I have a hard time wrapping my head around all the ways we can use social media to interact with hospitality customers. Wiley Cerilli, CEO of SinglePlatform, published an article, "Social Media Marketing: 5 Restaurants That Get It", which actually provided concrete examples of the social media methods that the featured restaurants successfully used to connect with their customers, including:
- Posting events, recipes and interesting stories
- Running specials for fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter
- Effectively using contests to increase customer following and email campaign list
- Creating ways to strategically engage with customers, through how-to cooking classes, creating drinks, etc.
- Go beyond Groupon efforts and LivingSocial to really invest in building relationships with customers by offering a free item to customers who do what you ask - book a reservation, subscribe to your page, follow you.
I found the article to be helpful in thinking about meaningful ways to engage the customers that are not limited to strictly promotional efforts. The article offered ideas that engage the customer to interact in some way.
How are you engaging with your customers? How difficult is it to keep up your social media outlets? What has been successful for your operation?
Kris Hawk is the business development leader for corporate hospitality at Westfield Insurance. She develops and implements marketing plans for Westfield Country Club, Blair Conference Center, corporate dining and Westfield Inn. Her day-to-day operational responsibilities include planning and management for corporate dining at the headquarters in Westfield Center, as well as event planning, audio-visual services and training. She has worked at Westfield for seven years, and has expertise in event planning and operations management. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Toledo in 1986. Kris loves food, people and cooking.