It’s Not About You

The basic principles of Social Media are centered around sharing content and building engaged online communities.

How do you do that?

About twice a month I get lunch or dinner with Matt Bodnar, restauranteur and partner at Fresh Hospitality. We discuss all things Social Media and specifically how it affects the restaurant industry. He recently attended the 2012 National Restaurant Association Conference in Chicago where he participated on a panel, “Engage & Integrate: Social Media Tactics For Restaurants.” Read more.

The idea of only using Twitter and Facebook as a means of self promotion won’t build a community. Think about your friendships. Are you friends with many people that are 100% ONLY about themselves? The same rules apply in the online world as well. One way to build an engaged online community is by recognizing others. Matt Bodnar was quoted on this basic rule of social media by saying, “If you promote other people who are in your niche or in your area on social media without asking for anything in return … you start forming relationships where people eventually start sharing your story.”

Case and point: Taziki’s in Green Hills is a Mediterranean style restaurant, offering very healthy and fresh food options. It’s the ideal place where people who are nutrition conscience will frequent. Taziki’s did an excellent job of displaying the twitter accounts of other local businesses that share a common interest with them – the customers health.

Taziki’s is a new location in the Green Hills area of Nashville, TN and creating a customer buzz long after your initial opening can be difficult if you only make it about yourself. When consumers try a new restaurant for the first time, there is still as sense of belonging and association that needs to be met. Am I going to find healthy options? Am I dressed for the atmosphere? Will this fit in my diet and budget? By recognizing business that share a common interest with the Taziki’s brand, customers feel confident about their decision to dine with them. When you can create a situation where the customer feels a sense of belonging and confidence in their dining decision before they even get to the door, you’re doing something right.

So as you manage your Facebook and Twitter Pages, remember to recognize other businesses that contribute to your success – your online community will flourish because of it.

To follow some of the owners and partners of Fresh Hospitality and Taziki’s on Twitter: @MattBodnar @TheChaseGilbert @RealAndrewSohr