Food truck operators go to great lengths to make their menus desirable and their trucks shine. Your drive combined with the right marketing tools will help you produce the return you hoped for. You already have a great menu, crave-able flavors, and a suitable truck—which are all key for a great start. So, instead of finding ways to repurpose the food your team prepped for the day, create demand by marketing your business and having conversations with your guests online.
Not sure how to get started? Consider the following social media marketing tips.
Foster a relationship with your guests.
Your food truck guests are a highly evolved group when it comes to social media—and to think of them simply as "customers" is a missed opportunity. So, start engaging them! Responding to reviews is a great way to let guests know you care about your business and, more importantly, them. They took the time to write a review about your business, and they deserve to be heard. These conversations will make an impression that can solidify a great review and change a mind if the review wasn't so positive. Consider implementing a review management tool to help streamline comments and concerns, and respond to reviews in a timely manner.
Posting on other platforms like Instagram and Twitter with the same approach might feel more informal than a response to a review, but this is where you can create more positive relationships. Replying to comments on your latest Instagram post consistently, following people back, and increasing the chances for dialogue with guests all help connect guests with your business.
When it comes to a strong social media relationship, remember that people don't like to be "ghosted," so post regularly and maintain a schedule for posts. Don't be the food truck operator that only posts when a new menu item is released. Show off the same old menu, but in new, creative ways. Clever repetition in your posts will actually help guests crave your food, and keep you current in the social media algorithm feeds.
Be transparent with your followers.
The time for transparency in social media marketing is now, with 86% of Americans feeling it is more important than ever, according to SproutSocial. So, consider showcasing the provisions you're getting and the laborious prep work happening. This highlights your process to your guests, familiarizes them with your flavors, and shows that you care enough to invite them into your kitchen.
Your guests are savvy with food safety and safety in general while living in pandemic conditions, so an emphasis on cleanliness and safe practices is crucial. Discuss that in your posts, share your concern for their safety, and keep an eye out for cleanliness when creating a "behind the scenes" post. It's easy to get excited about a new food item to tease on social media, but when the equipment is dirty, or a cook is touching multiple surfaces then the food, that may be all a guest sees, resulting in a post that impacts your business negatively.
Representing your staff is important, too, so promote them on social media. Perhaps post a team member feature-of-the-month, offering guests a glimpse into who's on the team and what their favorite menu item is. Guests will appreciate getting to know team members and employees will appreciate the recognition.
Take your research and development process public.
New menu items present a variety of ways to capture the attention of the public, and they can create a buzz with calculated social media marketing. When featuring new ingredients, you have the opportunity to educate your guests on your cooking style and recipes. By offering a sneak peek into your process, you can start conversations about the menu and directly gauge interest in the items. Ask your followers what they think about a new menu item, and then do your part by responding.
By creating special customized offerings, guests can see and appreciate that you're aiming to enhance their experience. Perhaps when your truck is parked outside a brewery, you introduce a special that pairs well with the brewery's most popular beer. Be sure to tag the brewery in a social media post and cross-promote whenever you can. Combining efforts will increase your following and soon you'll be making a name for yourself and your truck.
Make the time to use social media regularly.
When it comes to quality social media marketing, it can take some time and attention to detail—so, deputizing an employee to handle it may be the best way to go. Still, it's smart to create a clear strategy for how your brand is depicted online, and make sure it's consistent. Use similar, quality lighting when you post menu item photos, and be sure to showcase your truck when there is a line of satisfied guests.
Making the time to offer followers and potential followers a consistent, authentic look at every part of your food truck business is the best way to approach social media marketing. Use a calendar to schedule posts, pick the brains of guests, and prepare yourself for more business.