Last month I was interviewed by MonkeyDish for an upcoming issue of Restaurant Business that focused on how restaurants use social media. The issue came out today and I am proud to say that two of my tips made it to their list of “Winning Strategies” for social media. I have copied the text below from the article written by Amanda C. Kooser and Amanda M. Westbrooks:
20. Allow negativity
While social media is a great venue for fans to express their love for a brand, it can also be a venue for frustrated customers to speak out in a very public way. The temptation might be to delete the feedback or respond in kind, but Elaine Mesker-Garcia, social media manager with Luby’s Fuddruckers Restaurants, cautions against that sort of reaction. “Don’t take things personally. Allow some negativity. You need to respond as kindly as possible to everyone,” she says, “Let them voice their opinion and respond to them. We’ve done a lot of service recovery that way. If they have a reasonable complaint, I want to show people we’re taking care of it.”
42. Get visual
Visual social media sites Pinterest and Instagram are full of buzz, but many restaurants have yet to explore their potential. Fuddruckers, however, has jumped right in with both services. “I always like to be an early adopter,” says social media manager Mesker-Garcia. “The Fuddruckers brand is very visual. Our fans love to post pictures of our burgers and themselves eating. I thought it would be a great way to engage with them.” Fuddruckers’ biggest Pinterest board is full of fan photos culled from pictures posted on Twitter and Instagram. Mesker-Garcia is aiming to post more of Fuddruckers’ own photos to Pinterest. Her top tip is to make sure your restaurant’s photos have your logo or some other branding. That way, when photos are repinned around Pinterest, the origin is still obvious. Over on Instagram, Mesker-Garcia likes to bring a personal touch to the service. “I search for the Fuddruckers hashtag on Instagram and I ‘like’ their pictures and leave them a comment and engage them that way,” she says.
I recommend reading the article in its entirety. There are some very good strategy tips listed, even if your business is not a restaurant!