We’ve all heard the statistics on the growth of social media. With more than 74 percent of online adults using social networking sites, social media is a way of life for most Americans. There’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat - just to name a few - and you might be thinking these sites are just for fun. But if you take a look at the conversations taking place, you’ll find that social media can offer you a lot more. Using social media can be a useful tool to advance your career and support your company’s goals.
IFMA has leveraged social media for years (the IFMA LinkedIn group launched in 2009 and now has nearly 7,000 members). Social media enables us and our community of members to engage in real-time - no matter what time zone you’re in.
As an IFMA member, social media provides access to a community of peers and potential business partners with the click of a mouse or the tap of a smartphone. Foodservice professionals are leveraging IFMA’s LinkedIn channels to have candid conversations about important issues to our community and the industry as a whole. In case you missed it, here are some of the valuable conversations taking place on IFMA’s social networking sites.
Over the past few months, IFMA has used Twitter to get industry professionals talking about hot topics like networking and consumer dining behavior. During 1-hour Tweet Chats, organized discussions carried out on Twitter, foodservice professionals have used the hashtag #IFMAchat to exchange ideas and share advice.
In a recent #IFMAchat Tweet Chat, @Datassential had this to say on the importance of networking, “Foodservice is a tough nut to crack into. Networking gives you that foot in the door you didn’t have previously.”
When asked how to initiate conversations with someone you don’t know, @1WorldSync gave sound advice. “A compelling industry event is always a good place to start! Common ground always helps to get a conversation moving.”
What can operators do to increase customer loyalty? @CarrieHoltkamp said, “Loyal customers know what they’re going to order before they return. Keep the faves but keep it fresh.”
@BuzzAboutFood told the group, “customer service continues to be relevant! Recognition and engagement provides a sense of belonging.”
Foodservice professionals are also taking to IFMA’s recently launched Facebook page to gain insights about the industry. A Facebook fan favorite is Throwback Thursday (#TBT) when we share photos of past IFMA events and milestones in foodservice.
The massive membership of IFMA’s LinkedIn group makes it an excellent place to share ideas and seek advice. With one third of online adults using LinkedIn, it’s one of the most important networking tools you can have in your professional toolbox. Don’t forget that social networking is an excellent avenue to follow up with the new connections you make at Presidents Conference, COEX, Operator/Manufacturer Collaboration Model Training or other events.
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There has never been a greater opportunity for you to build relationships with fellow IFMA members and others throughout the industry online. Make sure you’re where they are when the conversations are taking place.
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