Imagine a crowd of antsy, tech-hungry customers pouring into your restaurant. Imagine check-ins happening one right after another, tweets bouncing around like ping pong balls, and texts being volleyed back and forth mercilessly. This crowd is starved for human affection, interaction, and are just happy to see the light of day...

Okay, hold on, take a deep breath. Fear not -- Tweetups are your friend.

I laughed at this definition posted on Urban Dictionary describing a Tweetup: "A gathering of nerds attempting social contact, likely for the first time. Usually disintegrates into everyone running to the nearest computer to type to one another." Or put another in a more accurate description - a Tweetup is simply a real-life meeting of people, organized through Twitter.

The bottom line is that as a restaurant owner, Tweetups are a tremendous opportunity!

While you don't want to frantically run around begging people to host a Tweetup at your venue (or maybe you do), be sure to let people know that it's a welcome possibility. You could even put a little sign or graphic on your website that says "We Are Tweetup Friendly". It's all about welcoming your customers and letting them know you are committed to them.

Once a Tweetup is scheduled, here are a few helpful tips:

- Get The Vital information: Be sure to get an approximate number of guests for the Tweetup so you can adjust accordingly. As with an guesstimate, still be prepared for more or fewer people. Also be sure to discuss what accommodations you can provide to make their Tweetup more successful. It's all about hospitality, right?

- Remember Who They Are: People who come to Tweetups are typically the cream of the crop. They are the evangelists who spread the word. They should leave the event singing your praises. What a way to build a positive reputation amongst those in your own community!

- Prepare Your Staff: Be sure to describe to everyone on staff what a Tweetup is and what the group is there for. This is just another way to educate and engage your staff in your overall social strategy.

- Don't Be Scared: As with any group of people, yeah, there will be some quirky ones present (I'm guilty as charged). But Tweetups are a fun, light-hearted way to show off the best of your restaurant and staff.

When in doubt, be welcoming. There's nothing to fear with Tweetups...they are certainly here to stay!

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Tags: Tweetup, Twitter, guests, hospitality, media, social, tips

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Comment by Josh Hersh on September 1, 2010 at 7:02am
haha I LOVE it! There's def no shortage of interesting people that you could have for a Tweetup!

Operator
Comment by Ty Sullivan on September 1, 2010 at 6:51am
LOL! I have had a TweetUp at one of our locations and they were there religiously until they eventually moved on to mix it up a bit. They were a Harry Potter book club and were very active about chatting up our food on Twitter.
Good times! Now if I could only get the Trekkers and Twilighters!

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