With 80 percent of restaurant operators saying social media will be an increasingly important marketing tool, the National Restaurant Association will feature leading social media players at its annual convention, which begins this weekend in Chicago. Event attendees will interact with companies like Facebook, Google, Groupon, LivingSocial, Social Grub, TravelZoo, Where and Yelp to explore how their services can help restaurants become more talked about and recommended, grow business and build customer loyalty. NRA Show 2011 runs May 21-24 at McCormick Place.
“Social media savvy consumers dine out more often and show a higher level of engagement in the restaurant community than other consumers, so building a strong social media marketing strategy is a smart move for restaurateurs,” said C.W. Craig Reed, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2011 and Director of Food and Beverage, Broadmoor Hotel. “This year’s NRA Show presents social media marketing leaders to help restaurant and hospitality operators navigate the world of online word-of-mouth marketing to reach and interact with more consumers.”
The four-day conference will host a series of social media-focused education sessions to highlight best-in-class strategies and implementation, featuring both social media companies and restaurant operators. Attendees will learn about group buying, integrating social media and geo-social applications with POS systems, using social media channels in human resources, and more.
Social media session highlights include:
Making Friends, Building Followers and Turning Fans Into Ambassadors Through Social Media. Tips and insights on what to post, who will manage it, how to attract followers on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites from restaurant operator Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, The Castle Group, Langdon Flynn Communications, and CoverBoom.
Using Social Media Technologies to Reward Brand Loyalty. Attendees will learn how Tasti D-Lite integrates conventional loyalty programs with Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other social media and geo-social applications to build loyalty activity online and receive tangible benefits through social-friendly POS applications and TastiRewards program.
Collective Buying: How Social Commerce Can Help Your Restaurant Find New Customers. Groupon, Geja’s Cafe, PYT Philly, Butter Lane Cupcakes, and Wyndham Hotel Chicago will talk about what collective buying is all about, how it can help attract and retain customers, how to prepare when you run a deal, what to avoid and more.
The Future of Social Media and Word of Mouth for the Restaurant Industry. Johnny Rockets Restaurant Group, Inc., Cold Stone Creamery, Facebook, LivingSocial, SCVNGR and Zócalo Group will help show operators how to fully capitalize on the most compelling social media trends today, and tomorrow.
Debate: Are online reviews a good or bad thing? Top Chef runner-up Stefan Richter and Yelp’s Luther Lowe will debate the merit of online reviews, including why chefs and restaurant operators often view online review sites as a double-edged sword; moderated by Corby Kummer, Atlantic senior editor & curator of The Atlantic Food Channel.
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