For budding entrepreneurs with a passion for food, the current popularity of the food truck provides a low-budget stepping stone into the food industry, at a fraction of the cost. But even the modest price of a food truck, plus permits, equipment, supplies and inventory can quickly zap the entire budget of the new venture and leave little money available for marketing the new business to attract a loyal customer base.
If you have started a food truck business or are considering doing so and have concerns about the cost of marketing, social media provides a very affordable way to create exactly the kind of market buzz that will drive hungry customers straight to your truck.
Make It Visual & Memorable
To be truly effective with social media or any other type of marketing, customers have to be able to easily find and remember your food truck and the menu you offer. By focusing on just four major social media platforms and using the following tips, you can increase the odds that your customers will both remember and share your business information with their followers.
- Make a memorable, visual impact by decking your truck out with a wrap or some type of display that features large photos of your product in mouth-watering detail as well as your custom logo and full contact information, including social media addresses and handles.
- Emblazon photos of your decked-out truck on all social media platforms, so that customers and potential customers can easily recognize and share it.
- Consider including two types of printable coupons, one for loyal repeat customers and one for new customers who are visiting for the first time. Make sure that all social media platforms have a prominent link to these coupons to make them easy to share.
- Use social media to keep customers aware of your location, menu, pricing and special offerings.
Create a Cool Culture
Given the opportunity, loyal food truck customers can become as avid as sports fans. Your job is to provide a cool culture around your business that will help customers want to market your business for you in this manner. Social media can help you do this by allowing you to instantly publicize spur of the moment contests to drum up business on a slow night or say a grateful word of thanks to your customer base when their business helps you reach certain milestones or win some type of award.
Share, Share, Share
Instead of maintaining a static web site with basic details, create a social media business page where clients can come to post comments about the food and service they received when visiting your food truck. Encourage them to share the page with their social media friends and family members by:
- responding to their questions and comments and interacting with them several times a day
- posting interesting local news and sports information that your customers will want to share
- sharing your menu, pictures of your truck in action or recipes for favorite food items
- providing a constantly updated map of your location, hours of business and any specials offered each day
Keep It Fresh
Just like the food you serve, your social media presence can become stale and unappetizing. Keep it fresh by making sure that you actively promote your food truck business and the food your serve each day on a variety of social media platforms.
Doing this does not have to be as time-consuming as it sounds. Instead of trying to do each thing every day, create a manageable social media presence by:
- pre-writing and scheduling weekly blog posts with general, but interesting, information about your business and the community
- updating your business's social media page each morning by sharing a quick photo or tidbit along with a reminder of the day's menu, location and specials
- using sites that only allow a few characters of text or a photo at random times to share interesting information or to draw additional attention to your business during slow periods
If you are having a difficult time with building a strong social media following or just want to maximize the benefits of the one you have, it may be time to consult with a digital marketing service like Meredith Broadcast Digital Solutions. They can use their expertise to help create a customized, targeted social media campaign that will help you continue to grow your business.