Social Media is the best form of marketing for Food Trucks. One of the biggest trends on social media right now is the food selfie, which is perfect for food trucks looking to attract the younger millennial crowd who go online to find food inspiration and unique eating experiences. We have the top 10 strategies you can use to engage with your fans, find new customers, and rise above the competition!
Why Food Trucks need a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social media is one of the best and most cost effective way of marketing you food truck business. Millennials are spending more money than any other demographic on food and they are also the ones who spend the most time of social media. So if you read and implement the tips below you will be able to get a slice of that market and stand out from the competition.
1. Consistent Naming and Branding Across the Board
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest… the list is extensive with what is available for people to use in the social media world. Each website and app has their own pro and con list, however there is no right or wrong decision for picking a platform. When it comes to social media, more is better.
One of the most important decisions with creating multiple profiles is to make sure they are the correct type of profile for your business. For example, confirm you’re setting up a Facebook Business account instead of a personal account. You should also try to ensure that the username is as consistent and similar on one platform as it is on another.
It can be difficult due to how many usernames that have been made in the world, so you can always add in keywords to make it more unique and try to keep it matching whether you are on Facebook or Instagram. It also wouldn’t hurt to include your social media links across all your accounts in your profile, so fans from one page can find your other social media profiles.
This can also make cross-posting easier since you might have more fans/watchers on one site and want to gain traction on another. Keeping platforms connected will only help grow your social media presence.
2. Use High Quality Photos and Videos
“A picture is worth a thousand words” and “we eat with our eyes” are sayings most everyone has heard of before. They’re popular because they’re true!
People are visual, and love seeing different things that catch our eye. The odds of someone stopping on your post from a visual representation of your work is much higher than if they saw just a wall of text.
Grabbing people’s interest with beautiful photos of food can cause people to become enticed with desire, and could help turn them into potential customers. That being said, not every post/photo or video has to be about food! Anything that falls under the branding of your business is free game.
3. Share What Happens Behind the Scenes
Social media platforms provide different tools and features to use that can allow people to not only share pictures, but also short video clips (like in Snapchat), or even allow their users to go live! (such as Facebook or Instagram)
Using these video and go-live features can really help create a connection with your audience as you share your love and passion, which can be infectious and encouraging to others.
Social media is meant to be fun and engaging. Sharing the funny moments between coworkers, or showing the cooking process and what happens behind the scenes in the kitchen, can stir excitement with viewers. Other popular ideas could be a Q&A with the owner, or even cooking tips to help aspiring chefs at home!
4. Engage frequently with reviewers and commenters
When fans and followers interact with your posts, photos or videos, this is known as engagement. It can be a “Like”, a comment, or sharing one of your posts. Ideally, you want to try to get all of them. The more engagement you have, the higher your profile metric would be, and the easier it would be for a new customer to stumble across your profile under a related search.
Engagement is one of the most important metrics that all social media platforms use, and each platform has their own optimized algorithm. With terms such as “trending,” “suggested,” or “featured,” the algorithm considers different factors in each social media profile before placing a particular post or photo in a prime spot.
As important as engagement is, it doesn’t mean instant sales. It is also important for you as a business to respond back to the people to let them know you are listening to their comments, questions or concerns. Gathering feedback is a vital aspect of any business, and allowing customers to be able to communicate with you will make them feel more comfortable reaching out to explain a problem or issue they’ve experienced.
More than anything else, engagement is a chance to humanize your business in the eyes of your customers. You are not just a food truck–you’re a person with passion and drive, and someone who cares about putting smiles on hungry customers’ faces. Let the people see it!
5. Hold Social Media Contests
Another easy method to help boost engagement and attract more potential customers is to hold social media contests! A creative and fun contest can do wonders for audience participation. Who doesn’t like a little friendly competition?
If this premise scares you, you don’t have to get carried away. It doesn’t have to start with anything as complex of a contest. To start with, think of something short, sweet and simple! Popular rewards and prizes other companies have used in the past include gift cards, vouchers, or food coupons that customers can use on their next visit to the establishment. Also be sure to pay attention to the calendar, as holiday times can be a great way to capitalize on a contest while implementing a theme around the time of year. Be creative and have fun with it!
6. Hashtags and Emojis
You’ve probably seen these before. #MakeItRain, #IceBucketChallenge and others like it. These are hashtags, and though their overuse can be annoying, they’re used for a reason: they link your post to other posts in the same topic. Used properly, fun and creative hashtags can be utilized across various social media platforms that help group together any post under that particular hashtag. Anyone can click on this hashtag and see posts of the same type–including yours!
Whenever possible, try to add relevant hashtags to your posts or images to help others find them easier. #BestBBQever or #TacoTuesday are just some examples that could be used that will allow people to see your post among others if they aren’t following you already.
Surprisingly, emojis are now considered a marketing tool as well. According to SteemIt, “74% of US citizens regularly use Emojis or emoticons in their online communications, sending an average of 96 Emojis per day.” Each platform has their own stylized emoji that can be used, and food emojis are available for just about any food category you can think of! They help express what people want to say with just a few simple icons. They also help get the point across to people who might speak English as a second language.
7. Participate in Trending Topics
Popular online trends or fads are constantly surfacing, and your business can certainly jump on them to help promote themselves. Remember the “Unicorn Food” trend? Several companies, including Starbucks had participated in that trend with great success.
These types of trends can be interesting and fun opportunities for you to participate in the shared creativity of others across the world. After all, social media is about connecting with other people. Try to stay up to date by checking the “Trending” or “Popular” sections on your social media profiles to determine if there is a trend you like and would want to try for yourself. You never know when a relevant trend that you can capitalize on will pop up!
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8. Spotlight Your Employees
People like to see recognition for hard work, and through social media, can even become emotionally invested in a business because of the people at its core. It is a great way to share with the followers that you actually care about your staff and you want to share their success with other people.
On the flip side, it also lets your employees know how much you value them and what they do to help you and your business succeed. Having loyal employees can only reflect positively on all fronts. When you show you care, it can inspire them to put their best foot forward, which will then reward your customers as well. Share with the world who the people are that make the magic happen!
9. Posting at Optimal Times
They say “timing is everything,” and that’s how it goes in the world of social media as well. People are often on different platforms at different times of the day, and you want your posts to be seen by as many active people as possible.
If your food truck specializes in a certain time of day meal, you will want to post more around that time to make it relevant. In addition to posting in certain time frames, it is also important to have a consistent posting schedule. It isn’t a good strategy to overwhelm your followers with dozens of posts a day, every day. This is known as “spamming,” and it diminishes the importance of your posts. It can even lose you followers.
Most importantly, try to spread your post across various social media platforms. Not all your customers will use just Facebook or Twitter. Each platform helps you reach a new potential customer, so if you post once on one platform, post the same thing on another!
10. Paid Advertising on Facebook
Lastly, Facebook Advertising is one of the most powerful (and most expensive) tools that any business can utilize. It can provide a wide reach to all Facebook users with very specific tags, and can be targeted based on location (a process known as “geo-targeting”). This can be instrumental for food trucks that frequently change their location..
It is important to understand the ins and out of the advertising platform to capitalize on the tools that are available to use for you and your business.
At the end of the day, the most important thing about social media marketing is to have fun with it. Don’t overthink or be afraid to dip your feet in. It can seem overwhelming at first, but it is a great opportunity to connect with other people, from business to consumer or business to business.
Ultimately, the biggest struggle is to maintain a consistent presence across the platforms that you have. Remember that you do not have to take on all these social media platforms and implement all these steps at once. Take it one step at a time, and focus on sharing consistent and enjoyable content.
Tap into your skills! Most people that aim to join the rising food truck empire are often creative and think outside the box. It is more fun and easier than you think to share that creativity on social media, and other like-minded people. So get out there, and use this information to share your passion, love, and what you have to offer with the rest of the world!