BY JACK PARKINSON
Feeding more than 10,000 people for any length of time is not exactly as easy as pie.
Chartwells, the food service provider at Conestoga College, knows how hard it can be to please everyone while still producing quality food. Recently the company started a new initiative intended to reach out to students through social media.
Tatianna Benning, Chartwells’ social media co-ordinator, knows about the positive power of social media. She studied at the University of Waterloo while working full time as the assistant to a residence manager on campus. While working and studying at UW, Benning started an Instagram page for students to share positive pictures daily, making university life more enjoyable and social.
“(The residence Instagram) soon became a project that was very dear to my heart,” Benning said in an email.
“I was surprised at how much of a positive and powerful impact it had on our residence community.”
As the social media co-ordinator for Chartwells, Benning saw an opportunity to help the company reach out to Conestoga’s student body. She feels strongly about the positive potential for social media, both in helping companies interact with their customers and in helping companies improve to suit the needs of their patrons.
Her reasoning is sound: it seems like no company these days is truly complete without a Facebook page and a Twitter profile. Any job interviewer is likely to ask a prospective candidate if he or she is willing to publicize the company on social media in addition to meeting the job standards. Ten years ago companies would not have even needed a social media co-ordinator.
Benning said Chartwells will be using the feedback from the new social media initiative to help with the launch of a new brand in February.
“We want to develop and strengthen a positive relationship with our guests,” she said.
The company will be hosting two recurring lotteries that will enable students to get free food in exchange for retweeting specific tweets from Chartwells’ Twitter profile, or “liking” their Facebook page by Feb. 15.
Prizes range from a free muffin to gift cards valued at up to $50.