I’m shocked how many times I’ve opened my Facebook Profile to see what’s going on in the world, only to have my mouth hit the floor by a restaurant post! No, I’m not talking about an incredible sale or some wildly interesting fact. It’s the kind of post that leaves you shaking your head and questioning whether or not you really want to patronize them anymore, regardless of how much you love their food, service, etc…. I’m sure you’ve seen it too and maybe some of you are guilty of it.
Here are 5 taboos when it comes to posting on Facebook! Can you think of anything we’ve missed? Share them below!
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! Yelp that b****.“
Andrew Capron, one of the restaurant’s current owners, posted below the photo: “forgot to mention the b***** cleaned her plate … every last drop!” and “Yeah, beauty eh?”
Just yesterday after a no-show at a restaurant in Copenhagen, chef and co-owner René Redzepi posted on Twitter: “And now a message from the Noma staff: to the people of two different no-show tables last night,” he wrote, and sent a picture of staff members showing their middle fingers.
Where do I start on these 2 excerpts! It was wrong in every sense of the word. Guess what? You can’t please everyone. Read the critique and if it has merit perhaps you should use it as a way to improve. If a customer posted a negative comment reach out to them to see how your business can learn from the perceived mistake- because face it – we’ve all made mistakes. Make sure to speak up. Facebook gives businesses a great opportunity to show customers that you’ve made changes that will positively impact their experience. Whatever you do, don’t ridicule a customer or critic online. Ever. Period.
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.
The last thing I would like to advise is that if your customers are connected to you on your personal Facebook profile then avoid these issues as well. And never forget, even though you can delete an inappropriate comment, once you’ve hit “post” nothing is really gone forever. Overall, Facebook and Social Media are great places for you to engage with customers on an intimate level. Stick with what you do best: Creating delicious foods and unforgettable experiences for your customers. Focus on this and your Facebook Page will be loved by all!
We’d love to hear your comments on this one! Tell us some of the craziest things you’ve seen posted from a restaurant on Facebook! Just leave your comment below!