Social Media Tips for Food Trucks

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Recently I did an interview with Entrepreneur.com discussing the impact of social media on the mobile food industry. Specifically, I spoke on the different platforms of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) and what demographics I believe those specific platforms cater to. That interview, however, just scratched the surface. Let's start with this basic operating premise: social media is important, very important. If you believe that statement and allow it to act as a foundation for your food truck business, you will have a great chance at being successful. But it's not OK to just "do" social media. Having an account does not mean anything unless you utilize each social media platform to the utmost of its unique capability. Here are 7 tips to get you started:

(1). Great photos are worth a lot more than great words. Hire a photographer or hook up with someone with some serious photography potential that just wants practice. Get them to take photos on a weekly basis and start building a "bank" of photos which you can then push through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis.

(2). Keep your verbiage short. When you write a tagline keep it minimal. Great copy is short and concise. Get your message across and then get out.

(3). Push great copy. This ties to #2. Not only do you want your copy to be focused, but you also want it to be meaningful. Have fun with it and adapt your copy to the voice of your overall brand. If you're a spunky brand, then make your copy spunky. Be playful and don't take yourself too seriously. Put yourself into the average consumer's position. You are surrounded by advertising on a daily basis. If you give people generic content, they will avert their eyes.

(4). Be consistent. If you are a mobile food truck, one of the keys is to constantly update your location. If you are forced to cancel a shift (which will happen), let people know. The key is to make sure you are consistently updating.

(5). Interact. If customers or other business mention you on social media, you should respond. Regardless of whether or not they are expecting a response, you will endear yourself to them by taking the extra 30 seconds to write them back. You want the repeat customer!

(6). Gain Followers. There are no magic algorithms to gain followers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. But this much we do know: having followers boosts your perception as an industry leader, and furthermore attracts companies to do business with you. Little things can make a big difference in gaining followers: follow the right people, post great content, and interact. It doesn't hurt to link to your social media icons in as many places as possible and furthermore link between your social media accounts (for instance, have your Instagram feed and Facebook page links on your Twitter site).

(7). Advertise on FB. Traditional print advertising is headed the way of the dinosaur so it's best to get on the social media advertising train. Facebook offers the most straightforward marketing opportunities - at a cost. In the last few years, as Facebook has focused on improving its bottom line, it has made it more difficult for companies to "reach" their fans through posts. Now the social media site offers promoted posts as a way to get the most reach. It also offers "Page Like" advertising to boost your likes. I don't believe in advertising to necessarily get more "likes." Instead, I view it as a way to get your brand in front of people's eyes. With a targeted advertising campaign in your area, you will at least have your presence felt. It's up to you to get your brand in front of these consumers' eyes multiple times before it finally registers: the key is a repetition of your presence.

Lastly, here's a video from Haymakers in Austin, Texas. I spoke to them regarding social media tips for food trucks. Enjoy.

http://vimeo.com/63873041

- Eric