Is social marketing the way forward?

Targeting a sophisticated audience

Restaurants, Comment

It is clear that social marketing, ie: utilizing the likes of Facebook and Twitter to communicate with potential and existing customers can be a very useful part of a wider marketing strategy for F&B outlets.

So should the industry be looking towards 'Tweeting'  from the rooftops about its promotions or adding Facebook friends without appearing to be selling? Is being too ‘chatty’ just too frightening for corporate business?

Those involved in the recent Caterer discussion on the topic included, Stephanie Aboujaoude, director of marketing and communications, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, Katie Harvey, communications manager, Movenpick Hotel, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, Dagmar Lyons, executive assistant manager, food and beverage, The Palace, The Old Town Dubai and Laurent Noury, general manager of City Centre Hotel and Residence Dubai, Pullman.

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There were some interesting points made, not least that independents can utilise social marketing concepts more effectively because they are relatively free of corporate constraints?

Another point was that marketing departments for big outlets really need to dedicate a member of staff to look after the social marketing end of things, if the medium in all its formats is to be fully exploited.

One thing clearly emerged from the discussion: positive interaction with the customer remains king and that all routes to this should be fully explored.

As for social marketing, the industry professionals around the table agreed that it is a nettle that needs to be grasped, but carefully and with the consistency to unlock the full potential.

A feature on the roundtable discussion will be published in the October issue of Caterer Middle East.

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