Earlier this week, we were on stage at the FoodService Australia 2012 show talking about how food businesses can capitalise on the power of social media.
The panel session was MC’d by Stewart of Whiteworks and the panel of industry experts consisted of Jennifer (representing The Bamboo Garden), Carmel from La Casa Ristorante (one of our fave eats!), and Jeremy from GoHospitality.com.au.
Here are some quick tips we discussed which you can instantly use:
- Don’t join Twitter or Facebook for the sake of being on it
Add a profile photo, create an interesting bio, start listening and engaging.
- Use social media to promote your business even before it launches
Take people on the journey with you so you can build an emotional/personal connection.
- Don’t just sell
Be human, tell a story, give behind-the-scenes access.
- Let your customers know you are online
Offline integration is important as your existing customers may not know about your online marketing initiatives (it’s also an easy way to start growing your following). Give them a reason to connect with your social media accounts and encourage them to leave feedback/reviews online.
- Getting on social media doesn’t have to be time consuming
Take advantage of the plethora of tools available to help manage your social media accounts – e.g. Hootsuite. Use the ‘search’ function in Twitter to find prospective customer groups or relevant conversations you can tap into; set up Google Alerts so you don’t ever miss anything that’s said about your business; smart phones (and apps such as Tweetdeck or Echofon) make posting status updates a seamless process.
- Make sure people can see what is being said about you
Re-tweet customer feedback, use hashtags and geotags, and be descriptive. You can also maximise your efforts by cross-pollinating other platforms.
Social media requires patience, insight and a clear understanding of your business and marketing goals and your audience. If your social media program isn’t yet in the right gear or if you don’t have the internal resources available, talk to us about defining your social media strategy, training or setting up your dedicated social media team. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 1300 669 832 to schedule a friendly chat.