Social media for Chefs: LIKEMarch 23rd, 2012 | Posted by in Daily life...
I still remember 20 years ago when I started working in a small bakery hidden in the Swiss mountains, we had one black color analog telephone hung up on the wall and in the shop we had another wireless phone with a huge metal antenna (which was a spectacular display of technology back then). That was it; that was all that existed on our workplace in terms of both-ways communication. And life was nonetheless very good.
Since then, tremendous changes happened in the way we communicate at work; and today, with the ever-growing social media phenomenon, communication has reached new heights to the point where we ask ourselves “Can I afford to stay out of social media?” Straightforward answer: Of course you can! But I am fairly sure that if we were to do a quick survey on how many people reading this article aren’t on Facebook alone, it would already give us a very strong signal of direction.
Coming out of paranoia is the first step to take in order to embrace social media as a chef.
Food is very subjective to personal taste. There is rarely a right or wrong as we all have our own perception of what is good or not. Once your own self feels that you are knowledgeable enough about your art and that you can live with criticism, then you can start to use social media and reap all of its benefits. And I emphasize on the word use. One has to learn to address the right audience with the right messages through the appropriate different social media channels.
As a chef, social media are used for several purposes.
To share ideas and recipes, to meet other chefs and build a connection network and also, to interact with aficionados and eventual customers; that way, you have a direct channel to react to every opportunity, giving pleasure to people with more than food; we could even say that social media brings an extended service into our food creations. And to do so, it has to be natural and genuine in order to reach your audience. Your interaction has to make sense and be relevant to your beliefs.
There are days where it’s not all praise and smiles. Sometimes we also get comments as what we didn’t meet expectation in whatever creation – and it’s great to receive that sort of feedback (not too often, or else, you must be doing something wrong!). There is absolutely no need to become defensive and negative to such comments. What we do, is to go back to try and taste the product and really see it from the customer angle. Maybe the guest was right, maybe our product has been overlooked and a rectification or update is needed. Then again, maybe not.
You might not feel like spending hours interacting with people you barely know, nor the need to connect with more than your close friends and colleagues. But, if you simply feel happy sharing your passion with whomever wants to see it, then you are already half way ready to embrace social media. Social media isn’t a must, or isn’t a solution in itself to any problem. Whether we LIKE it or not, it’s the way communication has evolved today, far from the black color analog telephone, and at the end of the day, whether we posted our latest creation on Twitter or not, we will still strive to give pleasure to our guest with our food.
PS: Now you can follow me on Twitter! :) LOL