Social media today has a huge impact on everybody’s life, whether on a personal or professional level. Taking into consideration some of the companies that are active on social media today one discovers important details.
Roadster is a diner that is active on Facebook, twitter, and foursquare. It has about 5,156 followers on twitter and about 28,439 likes on Facebook that support the diner’s events, food, and its everyday activity. When Roadster was launching its latest new menu, people were getting feedback through the web, because bloggers were invited to a tasting. Curly fries, mini-burgers and other kinds of food were known through social media to word of mouth to actually making people go, and try them out.
Hady Chehlaoui, PR manager and social media analyst to both diners Deek Duke and Roadster, talked about his personal experience with social media. ‘I’m online most of the time, updating daily concerning all events to reach a wide range of audience. Our updates, aren’t limited only to the events the diners usually have; but also I intend to make the updates more fun, and more personal in which our audience feel free to contact us anytime and share with us the laughter,’ Chehlaoui stated.
In his opinion everything the diner does offline is very important to be integrated online. Not only tweets, but through blogging and through Facebook too. ‘When we were launching our new menu we invited the bloggers to try the food and they were tweeting live which I think creates a buzz and this is always a plus for our company,’ Chehlaoui explained.
Reaching to a very important point I wanted to know how social media really affects the diner. Taking into consideration the pre and post social media phase. This is what Hady explained; that everything the diner goes through is always promoted online.
Reem Swaidan an LAU journalism student and one of Roadster diner big fans, is always up to date with the diner’s activities through twitter. ‘It gives me great privilege to be able to give good reviews and suggestions easily, it also keeps me updated with news on any upcoming events or new changes; which I can give my own ideas and opinions about them. I believe when people are working hard and providing their customers with great work, this work should be appraised, and so this is how we interact with Roadster today through social media,’ Swaidan said.
‘There is a huge gap that got filled by social media, when we post an online ad, for example on Facebook, and people have liked it makes a bigger impact on our reach. By making sure that people like the ad, and share it online with their friends, this enhances a lot on the traditional marketing campaign,’ Chehlaoui said.
But we are all aware of the fact that nothing comes as graceful and as a piece from heaven with no obstacles. Lets face it, we live in a world where we must weigh the disadvantages before the advantages when dealing with anything. And so far social media has been boosting up for a while in the MENA region. My concern was where does social media fail its users? And I kept on asking and asking until a very important minute detail popped out.
According to Chehlaoui, so far social media has been nothing but a bliss to all the events that they under go, and the things they launch online. ‘There’s always a risk for abuse or something negative that some people might use against the diner. ‘As you know it’s a free space were one interacts on his/her own, and there’s no restraints or control that can be done. But my main job is always be nice to our clients, and being careful how we respond to them, that’s why I’m sure our fans and people who loves us will respond to the ill-treatment and abuse that might happen,’ Hady said.
Chehlaoui personally believes that social media is more of an advantage than a disadvantage. ‘It’s a two-way stream where I’m communicating with people and vice versa. With social media in our lives I can have concrete data of what people think and like. And this is how social media creates a strong-built relationship between us and our customers,’ he said.