Social media strategy: Chefs and restaurants
Martin Kubler urges hotels to get all departments on social media
To be truly social, you need to get all departments involved in your social media strategy
In conversations with fellow industry professionals, I often get asked questions like: “How do I get my hotel’s social media platforms more engaged?” My answer is usually the same: You get engagement by being social and involving all your property’s departments in your social media efforts.
GMs usually don’t have difficulties understanding how sales and marketing or front office can contribute to social media engagement, but other departments seem to be trickier. What about engineering or housekeeping, for example? This prompted me to think about a series of articles about the “social” hotel and its departments. We start off in the heart of the house: the kitchen.
Today’s social chefs don’t just own their whites and knifes, but increasingly, also Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Take Andreas Mensch, the executive chef of the Pullman Deira City Centre.
Sure, you can find him in the hotel’s kitchen and restaurants, but you’ll also find him at www.facebook.com/ChefAndreasMensch, sharing recipes, pictures, and videos of his work. It’s a win-win for all sides: Chef gets to showcase his work, the hotel gets to pick up engaging content for its own Facebook page, and the hotel’s fans get great looking, up-to-date content they’re happy to share.
Don’t like Facebook? Why not get your chef to create a portfolio of his work on Crevado (https://crevado.com/) or Dunked (http://dunked.com/). Both are easy to use platforms and provide stylish environments for culinary artists. They’re also easily integrated with your LinkedIn company profile, chef’s personal LinkedIn profile, or your hotel’s Facebook page.
Did you know that food photography and recipes are amongst the most popular content on Pinterest? Your hotel should have a “foodie board” on Pinterest like Bateaux Dubai (http://pinterest.com/JAresorts/bateaux-dubai/) or a board full of recipes like the Holiday Inn Al Barsha (http://pinterest.com/hialbarsha/whats-cooking/).
Instagram is another worthwhile platform to engage on. This social photo sharing app forces hotels to involve their employees in the process as it is only available as a mobile app and does not offer a web-based dashboard, which can be administrated centrally.
Make sure your chef has a smartphone with a good camera and get him or her onto Instagram. For inspiration, search Instagram for “Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach”, “Okku Dubai”, or “Wild Peeta”. Just don’t forget to use #hashtags to make it easier for other users to find your photos.
Make the chef a film star
Naturally, you could also turn to YouTube to showcase your Chef’s creativity with “on the fly”-type videos shot quickly with a smartphone or with more professionally produced videos, If you don’t want to spend a lot of money getting a professional video shot — ask your suppliers for help!
I've also mentioned Vine, Twitter’s (not so) new video app, before, and if you’re looking to boost the visibility of your daily specials via Twitter, it only takes a few minutes to shoot and post a Vine video.
Let’s not forget, though, that social media is a two-way street. Why not ask your followers to share their favourite recipes with you via Facebook or Pinterest? You could pick one you like and get your chef to cook it and invite the contributor of the winning suggestion for dinner.
Else, why not check out Foodspotting (http://www.foodspotting.com/) and “spot” your chef’s best dishes. Food is an easy subject to engage people with, because many of us are passionate about all things food-related and love to share our latest food adventures with our friends.
Whatever you do: Keep it social!
About the Author:
Martin Kubler is owner, director and chief cook and bottle washer of Iconsulthotels FZE, an ultra-boutique hospitality consultancy in Dubai.