After twenty years as a chef and strategic brand consultant, I launched a social media/networking service this summer. I am conducting a brief survey:

1. Is your organization using social media/networking?
2. Is the human resource cost prohibitive?

Thanks!
Jeffrey Kingman
Twitter Me
Chalkboarder.com

Tags: facebook, linkedin, media, networking, social, twitter

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Yes Jeffrey thats totally cool with me.
Brett, thank you! Jeffrey
yes that would be totally cool
The Washington Restaurant Association (wra.org) just launched their new SM website DineNW.com ( http://dinenw.com/ ) and have are setting the pace for their membership by demonstrating their use of SM.
Paul
Thanks Paul!

I think, like you and Michael do, that SM is going to sweep over this industry (and other industries) roughly this year. That's great to hear that Washington State is jumping out in front!

Jeffrey
Hi Jeff,

I'm 4 weeks new into my current position. I know that we have some social media accounts (a blog, a twitter account, etc...) but these services aren't currently being used due to time constraints. I agree with the comments below. It can be relatively inexpensive. It just requires time and a desire to interact professionally with others. I hope this helps. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Michelle,

Congratulations on your new position!

That's been part of my assessment of the hesitancy for such a social industry as ours to fully embrace SM - time. Another part is not yet understanding the medium. I founded Chalkboarder.com specifically for organizations and operations in all industries to be able to handle the human resource cost of conducting SM.

Would love to engage in dialogue on any industry topic! I am passionate about SM, sustainability and anything gastronomic.

Blog

Jeffrey
Hello!
I am using facebook with tremendous results!
Patti xo
Earthy Delights
Patti,

What techniques in FB are you using to connect? Do you have a link to your profile?

Best,
Jeffrey
Oh mine, Brett , Jeff and everyone. Since last light this discussion has moved to another level. That is great. Let us go back to the basics. What is missing is not that many restaurant owners do not know what to put out there, at least I train our clients about that. What is missing is the time needed to add relevant information on a consistent basis. When you ask many SM users right now, many think that SM is a quick fix with no long term benefit like traditional media. Wrong. It takes time and demand consistency. I am presently writing a short article for a major magazine on the 5 important keys every restaurant owner must know before delving into social media marketing.

Jeffrey, let us look at each restaurant with an integrated marketing strategy focus that actually deliver. The impression out there is let me try SM for one month and see what happens. Some educating is needed.

Ola
Mobile Dialog
Http://www.m-dialog.com
Twitter: @olaayeni
Facebook.com/olaayeni
Linkedin.com/olaayeni
Ola,

I totally agree. The two questions posed by my clients are centered on providing the human resource to conduct a sustained SM campaign as part of the operator's tool-bucket and what content they should generate.

The national study I published this morning gives several examples of content. Here's the link: 10% of USA Restaurants Using Social Media

Most operators assume that publishing their daily special or cocktail is all they need to do. That assumption is simply not sustainable in today's markets. Customers want to be engaged. They see "through" these type of messages and the messages don't connect. Why would your customers desire to share the message with anyone else?

Creating compelling content that customers want to share is KEY to social media.

For example, last night Chalkboarder.com, on a whim, tweeted a dinner being prepared at the James Beard House in NYC, by a team of Chefs from the Berkshires. Food bloggers around the country and existing fans/customers of the Chef's restaurants, fans of the James Beard House and lovers of Joseph Carr Wine (Calistoga CA) were all drawn into the event micro-blogging. We have a self-critique of our coverage of this event here: Tweeting a Dinner at the James Beard House

In another great example, Myers+Chang's in Boston experienced a total power failure by a power company crew working outside. They quickly turned to social media as a way to get the word out that they were still open, albeit on a limited basis, and that as soon as power was restored, they would social-media message again. Weeks later, they posted a social media message about getting "willies" when they see a power company truck outside the restaurant. That message generated a huge response from their customer base. In another example from Myers+Chang's - they posted a message of how their Sous Chef gave up box tickets to a sporting game to cover another employee's absence: the response from their followers upped their business volume that day.

Operators cannot venture into Social Media without understanding how the tool works. That would be like putting a dishwasher into the Head Chef role with no training. Operators need to understand the "best practices", LISTEN to the networks BEFORE engaging and make a commitment to an integrated marketing strategy that incorporates Social Media as a component.

Jeffrey Kingman
President
Chalkboarder.com
Twitter: @JeffreyJKingman
Jeffrey can you answer this question for me?

what SM in your research has driven the most traffic to restaurants ?

Thanks
Brett

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