Numerous food truck vendors have joined Pinterest, the popular visual bookmarking tool. Unfortunately there are plenty that are making mistakes along the way as they try to figure out how to use the site for marketing their food trucks.
Pinterest, which launched in 2010, has grown to more than 11 million users. Every day, people use the website to “pin” images and videos to their personal pin boards so they can save and share the things they love. The site gets social when people follow each other and repin or comment on each other’s pins.
The vast majority of Pinterest users are women between the ages of 25 and 34, so it’s a natural place for mobile food business to spend time if they want to connect with that target audience. If you are wondering how to use it, it is easy to get creative inspiration by reviewing other food truck pinboards.
With that in mind, here are some Pinterest do’s and don’ts to help you use the site to promote your mobile food business.
Tell stories and tap into emotions. Pinterest is a place for storytelling. Help consumers become emotionally connected to your food truck brand by pinning content that reveals more about your brand personality than just your menu items.
Get social and build relationships. Pinterest is a social destination, so get involved with its community. Find active Pinterest members and build relationships with them by following them, repinning their content and commenting on their pins. The commenting feature in Pinterest is still greatly underutilized, and you can stand out by using it frequently.
Create group pinboards and crowdsource. You don’t have to go it alone on Pinterest. Create group pinboards and invite other users to pin content to those boards. For example, ask customers to pin pictures of them before they eat one of your menu items or while they wait in line to give their order. You also could hold a contest to crowdsource pins. Ask customers to review your food on your website and pin a quote from their review to a special contest pinboard. You benefit from more reviews and a pinboard that’s filled with testimonials.
Use pinterest for direct marketing. Pinterest states that the site should not be used for direct marketing, advertising or sales. Excessive and overt self-promotion is clearly unacceptable, so make sure you’re pinning diverse content, not just pictures of your menu items. You need to get creative and use Pinterest for indirect marketing.
Forget who the Pinterest audience is. Approximately three out of four Pinterest users are currently women. While the site is beginning to attract more male users, you shouldn’t waste time pinning a lot of content that women are unlikely to be interested in.
Pin anything and everything. Cluttering your pinboards with everything you think people might like is a mistake. Just as people don’t like to sift through clutter in search engine results and on websites, they don’t want to be overwhelmed on Pinterest. Stay focused, but don’t be afraid to pin interesting content that your target audience would enjoy and that’s at least loosely connected to your food truck business. This type of content can help give your brand more personality.