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If you’re like most food truck owners, you are looking for a simple, in-expensive, yet profitable marketing strategy, than you’re going to love this article.

Running a food truck business revolves round a lot of different variables that can affect your business. Everything from weather, seasons, your parking locations, your staff, and the quality of your food. As a mobile food business owner it’s important to consistently have the line at your service window full.

As a huge food truck fan, I can admit that few people want to step up to a truck with no line. Most customers want to see line full of people (ok maybe not too many), life, and laughter. It’s the social proof that the truck with all the people in line must be good.

It’s important to note that mobile marketing if used properly can be extremely powerful and can fill your line very quickly so please choose wisely on how you use these strategies.

Coupons

A simple, straight to the point coupon never hurt anyone. Many food trucks are seeing great success by simply sending out a coupon or discount to their subscribers. Just imagine, it’s a Wednesday afternoon and you know that every Wednesday is your slowest day so you create a Wednesday texting discount club. Send a $5 off or 15% off coupon via text and you’ll start to see some great results.

“Buy any entree and get a free appetizer – TODAY ONLY”

Meal Specials

Want to attract more traffic and customers to your service window for lunch? Send a quick meal special text message to get the ball rolling.

“Today’s special – Fresh Mahi Mahi Tacos, Fresh Cut Fries and a Drink – Only $9.99. See you soon!”

Order Up Notifications

Stop yelling out the window looking for the customer who is waiting for their order, instead… a text message directly to your customer’s phone. It’s cleaner, easier, and much more efficient for your business.

“Your order is now ready. Please come to the service window”

Birthday Reminders

As a food truck you can learn a bit more about your customers, gather their birthday information, and send them a special gift on their birthday or leading up to their birthday so they can choose your place for their birthday breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

“Happy Birthday! Find us today and get a FREE Burger”

Raffles

Some trucks I have visited have a “card bowl” at their service windows. This is a great way to collect your customer’s information for later follow-up. If you are running a contest or a raffle, you can send a text message to the winner or simply send out a coupon to all of the subscribers to bring more customers to your food truck.

“Congratulations! You won a $25 gift card from our truck! Please show this message to our service window staff to claim your prize.”

Have you used text messages in your mobile marketing strategy? Let us know how it worked for you.

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New food truck operators are thrust into the world of social media the moment they join the mobile food industry. Whether their previous experience was merely having a personal Facebook page a food truck owner needs to quickly learn the ins and outs of social media to help their start up business flourish.

Social Media Strategy

This doesn’t mean that you just start up social media accounts on Twitter or Facebook, it means you have to have a strategy in how to properly use them.

In the process of developing a social media strategy for your food truck you need to come up with answers to the following questions:

What do I want to accomplish through social media?

It is amazing how many mobile food businesses owners fail to ask this question. Often the response we hear is that “somebody told me I ought to be on (fill in the blank).”

Social media can be used for multiple purposes, so identify the specific business goals you want them to help you reach. Figure out whether you are looking to drive sales, find new customers, provide customer service, or just give your food truck brand a boost.

How much time do I want to spend with it?

Some of the food truck owners we speak with treat social media as a game or something to dabble with. If you are going to participate (and we highly suggest you do), you are wasting your time (and time is money) if you just dip your toe in. Make social media part of your overall marketing strategy and treat it with the same level of attention as you would any other marketing initiative.

Tempted to portion off just a small chunk of the day for social media? Don’t skimp: Too small a time investment can damage your food truck’s brand. Social media is all about providing useful, helpful, and interesting information to your target audience. If you disappoint with poor content or infrequent interactions, you send a message that you are either not interested or you are not a quality operation.

Who will execute my social media strategy?

While your day may already be packed with operational time restrictions, new food truck owners should learn to use social media themselves. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is putting your social media efforts in the hands of interns or the youngest members of the staff. They might know their way around multiple platforms, but it doesn’t mean they have the knowledge or judgment to deliver your food truck’s key messaging on those platforms.

The ideal candidate doesn’t just know Twitter inside and out, but also knows your customers, your target audience, and your business goals. Unless you have hired an employee that meets these criteria, take the reins of your business social media tasks.

Which platforms are best for my food truck?

There are dozens of major platforms and since most start up food trucks are small businesses, you should know that you won’t be able to compete effectively on every one of them. Because money, time and human resources are limited, choose wisely. Here are a few things to think about:

  • Twitter is what has helped the food truck industry grow as rapidly as it has. It allows you to post your upcoming locations and events. It puts a human face on your business, providing useful information to your target audience, and listening to your customers and responding in real time.
  • Facebook: The audience is more diverse than you think. Over half of Facebook’s users are over 26 and the fastest growth is in the over 25 demographic.
  • Foursquare, the premier location-based social media platform, works well for truck owners looking to drive immediate traffic to their food truck service windows. Foursquare also tends to skew toward a younger demographic than the other platforms we mention.
  • Pinterest, the photo-sharing service, is the new kid on the block, but it has developed a huge audience. With women representing over 80% of Pinterest users, it is a great venue for posting about your menu items.
  • YouTube: YouTube has become the No. 2 search engine. If you can create informative, entertaining, and even humorous videos about your food truck and menu items, then you can use YouTube as a highly effective tool in attracting and retaining customers.
  • LinkedIn is great for business-to-business conversations, establishing and demonstrating expertise, hiring, and finding appropriate strategic partners and suppliers.

How do I know if my efforts are working?

If you’ve already answered the first question on this list, then you already know your goals. The next step is to measure against them. Be vigilant. Like any marketing efforts, there will be growth pains as you learn the ropes. But by keeping up with your metrics, you can change course or make tweaks before any major damage can be caused to your food truck’s marketing effort.

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