If you head to a local fair or festival over the summer, you’ll likely find some food trucks there. Food trucks have become a culinary craze over the past couple of years. And their resurgence is due in part to the emergence of social media.
Mobile businesses like food trucks need a way of alerting customers to their locations. Social media is a perfect tool for that. It allows customers and fans to both figuratively and literally follow the businesses to each of their stops.
But it’s not necessarily as easy as signing up and posting your location the day of an event. Food trucks and other mobile businesses have to carefully manage their presence on social media, perhaps even more carefully than other types of businesses.
Entrepreneur asked some of these vendors for their secrets to an effective marketing effort. So if you want to hear food truck owners share social media tips for mobile businesses, look no further. Maybe there’s a tip here for your business too.
Cater to each platform
If you use multiple social media platforms, you’ll notice that each one has a different specialty. So instead of using a one-size-fits-all strategy, it’s important to play to the strength of each platform.
Think about both the ability of the site and its demographics. If you’re trying to reach a young audience with visuals, Instagram may be your go-to platform. If you want to share general updates with as many people as possible, Facebook could be more beneficial.
Emulate the best
There are likely other players in your industry who have turned to social media and used it effectively. While each business should create it’s own strategy, it can’t hurt to learn what you can from others. So take a look at what seems to be working for other businesses and consider if any of those strategies might work for your business.
For mobile businesses, it could be especially useful to see when and how others post about their upcoming events. If businesses post the day of an event, do they get more responses than those that post the day before? What types of announcements get the best responses and the most customers? Looking at what others are doing can save you the trouble of learning all of those tough lessons the hard way.
Monitor your mentions
Food trucks and other types of businesses can also use social media as a quality control tool. If you monitor your business’s social media mentions or tagged photos, you’ll see how customers really see your business.
Maybe you’ll see a shared photo from a customer of a plate of your food that doesn’t look up to your standards. Then you’ll know that a change might be necessary. Social media has so many applications, but you have to actually read what others have to say if you want to get the full value.
Overall, social media is about connecting with people. Even if your business has a huge following, there are real people behind each of those accounts. If they connect with your business on social media, it’s because they really want to interact with you.
Eric Silverstein of The Peached Tortilla, for instance, went out of his way to thank each customer individually who had engaged his business on social media. He carefully tracked all of the people who checked in at the business on Foursquare, then personally thanked each one on Twitter. He said:
“It was that proactive approach that worked. Customers want to hear that you appreciate their business. And you should appreciate their business.”