Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Launches Its First Food Truck

With eight destinations, three states and more than 1,000 miles to cover, the first official Four Seasons Food Truck hit the road on September 16, 2013. Known as the FS Taste Truck, the vehicle and its tour provides a new, mobile stage for the brand’s culinary talent to connect with their local communities.

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Photo credit: http://behindthefoodcarts.com

“Food is a passion for us at Four Seasonsand we are always seeking to share that in inspiring and exciting ways, whether it’s through a Michelin-star dining experience or the perfect beer and burger pairing at one of our gastropubs,” says Guy Rigby, vice president of food & beverage in the Americas. “We want to keep our chefs engaged in something that is very relevant and the food truck movement fits the bill.  It’s fun, unexpected and will foster the notion that Four Seasons does things differently.”

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Photo credit: http://behindthefoodcarts.com

From Palo Alto, California to Santa Fe, New Mexico, the truck’s route will cover a total of seven cities with eight Four Seasons hotels and resorts playing host in each location. The participating properties will take over the truck in their respective destinations for one week, executing an exciting, mouth-watering series of events as well as mobile menus inspired by their cities.

From popup parking-lot parties to stops at prominent landmarks and chef competitions that celebrate regional cuisines, the food truck’s journey will provide an entertaining, moveable feast for all to enjoy.  Examples of events include:

  • Prost! – The FS Taste Truck will stop in Santa Barbara’s popular “Funk Zone” rolling up on October 4 to Telegraph Brewing Company for the ultimate Oktoberfest. Guests will taste fare including pork bratwurst, Polish sausage with sauerkraut, beef goulash, chicken schnitzel, steak frites and, for dessert, a German triple-chocolate cake. On tap at Telegraph to complement the menu will be the 1927 Ale, which is brewed exclusively for Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. 
  • Tales of the Chile Pepper – An ingredient-driven “passing of the keys” will take place during the final leg of the journey between Executive Chef Mel Mecinas of Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North and Executive Chef Andrew Cooper of Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe.  The two chefs will serve multiple dishes featuring chile peppers, a staple of Southwestern cuisine, and fans will be invited to vote for their favourite by posting images to Instagram.  The winning dishes will be featured on the menu at Terra Bar at the Santa Fe property for the final week of the tour.

Photo credit: http://behindthefoodcarts.com

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Photo credit: http://behindthefoodcarts.com

In addition to providing an exceptional culinary experience, the FS Taste Truck tour benefits a good cause. Following its completion, a portion of the total proceeds of the tour will be donated to Chefs to End Hunger, a charity that works with hotels, restaurants, and food service operations across the country to redistribute excess prepared food to those in need.

The FS Taste Truck will be rolling into the following cities throughout the fall:

  • September 16-22 – Palo Alto, California
  • September 23-29  – San Francisco, California
  • September 30 – October 6 – Santa Barbara, California
  • October 7-13 – Beverly Hills, California
  • October 14-20 – Los Angeles, California
  • October 21-27 – Westlake Village, California
  • October 28 – November 3 – Scottsdale, Arizona
  • November 4-10 – Santa Fe, New Mexico

My friend Ted Nguyen recently visited the Four Seasons truck in Beverly Hills and wrote a fantastic recap along with interviews of members of the Four Seasons staff.

Follow the tour at Taste by Four Seasons or by searching #FSTasteTruck on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Plus, share Four SeasonsTaste Truck photos on Instagram to receive a special treat at the host Four Seasons hotel. Learn about how to Snap, Share & Savor here.

Does Your Business Have a Good Name Online?

Reputation managementTo keep up with this fast-paced, ever-evolving digital age, your business needs to have a strong online presence. Subsequently, your business also needs to have a strong online presence that’s positive.

Start by discovering what your customers are saying about your products and services online. The success of your business is dependent upon your online reputation, and reputation management is key.

1. Do a Google Search of Your Business Name

Set up Google Alerts, and you’ll be notified every time your business is mentioned online. It’s a real-time informational tool, and you can also visit the site to see how your business is mentioned. You’ll always know when someone says something new about your company online, whether it’s bad or good.

Next, search Google itself. Put the name of your business in quotes when you do the search so you get an exact match. Regularly check forums and complaint websites that mention your name, services or products.

You may even discover your customers love you — then you’re doing something right and should keep doing it, and better. See a negative comment? Rebut it with your own reply and create dialogue around how you can better meet customer needs.

2. Check the Better Business Bureau Website

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) will attempt to contact you when a complaint is received, and you will have 10 days to respond. Most complaints are resolved using the BBB’s free mediation service. Complaints are closed and not made public.

You may find a surprise complaint against your company on the BBB website if your contact information changed and you were unreachable. Contact the BBB directly and explain your side of the story. They may or may not give you a second shot at mediation and remove the complaint.

Otherwise, it’s going to remain on their website indefinitely. The BBB has no legal authority over your business, but it can significantly affect your business’s online reputation.

3. Start Repairing Your Online Reputation

Contact the sites that have poor reviews of your business and ask to have them removed. If the site owner refuses to remove your business name or the negative comments, cover up the evidence.

Create new websites and content that will outrank these sites on the search engines. If you’re not Web-savvy, or if you’re restrained by time, have a professional online reputation management company revamp your online reputation for you.

Complaints will quickly move far enough down in the search engines. Potential customers will only see positive content about your business on the first few pages of search results. Most people don’t look further than that in the search engines.

This article was contributed by Christina Cruz. Christina is freelance writer from Missouri with a background in social media and online marketing.

 

Why the Hospitality Industry Must Be on Google+

The hospitality industry has realized the value of social media marketing, and the majority of companies are active on Facebook or Twitter, or both. However, it appears that many have been more apprehensive or oblivious to getting involved with Google+. While Google+ has not been around as long as Twitter or Facebook, it can still provide tremendous value to businesses in the hospitality industry.

Google+ Business Pages 

Creating a Google+ business page has become essential for a variety of reasons. Although similar to a company Facebook page, Google+ pages offer some unique features not available on Facebook.

Smaller local businesses can take advantage of the cover photo to include a large Google map showing their location. The feature that differentiates Google+ business pages from company Facebook pages is the “Circles” feature. This feature makes it easy to separate different groups of people or pages on Google+ to conveniently and easily organize everything.

This can be especially useful in the hospitality industry where it can be helpful to engage with other local businesses for mutual benefit. A recent article on Maximize Social Business also addresses this trend for the hospitality industry.

If you’re a restaurant, you would also want to circle various local businesses, as well as other food sites, such as popular food magazines, TV shows, chefs, etc. From there you can +1 (the G+ equivalent of “liking” something on Facebook) their posts or leave comments on them.

This is beneficial for several reasons:

  • It shows support for other businesses. And if you scratch their back, when it comes time, they’ll scratch yours in return. If you come across information you find useful, acknowledge that to its provider. Everyone enjoys knowing they’ve helped out someone else.
  • It spreads the word about YOUR page. I’ll use Windmill Networking (WMN) as an example. Say you go and +1 WMN’s post. Just as with Facebook, visitors to WMNs page will now see your name on the post in which you +1ed or commented. You’ve just subtly, and inadvertently in a way, advertised yourself, and your presence on Google+.
  • It shows that you’re active; that you “get it”. There are many companies that set up pages and then simply stream autofeeds, robot posts or traditional, spammy information solely about their brand and nothing else. This is not social marketing. Actual social media marketing practices involve being social.”

By utilizing the circles feature you can keep everything organized and it makes it easy to keep up on what is happening in your niche.

Social Engagement

Through a Google+ business page, a company can share current deals or promotions as well as helpful information related to their particular niche. Producing and sharing interesting content on a business page will attract followers and help get the page into more people’s circles. This type of customer interaction is great way to attract new customers as well as build loyalty with existing customers.

The circles feature can be applied effectively here as well. By separating and segmenting customers into various circles, a business can decide which circles will see what content. This allows for targeted and powerful messages specifically tailored for a particular audience. This creates a level of personal interaction that simply isn’t achievable through Facebook or Twitter.

SEO Implications

The benefits of being on Google+ extend into the SEO realm as well. As Google moves towards integrating social sharing into their ranking algorithm, it is clear that businesses and websites must take social media into account in regard to SEO.

Being active and engaged on these social media platforms helps encourage this social sharing. It would be safe to assume that the social network created by Google itself would be a good place to start. This may become especially true as some are projecting that Google+ will overtake Facebook in social sharing by 2016.

Along with its integration into the ranking algorithm, social sharing has other SEO implications. Social sharing gives your content a farther reach – It syndicates your content into places where it would not be otherwise and this produces extra, bonus traffic and views for that content. Not only will this make your content more powerful, but the extra traffic will increase the strength of any links you have attached to the content, which will increase the effectiveness of any link building strategies you may be employing.

Although Google+ has not been around as long as more established social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, it still provides incredible potential as a tool for large and small businesses marketing in the hospitality industry.

The opportunities for social engagement presented by Google+ business pages offer great value to companies in an industry that relies so heavily on customer perception.

This post was contributed by Paul Richardson. Paul is content marketing professional with years of experience in the industry. He particularly specializes in small business seo and small business marketing. When Paul is not providing insight on the importance of Google+ he enjoys getting some exercise by taking long rides on his bike.

5 Facts About Brands on Instagram

Nitrogram, the advanced analytics and engagement platform for brands on Instagram, has just released their first Guide on Instagram for Brands and other professionals.

Instagram adoption by brands of the Millward-Brown Brandz Index

Some of the facts underlied in this Guide about brand presence on Instagram include:

  1. Nitrogram believes ALL brands are on Instagram, either via their official account or through the hashtagged photos of their customers and fans. What matters on Instagram is building a great community of people sharing interests. The true Instagram equation for brands is: Community = Followers + Contributors
  2. 70% of top Brands (90 of the 130 entries from the Millward-Brown Brandz Index) have an official presence on Instagram
  3. Leading sectors for Instagram adoption from the index: Cars (10/10), Fast food (10/10) and soft drinks (9/10)
  4. However, the top 10 cars brands on Instagram have 7 times more photos with their hashtags than they have followers
  5. More importantly, the 30% of Millward-Brown Brandz Index brands not leveraging Instagram are ignoring 10 million photos mentioning hashtags relevant to them, with 1 million new ones shared every month

They’ve also included helpful tips for brands already on Instagram as well as those thinking of joining the conversation soon on how to better profile their followers and leverage hashtags to be more discoverable.

Lastly, Nitrogram analyzed three successful Instagram campaigns brands can learn from: Oreo, Lipton and Mercedez-Benz. Each played on different specificities of Instagram to engage their communities online.

Click here to download the full Instgaram Guide, available complimentary.

Instagram community equation

How Hotels Can Benefit From LinkedIn

Social media fads may come and go, but one thing remains constant: LinkedIn consistently remains one of the best professional networks out there. Whether you’re an individual professional or you’re part of a business, LinkedIn keeps you connected to peers and other potentially useful contacts.

When it comes to success, it’s been said that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Any tool that facilitates and maintains contact between professionals is a useful element in business management. If you haven’t yet, consider taking advantage of LinkedIn’s model in order to build up a following and increase bookings. How? Read on!

Company Pages

It’s easy to simply think of LinkedIn as a place where people keep track of friends, co-workers and contacts, but there’s so much more to it than that. Are you aware that you can create a page for your business? Picture your hotel having a LinkedIn page where you can better keep in contact with repeat customers (and thereby establishing contact with their links, increasing your potential customer base).

An increased LinkedIn presence means more bookings

By creating a LinkedIn page for your hotel, you enable LinkedIn users to follow it, the first step towards building an online community. A company page helps increase your visibility and keeps people informed of your promotions and deals.

Joining A Group

LinkedIn features groups where people of similar interests and occupations can gather together. You can find groups dedicated to hospitality, travel, hotels, and other topics to germane to your profession. Joining these groups can help you and your business forge connections, which in turn can lead to an increase in customers.

Rather than just being competitors, hotels on LinkedIn can actually help each other. Perhaps there are travelers looking for accommodations in a city where you don’t have a hotel, but some other business in the Hotel group is in the perfect location. You can recommend the hotel, and perhaps get some quid pro quo down the line when the situation is reversed.

Groups also facilitate discussions. You can follow fellow professionals and get tips and answers to problems, drawing on their experience to help you run your own business better. And naturally, you can return the favor!

Individual Connections

Staying in contact with individuals on LinkedIn keeps you fresh in their minds and makes your hotel the first thing they think of when they are traveling and are in need of accommodations. Furthermore, loyal customers who happen to be on LinkedIn can also end up recommending your hotel to their contacts, increasing your potential bookings. After all, no method of advertising is more effective than word of mouth. LinkedIn helps people get the word out.

Roll Up Your Sleeves

All of these benefits sound great, but bottom line is, you will need to take an active role in strengthening your hotel’s online presence on LinkedIn. This means spending time online, creating and maintaining those contacts. LinkedIn builds connections, and connections lead to customers. At the end of the day, the businesses that rise to the top today are the ones that deftly manage their social media.

This post was contributed by John Terra. John is a freelance writer who can also be found on LinkedIn.

Use Your Klout for Access to the Admirals Club

Klout and American Airlines (AA) have announced a partnership that allows social media influencers access to AA’s exclusive Admiral’s Club.

A Klout score over 55 will allow you to gain access to 37 of the airline’s lounges in 22 different cities, and you don’t have to fly American to be eligible, as would normally be the case. Guests reap a variety of benefits, ranging from complimentary wine to shower suites at select locations.

If you fall a little short of 55, don’t worry! You are entered into a drawing for the potential to win prizes including all expenses-paid trips to Seattle, along with products from other brands that have partnered with Klout such as Sony, Chevrolet, and Microsoft.

Klout utilizes social media analytics to measure your online social influence. Upon analyzing 400 variables throughout your multiple social networks, it determines a score between one and 100, with 100 representing the most influential.

It’s become more apparent that the hospitality industry has a lot to gain from social media influencers. Getting the right people into their exclusive lounges means more traffic to their websites via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, along with increased brand exposure.

Other airlines in need of significant image boosts would greatly benefit from partnering with Klout to gain insight on what kinds of amenities an individual takes into consideration before booking their next flight. Other mobile apps that ease flyers and create a more positive association with their airliner have already seen some headway.

With the decline of amenities in most airlines due to economic restraints, companies must resort to other avenues of representation or else suffer complacency. What better way to strengthen bonds between brands and their influencers than to put them in the cockpit of their initiatives?

What kinds of airline perks would you like to see offered next?

Instagram Launches Photo Indexing, Photos of You

Instagram has established itself as a piece of a vast digital mosaic that businesses and companies have used to gain insight on how trends emerge. Since acquiring the infamous photo-sharing app in early 2012, Facebook has adapted one of their key tagging tools to Instagram called “Photos of You.”

Until now, the only way you could tag a friend or your favorite restaurant was to add their handle in the comments section. Now, you’re able to tag friends and venues by hovering over the photo itself, much like Facebook.

These photos will then be indexed in its very own profile section on the tagged individual’s profile, allowing anyone to be able to see photos they have been tagged in by simply searching their name. As a result, a convenient listening tool for brands has emerged, creating the ability for businesses to track how they are seen by an online community.

To businesses in the hospitality industry, this means additional real estate for loyal fans to represent the company’s image.

Restaurants will be able to collect real-time data from the photos that are tagged at their venue. They’ll see what dishes are more popular than others, as well as what their customers find favorable in the ambiance or interior decor. What guests find thoughtful or unobtrusive in a hotel suite will now be more accessible to owners to implement solutions.

Instagram will also feature an easy way to untag photos of yourself to mitigate any apprehension from users, leaving only the best photos intact. This adds a level of storytelling that will create meaningful associations between brands and their influencers.

Photos of You streamlines the ability to see photos tagged by anyone in the format of a collage instead of notifications. Additionally, photos taken of you by a friend will not only be seen on their Instagram feed, but now in yours as well. This eliminates the gaps in your activity that otherwise wouldn’t be seen by your followers.

There is great potential for user-generated traffic that will reveal what kinds of photos are tagged. These in turn can be used to pioneer better campaigns that focus on specific demographics and themes. Combined with other Instagram marketing strategies or a social media marketing platform for Instagram, brands can use analytics to leverage Instagram as a business tool.

Will this tagging feature impact the way you use Instagram? Tell us how!

What Brands Can Learn From Taco Bell

On April 3, I attended the 17th annual Restaurant Industry Conference at UCLA. Hosted by UCLA Extension, the conference focused on brand relevance and evolution. The lunch keynote, Greg Creed, CEO of Taco Bell, discussed how his brand has transformed itself in several essential ways without losing the loyalty of its core customer.

Many of the points that Creed touched upon may serve as valuable insight for a variety of brands.

The humorous Australian opened with a core distinction between what food used to be and what it is now.

Food used to be fuel, but now, it’s an experience. 

Taco Bell: Cool Ranch and Doritos Tacos
He addressed two key insights for any brand:

  1. Current customers want you to be more relevant
  2. Potential customers want you to be better (otherwise, they’d already be your customer)

For example, Taco Bell’s journey to be more relevant was encompassed by the Doritos locos tacos, which created the best year they’ve had. He emphasized the significance of being able to both be better and more relevant as well as be able to answer and execute. Creed also mentioned an ambitious goal – the brand hopes to double in size in the next 10 years. This is a bold goal, but they’re being transparent about it so that they’re held accountable.

Taco Bell: Going Way Past Awesome

Creed discussed how Taco Bell has become the first brand to be in the top five in terms of both speed and accuracy. Brand clarity, knowing what your brand stands for, is essential to this. Any business should understand why they exist and what they stand for.

For Taco Bell, success criteria is defined by whether an initiative is uniquely Taco Bell; resonates with and represents all stakeholders; is repeatable; and conveys the essence — in this case, “MAS.”

Taco Bell: Live Mas

This helped birth the idea of their Super Bowl commercial (which went against everything they were advised to do), along with the expansion of their breakfast offerings.

He also touched upon the importance of taking care of your staff.

The Customer Experience

Creed noted that people are going to judge companies based on how they treat their employees, and act accordingly. Taco Bell’s employees were the first to try and share cool ranch tacos. While this cost the company a lot of money, it created brand advocates of employees.

They are also keeping all employees at 30 hours or greater to ensure they have and keep their healthcare benefits. While other brands are publicly cutting hours to avoid healthcare costs, this move was perceived as the “best decision” they could have made in this situation.

Creed closed with this noteworthy quote:

There is no standing still. You’re either going forward or backward. If you’re standing still, you’re going backward, as others are going forward.

 

What are some of the ways you’re moving forward?

Rubio’s Debuts Online Merch Store on Cyber Monday

The restaurant chain known for its fish tacos, flavorful seafood dishes, and devotion to the ocean, is now bringing its Southern California flair to clothing, drinkware, lifestyle accessories and more.

Rubio’s Restaurants is debuting its online merchandise store, in honor of Cyber Monday. Featuring a variety of Rubio’s gear for all ages, the items in the new online store represent the brand’s passion for coastal living and dedication to quality.

Created and designed by an in-house team of artists, the Rubio’s online store offers t-shirts, sweatshirts, baby onesies, kids clothes, tanks tops, aprons, reusable shopping bags, canvas totes, water bottles, coffee mugs, phone cases, stickers, key chains, license plate holders, flip flops and much more.

“At Rubio’s, we are dedicated to creating delicious, chef-crafted recipes and memorable experiences,” said Ralph Rubio, founder of Mexican food brand. “There was so much passion and attention to detail that went into the creation of the Original Fish Taco recipe and, once completed, I hoped that Rubio’s guests would see it, taste it and love it as much as I did. Now, after almost 30 years, I’m still in awe of the devotion our guests have for Rubio’s and that’s why we’re thrilled to launch an online store that delivers more of the Rubio’s culture to our guests.”

The online merchandise store is one of the brand’s many initiatives that will be rolling out as the restaurant chain celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Founded in 1983, Rubio’s opened its first store, a walk-up location, in the San Diego community of Mission Bay. Since then, Rubio’s has sold more than 150 million fish tacos and continues to expand its menu with innovative recipes inspired by the sea.

Fans can also join in the conversation and be among the first to hear about upcoming events, including Rubio’s 30th anniversary celebrations, on Facebook at  and Twitter.

Ways Travel & Tourism Can Use Social Media

Just what can a travel brand do with social media?

Here are a few thoughts to spark inspiration and evoke conversation. This is just the tip of the iceberg!

Manage your brand and image

  1. Listen for mentions of your brand.
  2. Crisis communication.
  3. Uncover and get to know the influencers of your brand.
  4. Listen when no one is talking.

Gather industry intel

  1. Listen to how ‘the other guys’ are doing it.
  2. Pay close attention to the language of your target audience.
  3. Use social media as a means to research the market.

Build a community

  1. Foster interactive safe spaces where fans and friends can comment and engage.
  2. Tell your story through a corporate blog.
  3. Find personal connections and engage.
  4. Identify with your customers.
  5. Take advantage of user-generated content such as pictures, videos, and guest posts.

Create a Peer to Peer environment

  1. Initiate social recommendations versus simply giving them.
  2. Provide space for a forum or facilitate a tweet chat.
  3. Don’t ignore the customer review.
  4. Encourage and lead in crowd sourcing.

Be fun and rewarding

  1. Create Facebook apps such as location-based maps, quizzes, and games.
  2. Loyalty reward programs just for ‘liking’ your page will be seen and shared by friends of your fans.
  3. A Social Media VIP program is a great way to reward your biggest fans.
  4. Competitions with prizes like airfare or a sunny getaway will get lots of traction and shares when done well.
  5. Check-ins on apps such as Foursquare and Yelp are fun and useful.

Stand out and be noticed

  1. Instagram pictures shared by your guests and staff alike give you a personal and visual touch.
  2. Create compelling YouTube videos.
  3. Organize pin boards on Pinterest of experiences you offer.
  4. Use SEO to ensure you get the most and best traffic to your site.

Provide exceptional customer service via social media

  1. Respond to customer service issues as they come up.
  2. Recognize and respond to inquiries using the platform your customers prefer.
  3. Uncover your brand evangelists.

Make money

  1. Utilize a listening platform for sales & lead generation.
  2. Use Twitter to post last-minute deals and sell off otherwise vacant spots on trips or rooms in your hotel.
  3. Use Twitter and Facebook to push special promotions that you can easily track and manage.
  4. Implement a paid campaign or take out an ad on Facebook.
  5. Use keyword searching/targeted listening to find would be travelers who are looking for the very service you offer and strike up a conversation.

Often we tend to complicate strategy and overthink the must-dos.

It’s helpful to take a step back, and simplify our plan of attack.

This post was contributed by Jenn Seeley. Jenn is a Community Engagement Specialist at Radian6 specializing in the world of travel. What that really means, is she monitors the happenings in travel and tourism where social media is concerned, watching for industry trends, and creating helpful content to share with an awesome community of professionals. You can read more of her content here and connect with her on Twitter.

 

How Restaurants Can Make the Most of Facebook Timeline

When it comes to Facebook, users have learned that one of the only constants is change. The site’s most recent change was a big one – making the switch from profile pages to the Facebook Timeline.

With the timeline, a Facebook brand page now provides much more than just exterior information such as the who, what and where, and actually goes deeper into a business’ story.

For restaurants, the timeline offers a great opportunity to present their culture, food, atmosphere and history, all while continuing to engage customers.

Below are tips for making the most of Facebook Timeline for your restaurant.

Choose the right cover and profile picture.

The new timeline is set up much differently than the old layout, with a large banner image (or cover) at the top, and a timeline of events and stories that follow as the visitor scrolls down the page. Your cover image is the first thing people see when viewing your Facebook page, so it’s important to make sure it clearly conveys your restaurant’s image (so to speak).

The sandwich shop Which Wich, for example, uses a large, enticing image of one if its sandwiches, while Bar Louie displays a collage that presents the restaurant’s food, cocktails and atmosphere. Both pages use the restaurant logo as its profile picture.

Keep important info at the top.

Below your cover photo and profile picture is a brief “About” section alongside a bar of thumbnails that displays your photos and apps, or “Favorites.” The “About” section is short and sweet; visitors can click through to read a more detailed summary, but it’s important to be able to convey your restaurant’s message concisely to assure those passing through are also able to assess what your brand is about.

Because the apps section is at the top, you can use it as a type of navigation that drives visitors to a landing page for further action – for example, installing a customized app that allows them to view your menu or order online.

Show your restaurant’s history.

With the timeline, you can add milestones and events to the past and enrich your restaurant’s story.

Chick Fil A Facebook

Chick-fil-A’s Facebook Timeline goes back to 1946, when it was founded, and displays an image of the very first restaurant. It then goes on to highlight milestones in the restaurant’s history, such as the invention of the Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich and the establishment of the restaurant’s Team Member Scholarship Program.

Bringing attention to these high points shows how your restaurant has changed (or hasn’t changed), grown and withstood the test of time.

Build your brand.

This part of your Facebook page remains the same as before – you still can (and should!) utilize the timeline to build brand awareness by posting relevant, interesting content. If your restaurant focuses on whole, organic, local ingredients, post content that educates your readers about sustainable foods. If you want to convey your restaurant’s commitment to customer service, post content that shows a behind-the-scenes look at how your staff goes above and beyond to serve customers.

Be creative – Facebook, after all, is supposed to be fun.

Use images to promote your restaurant.

The new Facebook Timeline is extremely visual. Use quality images to promote your restaurant’s food, atmosphere and events. You can highlight, or “star,” certain images to make them widescreen, which is perfect for drawing attention to timely food and drink specials.

If you provide catering or wedding services at your restaurant, be sure to include images of events that let your customers see exactly what you are capable of. If a celebrity recently ate your restaurant, take a photo and post it on your timeline!

Keep followers engaged.

Facebook’s main purpose is to connect and socialize with others. Keep your visitors and your customers constantly engaged through conversations, polls, questions and contests. Let them know what’s new in your kitchens, and get feedback on new foods and drinks on the menu. Invite them to share their stories and photos on your timeline. The more people are connecting with and talking about your restaurant on Facebook, the better.

This guest post was contributed by Jacqui MacKenzie. Jazqui is a writer for Straight North, an Internet marketing Chicago firm that specializes in social media, SEO, Web design and more. She writes for a wide range of clients, from podiatry website template providers to specialists in custom food manufacturing. Check out the Straight North Blog, or follow @StraightNorth on Twitter.