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A Letter to Restaurants on Social Media

by Jennifer Stewart | Jun 24, 2011 | Opinions

If you own a restaurant or food service business, you are often told that you absolutely have to be on Facebook and Twitter in order to market yourself. While I do believe that social media can be a big boost to a client’s business, it really only works if it’s done well. And wow is it hard to find someone doing it well! So in effort to coach and plead to those restaurants that I follow or fan, I have written the following letter.

Dear Restaurant or Food Service Business Owner,

I know you’re on Facebook or Twitter because you have been told that you must have your own account in order to exist. I only wish that the person telling you this also told you what to do with it. Since you are proving yourself clueless in the ways of social media, I, your customer, will tell you what I want to read.

First of all, if I am reading something you posted, it is because I am a fan of your page or are following your tweets. In other words, I have already shown my allegiance and you no longer have to win me over. Talk to me like a friend because I want to be your friend. Tell me what is on special, what new flavors you have today, if you are busy tonight. I want to know.

And just like a friend, I’d like to be a little more personal. I didn’t subscribe to a feed of your billboard or newspaper advertisements. There’s a person typing your messages, so I would like you to act like a human being. Tell me about the event going on across the street. Tell me about how happy you are to see melting snow. My interest in your business will only go so far. Make me interested in you.

Oh, and when I talk to you, please respond. I don’t like one-sided conversations any more than you do. And if you’re too busy to respond to me because you own the business and are running the show, I’d be happy to talk to the friendly waiter or funny cook. You’re not the only one that gets to talk to customers, you know.

One last thing – I may be your fan, but I’m not all yours. I can be a fan of three pizzerias and two ice cream parlors. Don’t get jealous. I’m advertising to my friends that I like you and just remember, peer recommendations are the best advertising you can get.

Thanks for listening,
Hungry Girl

Jennifer Stewart is the Office Manager and wanna-be organizational psychologist at Modern Species. For more posts from her, click here.

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I like a good story well told. That is the reason I am sometimes forced to tell them myself.- Mark Twain