I think the problem is social media is way too easy to use and there is no visible cost to doing it so people don’t think it through like they would other marketing.
For example, no restaurant owner would pay to run an advertisement in the newspaper or on the radio that made a dumb joke, insulted customers, discussed religious views or took a political position. But doing it on Facebook or Twitter is so fast, easy and free that the normal thinking that goes into marketing doesn’t seem to apply.
Ah, but that’s where you are wrong. Why did you create a Facebook page or Twitter account for your restaurant in the first place? Because you had so much free time? No! Because you wanted to extend your marketing reach and bring new business in to your location. So why would you then turn around and use it to do things that will have the exact opposite effect? It doesn’t make any sense.
The best way to prevent this, if that seems like it could be a problem for you, is to make sure at least two people read any message before it gets posted and that you wait at least 30 minutes between writing and posting. That should help filter anything a single, hot headed person may be tempted to post in a short fit of anger or stupidity. Or just turn up the old common sense meter a notch or two!
Religion…. The rules of proper Facebook postings are similar to the rules of the dinner table. No religion! No politics! Religion is held near and dear to people’s heart and you definitely want to avoid any talk of the divine in order to not alienate customers. This rule applies to positive and negative posts. Just avoid religious comments at all costs. The chances that all of your customers are of one religion or mindset is slim so be careful here. Oh yea people, this includes jokes (see #3).
Politics… Have you ever heard the phrase “Political Hotbed.” Well this could be a great term to describe the tone on Facebook especially around election time. Everyone has an opinion on who would best lead their city, state and country. With that said, politics has no place on a restaurants Facebook Page. I don’t care how loyal you are to Obama, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, or Mitt Romney. Those are YOUR beliefs, and a restaurant should not get involved in government affairs, unless your the White House Kitchen!
Discriminatory Remarks or “Jokes”…. You might think they’re true or funny. You’re friends might think they’re true or funny. Your customers WILL NOT think they’re true or funny! Whatever you do lay off the “Blond Jokes,” “Yo Momma” or “Three people walked into a bar” jokes because they can and WILL offend someone.
Critics and Mean Customers…. Wow! We’ve heard a lot in the last few months about disgruntled chefs, waitstaff, and even restaurateurs heading to Facebook to bash critics and poor customers. Who can forget Stephanie S. in Atlanta who was criticized for not leaving a tip at a local restaurant.
The woman, “Stephanie S.” allegedly didn’t leave her waitress a tip on a $40 tab at Boners BBQ. The restaurant Tweeted “NOT WANTED!” with a link to its Facebook page, where they had posted the woman’s photo, along with a warning to other eateries: “If you see this women [sic] in your restaurant tell her to go out side and play hide an go f*** yourself!
Personal Issues… Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed today? Kids upset you? Spouse irritating you to no end? Well that’s not our problem. Post it on your personal Facebook profile or better yet, tell your shrink. Please don’t tell the world about your personal issues- good or bad. I hate to break it to you, but no one wants to hear it. Sorry.
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