From fairs to sporting events, there always seems to be plenty of fast food dining options courtesy of a number of food trucks within easy visual reach, and here in Australia, it’s not uncommon to see the food trucks or smaller food fans turn up on the side of busy intersections, particularly around industrial estates, waiting for the workers to swoop in for their meal break.
But as the Food Truck industry becomes more popular, it also means more competition, and if you are an operator this means finding better ways to beat your rivals.
The food truck industry is not known to be a massive income earner, so thrifty and smart marketing is essential.
A few years back well-known internet marketer, Pat Flynn started the Foodtruckr.com website, which gives a huge amount of information on starting and marketing your food truck business, which has been a great source of inspiration to anyone venturing into the game, and he points out a few great tips for utilising social media as a smart way of marketing without having to spend a lot, or anything at all for that matter.
I would like to add a few additional social media strategies utilising social media which any food truck business, or any mobile based business (eg, garden maintenance, real estate agent, cleaning business), can use to improve their volume of business.
Think Local to Gain Local Business
The great thing about social media is they all have the ability to post on your location, and you can use this to your advantage across most of the social platforms.
Facebook or Twitter – schedule posts to go out prior to your arrival at a location, or just as you arrive. ensure you add a photo of your van or yourself at the location or on your way, so people will recognize you upon arrival. Ensure you include the location you’ll be at, and you might even want to offer a special discount offer just for those that either mention they found you on Facebook/Twitter, or if they retweet or Like your post. They are basically doing the marketing for you and spreading the word!
Attract a Live Crowd
Facebook and Periscope both allow for live video streaming. By setting up and broadcasting live from your food truck not only gives your business a new personal perspective about the personality of your business and service, but who doesn’t love seeing a juicy freshly cooked burger on their screen at lunchtime! Use your personality and sell your products and interact with your audience in real time. When they arrive they’ll feel like they know you like an old friend, building trust and confidence in your business and products.
social Media is great, when you have followers! To gain more followers can often take a little bribe, and no one is going to say No to the offer of free food. Use your social media channels to offer a free upsell or taste sample if they turn up at set locations during the day. Again, you can schedule these posts easily with an application such as Social Sprout or Hootsuite, so you can get on doing what you do without having to remember to set up your posts each time.
These applications also allow you to track your visitor interaction, so you can measure the success of particular offers or locations based on the follower’s interaction.
Interact with them
Instagram is a great way of showing off food, but also to show people enjoying your food. Ask your customers if they would be willing to be part of your ‘Insta-lunch’ photo shoots, and post them up on your channel or share across to your Facebook page. By doing this you are not only prompting them to possibly share with their friends, but you are building a community around loyal followers of your business brand.
So now that you have a few extra ideas to promote your Food Truck business, feel free to send me your links and let me see your social media marketing in action!
Oh, and save me a few of those chips before the crowd arrives.