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LinkedIn

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According to Forbes.com, Mountain View, CA based LinkedIn has continued its tradition of inviting food trucks to their parking lot to help feed their hard working staff members.

LinkedIn food-truck-friday

Image from http://blog.linkedin.com/

Someone over at LinkedIn spun one of those lunch-related ideas into something glorious for its food truck fans: an entire season of mobile food vendors for its employees to graze upon. Despite LinkedIn having opened a full-service café, when we visited their campus their roundabout was packed with people and plates.

While this is not the first case of a company inviting food trucks to offer food options for their employees, it’s just another sign that the mobile food industry is continuing its expansion into the mainstream of American living. Any business or industrial park with large employee bases can and should be inviting food trucks to make weekly trips (or more often) to their buildings. Not only does this provide an upscale culinary option for staff, but it also builds bonds with local small businesses.

You can join in on food truck discussion over at LinkedIn at our Food Truck Revolution group <here>

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tip of the dayEven the most active LinkedIn users can question which connection requests they should accept or extend. LinkedIn makes it possible to connect to almost anyone. With that said, that doesn’t mean as a food truck owner that you should.

Instead, think about the two-way quality of the relationships you want to build there. Use a filter to help you connect to those people who will be able to help you, or whom you would be willing to help.

Try the “favor test”: Would you do a favor for this person, or ask a favor of them? If so, make the connection. If not, take a pass.

If you’re consistent in applying this test and selective about which connections you initiate and accept, you can tap into LinkedIn’s power: an address book in which all the entries can see and connect with one another, and a network that’s efficient in supporting your mobile food business goals.

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linkedin logo

Your LinkedIn profile page is your personal home page to the business world. To enhance your profile, log into your LinkedIn account, click Profile, choose Edit from the top-left navigation menu that appears, then follow these tips:

  • Create a customized URL.
  • Add as many past employers as you have had so the most amount of former co-workers can find you.
  • Make sure your professional headline emphasizes any keywords you want to use to promote yourself.
  • Make your profile public and set it to Full View so your LinkedIn profile will show up in Web search results.
  • Add links from your LinkedIn profile to Web sites you are trying to promote, like your blog, or company Web site.
  • For Web site links that you add to your profile, select Other and rename each link to include meaningful keywords, so instead of it saying “My Blog” it would say “My Food Truck Blog.”
  • Include all of your main e-mail addresses in your profile so people can connect with you. LinkedIn does not display your e-mail addresses to the public; they simply keep your e-mail addresses on file when someone tries to connect with you.
  • Fill out the Summary field of your profile with all of your critical skills and important career-related keywords, and be sure to fill out the Skills section with your skill list as well.
  • Add a professional photo to your profile.
  • Add a link to your LinkedIn profile in your e-mail signature file.

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Beyond Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is one of the leading social media platforms today. It receives more daily traffic than popular sites such as eBay, Craigslist, ESPN and Flickr. This fact alone should get you to realize that LinkedIn should be a very important cog in your food truck’s online marketing plan.

linkedin

It is the largest business networking site in the world and as soon as you begin investigating the site, you will notice a definite shift in its users. The mood changes and the messages are more professional. Conversations are geared toward partnerships and transactions, as opposed to your food truck’s current or future location. Everything is centered on advancing careers or building business networks.

Here are some tips to use when using this social media platform.

Complete Your Profile

Your profile is the heart and soul of your online brand.  It usually ranks in the top 5 of Google search results for “Your First and Last Name”.  When others do a search for your name to learn about your product, service, company, or previous work experience, then you’d better have a rock solid profile or that first impression could drastically tarnish your value.

Most LinkedIn profiles are extremely boring and showcase zero personality.  Add an interesting story in your summary or at a minimum tell people who you are so there is some direction for people to take when they land on your profile.

Connect With Everyone

As I have been told in the past and other so-called LinkedIn experts suggest, “You should only connect with those you already know and trust, so you can make recommendations to others when they want an introduction.”  I can see their point of view but how can one expect to expand your opportunities and options when you shut off communication to the rest of the 120 million plus members on LinkedIn?

Think about it, you already know all of the opportunities that your closest connections can share since you talk to them frequently.  Use LinkedIn like a live networking event and introduce yourself to others, make new friends.  Also, start accepting invitations to others who add you. The more connections you have, the larger your expanded network grows which helps create more opportunities in the long run.

As a side note: Be suspicious with people who don’t have a profile picture. LinkedIn is a network for personal and professional connections. Your avatar is an integral part of your online persona.

Join Targeted Groups

As a food truck owner this is the part of LinkedIn you should be focusing the most.  There are benefits to both joining and being a part of niche-related groups. Think of them as independent social networks where you can spread your message, connect with key partners, and take your business to another level.  If you are interested in a food truck related group to join, check out the group we created called, Food Truck Revolution.

Connect With Twitter

You may find that you receive more comments and interaction on LinkedIn from the same types of updates you publish on Twitter. It may be the case that these updates stay at the top of your LinkedIn profile longer than they do in your Twitter stream.  The more interaction you get, the more others see it.

Optimize Your Search Ranking

People are constantly searching for others on LinkedIn.  They are looking for caterers, employee candidates and industry experts.  Optimize your profile to help you be found and contacted by more people looking for what your specialty.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get a flood of people emailing or calling you to have you cater their party, wedding or even to invite you to sell your goods on their private lot?

Do you have any additional tips for those new to LinkedIn? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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With the mobile food industry continuing to grow we are constantly on the look out to assist both the owner operators as well as the customers of these rolling bistros. From time to time we run polls to gain industry information that truck owners can use to help better their customer service and the options that they provide to the communities that they serve. Other times our polls are set to find out general information “we” want to know.

social-media

This week’s poll centers around social media. We want to know how much which social media platforms food truck owners use to reach out to your customers. We have multiple options which can be selected, so if you use all of the options, please feel free to tell us that. If there are other social media platforms you use, please feel free to share that information in the comment section below. Let us know, so we can share our findings with our readers.

Which Social Media Platform Do You Use To Reach Your Customers?

View Results

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