Twitter is – hands down – the best social media platform to use to build a community around your food truck brand. It is, by its very nature, a viral service. With Twitter’s real-time nature and fast-paced, conversational style, you are able to talk to, laugh with and answer the questions of multiple people nearly simultaneously.
Twitter is a conversation, and it takes 2 people to have a conversation. If you are on Twitter for your mobile food business, you have already realized the power of social media and how it contributes to your overall success.
If someone has found you compelling in some way, shouldn’t you give them the benefit of the doubt and follow them back? It’s not like you can’t block them in the future if you think their tweets become inappropriate.
If you follow just one person on Twitter, you’re then exposed to their entire list of followers and in turn, they’re exposed to your list. Engaging each other in conversation puts your food truck in front of more people, who then have the option of following you themselves. In the process, everyone adds followers and has the option of getting to know more people.
You shouldn’t ever feel obligated to follow back every single Twitter account that follows you. However, establishing some guidelines about what qualifies as an account you will follow back is a good way to approach this. Reasons to follow back might include: user location, the number of times that account has tweeted at you, the number of times that account has retweeted you, and if that account tweets about a good experience with your business. You also might try creating a few Twitter lists to manage your stream, segmented into groups like Customers, People Who Retweet Us and Other Local Food Trucks.
Sure, you can still talk to people who don’t follow you and vice versa, but there’s a psychology involved with a follower/following ratio. And that psychology is not one that favors your business or the value you place on your customers and community. First impressions go a long way. If a potential customer in your local market looks for your food truck business on Twitter, they will be faced with your follower/following numbers before choosing whether or not to follow. If you don’t get the “follow” click at that time, your chance of ever receiving it greatly diminishes. Which also means that locations and information about your mobile food business will not be appear in that potential customer’s tweet stream.
Twitter is all about the community, and by signing up, that community has made the conscious decision to interact and share interests, ideas, and personal information. If someone follows your food truck, they’re saying, in effect, that they want to hear what you have to say and care about your ideas.
Along with building a community around your brand and using Twitter as a channel for spreading your truck’s location and company announcements, Twitter is one social media channel where sharing an update is incredibly easy. So, embrace the interest your food truck’s Twitter followers have shown you, follow back those accounts that have proven to be your brand’s biggest ambassadors’ and reap the full rewards that going social with your business can bring.
Side note: You may be wondering how we came up with this conclusion since the Mobile Cuisine (@MobileCuisine) Twitter account has a 7k differential of followers to follow backs. We were ourselves and have determined to change our follow back strategy. If you pay attention in the near future, you will see that we are in the process of following our followers back.