Social media. Restaurants love and embrace it as a way to reach out to customers. It makes sense, really; be it Twitter or Facebook or whatever, social media is a good way to inform your customers about the latest going-ons.
Except... As more and more restaurants start posting in a personal tone on whichever network they prefer, we're seeing a trend where the messages are increasingly getting a bit too personal.
A good example is two South Hill alehouses located a few blocks apart, which have waged a passive aggressive Cold War against eachother on Facebook for some time now. For the diehard fans of each individual spot, this can, of course, be fun, as fans like to cheer on their favorite.
Winning over customers you already won over, though, makes little sense, and it seems odd, to us, for businesses to wage such public fights. It's off-putting to potential customers to see this kind of petty arguing, and as potential future customers tend to look for information on social media these days... Well, this is a good time to remember that professionalism goes a long way toward making you look good.
Restaurant owners and workers, too, have made their way on to the Twitters and Facebooks. Many have made their unabashed opinions about their paying customers rather well known, and again... It just comes off as being unprofessional. A business that doesn't rise above individual blog/Urban Spoon/whatever opinions looks bad, and anyone who works for these kind of establishments represents them when they post about them, no matter if they have a "opinions posted here are solely my opinion!" in their profiles.
So, our free advice for the day: Be professional if you represent your business online; don't be a jackass. Engage your customers in appropriate debates; don't get into arguments with someone who doesn't like you. Post links of interest; don't repeatedly spam networks with unwanted links back to yourself.
The whole social media thing is really quite simple that way.