For a beginner, this could sound intimidating, but Hite recommends
checking out websites that will allow you to aggregate your
social sites with one dashboard to manage everything for free—
Netvibes.com and Hootsuite.com, for example.
If she could suggest only one social media site for simplicity,
Kathleen Wood, founder/chief catalyst of Chicago-based Kathleen
Wood Partners LLC, would recommend Twitter. She helps
companies grow their business through strategic planning, including
social media. “Twitter, by far, has the least moving pieces, but equal
opportunity with the greatest amount of reach,” she says.
For this or any other social media site, she recommends learning
step-by-step details on the website mashable.com.
If Jaime Oikle, owner of RestaurantWebGuy.com and
RunningRestaurants.com, could recommend only one site, he
would suggest Facebook, as more small businesses (70%) use
it than any other site and it has the most U.S. users overall at
155+ million, versus Twitter’s 27 million U.S. users.
When Bradley, Ill.-based Monical’s Pizza decided in
September 2009 to allocate more human resources to social
media, the 60-plus-unit pizza chain decided to jump in and
get its feet wet with Facebook and Twitter. “We saw the
biggest interaction on Facebook,” says Lisa Chidichimo,
marketing technology coordinator.
She makes sure to post something daily, which could be a one-day
special offer or a comment or question about current or local events.
She also makes sure to respond to comments that site visitors make.
In October, Monical’s had nearly 71,000 “likes” on its Facebook
page, and through the Facebook Insights tool, Chidichimo is able to
measure the average percentage of those who communicate monthly
with the restaurant on Facebook at 61%. For a return-on-investment
measurement, she notes that 1% of the restaurant’s revenue year-to-date is tied to one-day specials offered via social media.
Chidichimo attributes the success to having conversations with
guests on Monical’s Facebook page, rather than just talking at
them. “We’re having conversations you’d have with personal
friends on your wall,” she says.
re-imagine the goal
If you’ve determined to establish or have already established
your professional self or your restaurant online, back up
Colleagues and experts offer their best tips for taking your social
media expertise up a notch.
Lisa Chidichimo, marketing technology coordinator, Monical’s
Pizza, Bradley, Ill.
Make entertaining You Tube videos. The percent of those using
You Tube to watch ads to be entertained is growing. You don’t
have to expend an extreme amount of money designing a
commercial. Just have something fun and playful on You Tube.
Amanda Hite, founder/CEO, Talent Revolution Inc.,
Get out in the community and be the “mayor,” finding
out what people care about, and then support your offline
Nick Sarillo, owner, Nick’s Pizza & Pub, Crystal Lake, Ill.
Do you lack time to keep up with tweets and other messages?
Find an interested employee to take on the task.
Joe Sorge, founder/president, Hospitality Democracy, which
owns AJ Bombers, Milwaukee
Set up a Google Reader account to troll social media sites
for who is talking about you and what they are saying. Start
by reading this article: www.chrisbrogan.com/grow-bigger-
Kathleen Wood, founder/chief catalyst, Kathleen Wood
Partners LLC, Chicago
Don’t quit if you don’t have many followers after a few months.
Keep following others and joining in on conversations and
you’ll be amazed at the network you eventually build.
and evaluate your goal. Remember, it’s social media, not
Monical’s hired Hite to coach the company on social media, and
coming from a traditional marketing background, Chidichimo’s
greatest learning was that Facebook is not supposed to be an
advertising billboard, but a platform to communicate with guests.
“It’s not just to give out information,” she says.
Hite notes that the biggest mistake companies make with Facebook
is starting out by only offering promotions. “It’s all about me-me-me-me. You talk to yourself,” she says. “People get on social media