter fans the unique opportunity to interact with British artist Imogen Heap at Mumbai-based resto-bar Zenzi,while she was in India to perform at NH7 Weekender,Pune. More recently,the Pumas #FAAS TweetUp called on Twitter users that they considered influential,and asked them to nominate followers from their lists to put on the guest list.
However,the biggest buzz at the moment is around the Twitter-driven property created by United Breweries #KFBeerUp which has so far been held in Mumbai,Pune,Delhi and Chennai. The invites are posted on Kingfishers Twitter handle through a service called Twitvite,a few days before the event. All that a user needs to do is to click on it and RSVP to feature on the guest list. The #KFBeerUp is a great way to enjoy a brand experience without subjecting guests to a marketing pitch, says Arjun S Ravi,co-founder of NH7. It was NH7 who brought in bands to perform and a stand-up comedian to host these events. Theres no compulsion for people to tweet from the event. But most people end up tweeting anyway, he adds.