The writing on Facebook's wall

Forecasters have divined a larger sales role for social media in 2012 and beyond, but that’s where the crystal ball goes wonky. Fortunately for restaurateurs, Facebook has agreed to foretell some of the why’s and how’s for their channel.

Rohit Dhawan, the Facebook executive responsible for the creation of business pages, will take the stage twice at the 2012 Restaurant Leadership Conference, the chain-executive gathering scheduled for March.

In a keynote general session, he’ll spell out how the use of social media is evolving, and what those trends mean for restaurants. How should their strategies be adjusted to reflect changes in the ways consumers, employees and businesses are using those communication party lines?

The session, “What to ‘Like’ and ‘Unfriend’ in Social Media,” promises an overview of the communication phenomenon’s future, from one of its principal forces and undisputed leaders.

In a follow-up breakout, Dhawan will shift to the tactics those trends warrant.  What are emerging as the best practices for businesses to follow in using social media? What are the new capabilities? What works, what doesn’t?

The general session and follow-up Innovation Forum are scheduled for Tuesday, March 27.

The Restaurant Leadership Conference is an invitation-only event for the top officials of restaurant chains’ home offices and franchise operations. The meeting, which last year drew more than 1,400 attendees, will be held March 25-28 at the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale, AZ.

The RLC is a sister business of Restaurant Business magazine and

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