Getting Started, Socially

Spoke to a lunchtime crowd at the HFTP First Coast June meeting today. HFTP stands for Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals, or the people who oversee money & technology at private clubs & hospitality venues. Thankfully, a few marketing people were also in attendance, probably to play towards my comfort level since I was a filling in for a colleague.

My hospitality & club career ended when I was in college, but I have a few years of experience in the service industry and paid my fair share of bills in my early-20’s from tips earned as the beer cart girl. With that limited background to guide me, I pulled together enough of an overview and TIPS! to discuss at their lunchtime meeting.

Several in the audience today were CFOS, controllers, accountants and the like. These aren’t the people who will be posting status updates for their brand, so I spent more time on how to create the business case for engaging your current members/guests online. I wanted them to think about social media as a tool for online customer service and outreach. Responding & listening to your customers is much easier to make a case for, when your decision makers don’t view “social media” as essential.

Thanks to all who attended today. I’d be happy to hear your feedback and suggestions for future talks on this subject, and happy to answer any further questions you may have. (Like this one, that came up in the presentation…)

For the person who asked about Clubster vs. Ning…Clubster looks like a social network for members of professional clubs, who can link into their clubs’ community. Ning allows your club or group to set up a private social network powered by you and your community, that can live adjacent to your own website. I prefer to own my content, so I’d still lean to setting up a walled social network for my community through a service like Ning. Always do your due diligence to ensure you find what’s right for your company & members.

Hope to see some HFTP members at an upcoming Social Media Club JAX meeting. The next one is June 25th at Pablo Creek Library from 5:30-8pm (presentation starts at 6) and you can RSVP here.

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