Let’s first get straight exactly what are the social medias we’re discussing. There are three I’ll be covering in this article, as follows:
The Twitter revolution has forever changed the landscape of mobile businesses and how they interact with customers. The constant flow, back and forth, of small “tweets” between customer’s and their favorite trucks, creates a perfectly friendly dialogue through which both sides greatly benefit. A good food truck operator doesn’t deliver a lecture on his products, he makes conversation, which then leads to the customer’s gradual understanding of what is being offered and why it’s worthwhile.
It’s important for food truck owners to understand that Twitter provides not only an opportunity to share their location and menu, but also to share interesting stories, jokes and start engaging conversations revolving around food. Customer’s crave a good ongoing dialogue and will re-tweet for days as more people voice their opinion and offer related antidotes.
Here’s a suggestion: Go on Twitter, upload the name of a particular truck you’d like to follow, and join in the conversations. Once you feel you’ve gotten a good grasp on how to successfully “tweet,” keep the following tips in mind.
1. Have a strategy and stick to it. Stay consistent in the style and type of content of your “tweets.”
2. Follow your fellow food truck operators. There are a lot of good ideas out there.
3. Stay in touch with your customers! This cannot stressed enough. Stay consistently in front of your customers by tweeting every day. You don’t have to be a genius to do tweeting, just earnest. Most times the best dialogues are created by responding to a tweet, not by posting your own.
4. To start an account on twitter, and not keep it fresh with your tweets, is like cooking a tasty dish, and not eating it. Stay with it!
Facebook is also another powerful social media tool that can promote your food truck. Unlike Twitter, having a Facebook page allows you to go beyond mere words and instead post funny videos and short clips about your food truck. Personally, I think posting videos where you show viewers how you prepare some of their favorite foods is a great idea. (I doubt I’m the only one who isn’t even slightly interested in “watch us wash our food truck! So fun!” videos… )
If you have a website together with your Facebook account, link the two! On your website have an option to “click here” and be sent to the other’s page. This can help to increase web traffic for your food truck business. Also, don’t forget to use keywords that tie into your truck, cuisine and location. Find the most effective keywords and use em’! (A word of caution: don’t over do it or you’ll get blacklisted pronto.)
Google+ offers food truck owners multiple tools to promote and professionalize their business. You can use the Google+ Events tool which allows you to broadcast an event you’re hosting, complete with a start time, location and an exclusive invite list. You can even use your Gmail contacts to add to the ones you have in the Google Circle tool. After you create the event it will show up on your Google Calendar.
This particular social media gives you the option of chatting with up to 10 people through the Google+ Hangout online video chat option. You can collaborate with fellow food truck acquaintances and employees and leave “virtual sticky notes” on a “virtual whiteboard” to discuss a food truck design or new business plan. The options are seemingly endless… There are a bunch of free apps that you can download to your Google+ account to optimize how your business is interacting with customers. You can sign up for a Google+ account by clicking this link https://plus.google.com.
I haven’t included my favorite social media outlet because it deserves an article all to its own. The social media tool I’m referring to is topping surveys as the “most beneficial, powerful social media tool for small businesses.” In a recent poll taken by the Wall Street Journal, this social media outlet was rated the “tool with the most potential to help,” over other social media’s such as Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube. I’ll discuss this “amazing tool”, LinkedIn, in my next post!
Having introduced the three social media, I want to share with you a little secret, SOCIAL MEDIA IS FOR THE BIRDS. That’s correct. Because if you are like the 98% of other small business owners out there, busy in your businesses, you just don’t have the time to adequately stay on top of all these social media services, and as a result you will pay little attention to them. I can only suggest one thing. Hire someone who is knowledgeable about food trucks and your business, to do the tweets and blogs for you. A food truck franchise group I found to be very helpful in this area were the kind folks at GourmetStreets at http://gourmetstreets.com.
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