A Chef's Perspective: A new tool: social media
Social media is a powerful sales and marketing tool. Some of you are already leveraging it to increase sales by building relationships. But many are still figuring out what these tools are and how to use them.
I can hear the grumbling now … “This stuff is a fad that won’t last, and I don’t want to invest time and money for something that won’t be around tomorrow.” Even if it won’t be around tomorrow, the investment amounts to what’s in the “change jar” on your dresser, while the potential ROI, by expanding your customer base of tech-savvy chefs who will be purchasing meat for years to come, can be exponential.
Jamie Turner, chief content officer of the 60 Second Marketer, summed up a host of social media tools in his article “Top Social Media Tools, Tips and Techniques” by using fun hospitality analogies:
MySpace: Think of MySpace as a social media tool that’s a little like a music festival. There is a lot of energy and passion, but, unfortunately, a lot of noise. That said, it can be great if you are targeting the youth market.
Twitter: Twitter is more like a cocktail party with many conversations occurring, and you can move from one discussion to another.
Facebook: Facebook is like a pub. It’s a great place to casually meet people and engage in relaxed, off-the-record conversations with those visiting the same place.
LinkedIn: Think of LinkedIn as a trade show. It’s a little more professional than Facebook, so you’ll want to behave accordingly.
- Share recipes for value-added marinades and rubs, or tips on using trim and low-cost cuts in profitable ways.
- Post culinary jokes or thought provoking quotes – just make sure they can be read in 30 seconds or less.
- Trumpet a new or existing relationship with a local chef, especially one with acclaim. It’s good for the chef’s business and it’s good for yours.
- Allow chefs to place tomorrow’s order on Facebook so they can be on a barstool at midnight instead of in a desk chair.
- Encourage chefs to share their own tips and innovations through your social media account, either by posting to your Facebook “wall” or by replying directly to your Twitter account. Chefs love to brag and to learn from each other.
- Solicit candid feedback on your services, selection and pricing.
- Feature price specials on cuts of meat you need to move and entice orders with a deadline for the promotional pricing.
- Remind chefs of upcoming deadlines for placing holiday or seasonal orders.
- Promote versatile cuts that can be served profitably in different formats at lunch and dinner.
- And most importantly, use social media tools as a way to make friends because friends like doing business with friends. It’s human nature in the digital age!
So whether you’re a skeptic or among the converted, start using at least one of the new social media tools today, because we’re on the frontier of a new way of doing business.
Follow me on Twitter by going to http://twitter.com/CulinaryCraft, or become my Facebook friend at http://bit.ly/70NeuH. And as always, let me know your thoughts, questions and topics for future articles. Andrew@CulinaryCraft.com