DC Chefs Provide a Fresh Recipe For a Social Media Feast
This year the Social Media Club chapter for DC decided to kick it up a notch (oh yeah, I went there) by featuring how chefs go social. During the January event we heard from the Social Media Manager of Marcel’s and Brasserie Beck, Polly Wiedmaier (@MarcelsBeckDC); Chef Tony Marciante of Chef Tony’s in Bethesda (@cheftony); the director of marketing for Think Food Group, Jonathan Goldfus (@thinkfoodgroup); and was moderated by Bitches Who Brunch’s Becca Clara Love (@BeccaClaraLove).
When it comes to Washington DC and food, social media is not generally the first thing you think of unless perhaps it has to do with food trucks; however, our panelists proved that the mobile food providers are not the only ones who know how to wield a tweet or build engagement on Facebook.
A Recipe For Success
The panelists have a simple answer when it comes to strategy and planning for success: Share your personality. Though Wiedmaier manages a team they have a handbook with guidelines, but she mentioned that there is no need to rule with an iron fist. Similar, Goldfus’ team is encouraged to embrace the various social media outlets and not to water down the content. Tony on the other hand doesn’t have a playbook. He throws in a dash of photos here, a sprig of kitchen stories there, and a base of engagement even at 2 in the morning.
— Kevin Olivieri (@iamko3) January 19, 2012
Social Media Is Not Free
Overall our panelists believed Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to be the best places to reach their customers and monitor reviews, and of course Yelp for reviews. “We use Posterius, Facebook, and Twitter,” said Chef Tony. “There are different audiences on different platforms.” Both Tony and Goldfus also use YouTube for video content, as well as a few other services, but Weidmaier is just sticking to Twitter and Facebook.
Sure you can create an account on any number of social media sites and it won’t cost you a penny, but when it comes to managing branded feeds, coaching team members, and spending time creating content those hours equate to a certain amount of value. “I’m not a fan of jumping into the latest thing. It might technically be free, but is it worth your time and energy,” said Goldfus.
— Sarah Oyungu (@mizdiva) January 19, 2012
Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk
You can’t make everyone happy, but if a customer is complaining about your food on Twitter it’s easy to reach out to them. All of our panelists made a point to say that even if they get negative comments and reviews that it just opens an opportunity to turn it around. Chef Tony said it’s difficult to read, but explained how a blog wrote about his restaurant and they had a bad experience, which later opened a path of communication that turned that blog author into a regular and happy customer. Goldfus’ approach is a bit more formal as he has standard messaging provided to their restaurants general managers. Wiedmaier generally prefers to direct message people on Twitter, but obviously this is not always possible unless the person follows the account.
Totally different perspective on negative tweets from our #smcdc foodie panel- they look at it as an opportunity to convert bad to good
— Tyler Gray (@tylergray) January 19, 2012
(Saran) Wrapping Things Up
We would like to give a huge thank you to Buffalo Billiards (@buffalobilldc) for providing us a space for the evening. Stay tuned to our site and social feeds on the latest news and future events, and our newest addition on Google+. Our February event, I’m Just Not That into Your Profile, will be on February 15. Lastly I would like to give a warm welcome to a new addition to our digital team, Aris Kyriakopoulos (@DistrictOfAris). See you all next month!