FohBoh is a powerful social media tool. If you give it time and put in some steady effort, it will begin to accelerate your networking efforts, establish your voice as a social media participant, and expand your knowledge of the restaurant industry. By engaging with the community, planting seeds, nurturing your connections, and contributing content, you will begin to see results. It's all about committing yourself to a routine. We've introduced a series of movements or actions you can take in under five minutes to attract other members to your profile. Once you begin to establish connections and a voice on FohBoh, other members will engage with you and give you valuable feedback on whatever content you share. Whatever you do, don't just sign up for FohBoh and expect the action to come to you. In order to extract the greatest value from social networking, you have to actually put in some sweat equity. So, roll up your sleeves and tighten your belt. It's time to demonstrate a few FohBoh moves.
Minute 1: Check Your Profile This is your hub, your center of gravity on FohBoh. Make sure that it reflects who you are and why you're here. Include an image of yourself, or your business logo. Be sure to include links to your various online accounts, and information about your role in this industry. Check your wall to see if anyone's left a comment. Basically, take a couple minutes to straighten your tie before you head out into the community. Example: Within minutes of joining FohBoh, Andrew Baber was connected to Luc Chamberland. A community member made an introduction based on their shared business interests and location. Keep an eye out for members who you think would make a good match. You will score big points with the community if you are able to make an introduction that leads to further business or referrals.
Minute 2: Observe the Community This is the fun part. Glance at the activity feed, look for blog posts, discussion topics, or group activity that interest you. There will almost always be something, especially if a certain topic has gone viral on the community. Example: Chef Paul Green recently wrote a blog post called Gloves VS. Bare Hands that sparked a lively discussion about hand-washing protocol. There were members representing all areas of the restaurant responding to his post, providing a well-balanced thread with plenty of great ideas.
Minute 3: Leave A Comment In many cases, someone will publish a blog on FohBoh that is well-written and thoughtful. However, it's the comments left by other members that really begin to engage the community on a deeper level. This is where the magic of social media really takes wing, when a number of members with various backgrounds and levels of experience simultaneously focus their individual perspectives on a particular post, creating a thread of commentary that is often more insightful and useful than the original post. Example: Zachary Adam Cohen has contributed a number of posts recently, all relating to his experiences as a social media consultant in NYC. He is a prolific writer, with thousands of Twitter followers and a huge Facebook network, as well. Whenever he posts on FohBoh, the response is fantastic, stirring the pot and provoking thoughtful conversation.
Minute 4: Connect With Someone Look through the new members and pick out a couple that interest you. Welcome them to the community, and offer to make and introduction on their behalf. Invite people to join a group or comment on your blog posts. Be social! Do whatever feels natural, but for heaven's sake, don't just sit there waiting for people to come to you. It doesn't work that way. Example: Paul Paz is a FohBoh veteran. He makes a point of personally introducing himself to new members, and comments on people's profile pages and blog posts. If this were a party, Paul would be the guy working the room, shaking as many hands as possible, engaging people and making them feel welcome.
Minute 5: Write Something The best way to position yourself as a thought leader on FohBoh is to publish a blog post. Most serious social media users are creating content and syndicating it all over the Web. If you are new to this realm, do not fret. Writing can be a very intimidating process, however, the sooner you master the art of the written word, the better your experience on social networking sites will be. Start small. Be clear. Come from the heart. Example: Marcus Guiliano is a new member and a prolific blogger and vlogger, as well. He has submitted a number of blogs that speak directly to his interest in ecologically sustainable restaurant operations and healthy, organic cuisine. His posts are focused on his area of expertise, and within just a few short weeks on FohBoh, he is already demonstrating that he is a leader and expert in his field.