Making My Small Business Into a Social Business with Google+
Life before social media and social business…
Before I opened my very first restaurant, I worked for a number of years in theatre – primarily, musical theatre.
I was nervous about entering a field in which I had little experience other than the odd part time job as an actor/waiter.
Then I hit upon the key to unlocking my strategy.
The restaurant, like the theatre has a back of house and a front of house.
The front of house is everything you see and come into contact with: host, servers, bar staff, ambiance etc.. (Tickets, ushers, actors, stage…)
The back of the house has chefs, cooks, managers, (Stage managers, lighting & set crew).
The front of house was all smiles and promises of a great meal or show.
The back was less smiley but as committed to making your experience memorable.
Front and back had to work together to succeed.
When things failed, it was inevitably due to bad communication, culture and management.
The best restaurants and theatres I worked in had a “culture” in common.
The show always went on and just meeting expectations was never enough.
What is Social Business?
There’s a lot of buzz around Social Business and it’s met with some skepticism by businesses and marketers alike.
Using social media doesn’t make a company a social business.
A social business needs:
– to integrate social media tools across the whole organization
– to strategize the use of those tools to best meet company goals
– to have leaders champion a social culture that is collaborative and responsive.
By doing things the same way they always have, companies are falling behind.
The rush to Facebook by small businesses has been fuelled by a gold rush mentality.
Companies that have little understanding of social media, trip over themselves to keep up with their competitors.
Without a strategy, they’re all panning for fools gold.
How I’d transform my restaurant into a social business with Google Plus
If I were managing a restaurant today, I’d be all over using social media and I’d start with Google+.
Front of house –
- Search for local keywords and hashtags about similar products and services (and competitors) on Google+.
- Circle and join G+ Communities then engage by commenting, answering questions and sharing helpful content.(and the occasional cat meme)
- Find and nurture relationships with influencers.
- Post helpful articles, images and videos relating to products/services
- Host regular HangOuts where followers can get inside look at business, meet employees, or learn skills etc.
- Create a Community for “members” where promotions, specials, hangouts, FAQ’s and resources can be shared.
Back of the house –
- Sign staff up for Google+ accounts as main communication channel
- Hold HangOuts for new product introduction and training
- Use Google Drive to collaborate on Schedules, menus and projects.
- Create an editorial calendar for Google+ posts
- Use the company website/blog as home base and nurture communities on other social sites.
Companies aren’t leading the social business movement, the public is.
If you want to be where your customers are, you need to be on social media.
If you want them to be where you are, you need to be a social business.
Do you consider your company a social business?
(This post is an update to an earlier version:
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Thanks for dropping by. I'm the Director of Digital Marketing for Image-24.com.
My background in business includes non-profit (performing arts), restaurants and Promotions.
Having moved on from my own strategic consulting company, I now write about what interests me. So in this blog, you may read about my thoughts on marketing, health issues and business culture.
You can follow me on Twitter @rayhiltz or @image24Call