Tags Posts tagged with "Twitter"

Twitter

0 55
FoodTruckChat

FoodTruckChat#FoodTruckChat is back and for a great reason. Food truck programming on television has really starting to take off, this weekend alone there are two programs making their premiers. Because of this we are dusting off our FoodTruckChat account to discuss these shows while they are running live.

While we cannot promise any special guests at this time, we hope to have a few of the truck owners drop in and say hello.

FoodTruckChat SATURDAY

Wingmen  premiers August 16 at 10pm/9c on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Get the low down on Wingmen

FoodTruckChat SUNDAY

The Great Food Truck Race season 5 premiers this Sunday, Aug. 17 at 9pm/8c on Food Network.

Get the low down on The Great Food Truck Race

Join us during one or both (preferably) of these great food truck shows on Twitter as we live chat @FoodTruckChat or use the hashtag FoodTruckChat to join the discussion.

0 458
food truck tip of the day

Many food truck owner forays into social media yield nothing more than wasted time and effort. Before you establish your food truck Twitter account or start a Facebook page, step back and think about what messages will be relevant to your customers or potential customers.

tip of the dayOf course you want to send out your next location or your special of the day/week, but if your other communications aren’t useful or interesting to them, you might as well be tweeting into a black hole.

Start by understanding the conversations that are already happening around your food truck. Then craft messages accordingly.

Before sending anything out, ask yourself:

  • What value does this message carry for our customers?
  • What action are we hoping to inspire?

If you don’t have a clear answer to each of these questions, it’s time to return to the drawing board.

 

0 605
twitter policy

We’re going to share the policy we’ve been following since our first Tweet in 2010. It works well for us and you can adopt this policy for your personal or food truck account if you wish.

Ready for it?…

We follow everyone back on Twitter (well, almost everyone).

There, that’s our policy short and simple and here’s why we follow it.

For some reason, Twitter limits how many people an account can follow. If you happen to follow a bunch of celebrity chefs and news outlets that don’t follow you back, your account will hit a wall at 2,000 where you find you can’t follow anyone else. So any time you don’t follow someone back, you’re limiting who else they can follow.

When learning about Twitter early on, we found an article that explained that automatically following back is the common ethic of the medium. It’s what you do, it said. This rule has served us well in introducing us to some really great people…many of which have become friends (online and offline).

Much more important, here’s why we follow everyone back: We are not more important than any of our followers. We are grateful every single time someone or some company follows us. It’s their way of saying, “Hey Mobile Cuisine, we want to get to know you better.” For us, to snub this kindness would be ungracious, to say the least.

Following back is consistent with our status as an online trade magazine that covers a service industry. How on earth could we tell food truck owners to provide Five-Star Customer Service, when we are impolite to those kind enough to follow us on Twitter? So for us, it’s an easy decision.

We understand that some of you will find these to be strong words, especially that last part. Let us repeat: this is OUR follow-back policy. These are our reasons. You may have perfectly legitimate reasons for not observing our practices, and they probably work for you and your food truck business.

Remember when we stated we follow “almost everyone”?

When we follow a new person, we typically give them a week, maybe two, to follow us back. If they don’t choose to, that’s perfectly fine. But at that point we typically unfollow them. We literally do not follow a single human who does not follow us as well – at least not for more than a week. No one is that important to me. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t follow food trucks that don’t follow us…we do, do that. We have to…we need to know what’s happening in the industry, and Twitter is one of the source we use for that information.

Alright, that’s our short explanation of our follow-back policy for Twitter. We are very interested in your thoughts and comments. We know this one in particular is not universally agreed upon, so let us have it, if you feel so inclined.

2 954
twitter traction

Food truck operators constantly email me with questions on how they can improve the tweets they send out. What I usually explain is that they need to increase their “Twitter Traction”.

That’s when things get quiet. Twitter Traction? The short explanation is this…it’s when your tweets get retweeted, favorited, or attracts new followers (ie…possible new customers).

As a mobile food business, Twitter traction something you need to learn how to achieve.  A common response question is, “Why?”, and within milliseconds I return the volley with, “the primary reason any food truck should have a social media presence is to gain more visibility for your brand. The more your tweets get circulated, the more people will view your mobile food business name and ultimately track your truck down to see what all the fuss is about.”

As someone who has spent the last 4 years inside the twitterverse, I have enjoyed figuring out what kind of tweets get attention not just get tweeted out once, never to be read again. While in some cases it may just be that the author found the right receiver, the right Twitter member who appreciates the thoughts, sentiments or content of that particular tweet. But along the way I have discovered some great tricks for delivering your tweet message effectively- to get your food truck’s tweet noticed, to get it TRACTION.

HASHTAGS and MENTIONS

Starting with the most obvious and easiest to master- the art of the hashtag for food trucks is all about being topical within the mobile food industry, your target market or subjects relevant to your brand. If you hashtag your tweet, it becomes easily searched, and may find its way to the perfect re-tweeter.

Examples: #foodtruck, #foodcart,  #streetfood, #yourcity 

Mentioning other food trucks or businesses related to your tweet (by including @ followed by their twitter address) is a no-brainer in gaining twitter traction- because whomever you mention will likely retweet to increase their own brand visibility. This is of course far more effective when used authentically, positively, and with a clear purpose- for example, to thank a customer, a business partner, a supplier, or event promoter; respond to their idea, or share content specifically relevant to them.

FRONT LOAD

Tweets may be only 140 characters, but food truck vendors are always in a hurry. Whenever possible, lead with the interesting information, feeling, opinion, or point of difference. This way, when scrolling down the trillion or so tweets on their screen, others in the twitterverse will be attracted to your tweet immediately, without having to read the entire message.

Again, positive messages seem to get more traction, and to create that immediate, positive tweet-attraction- you can start your tweet with engaging adjectives that invite fellow tweeters to keep reading:

Example: Helpful #Cookingtips: learn how to make our awesome <insert menu item here> at home! www.yourfoodtruckblog.com

This hits the topic of cooking tips and gives an opinion (helpful) in the first two words. Front-loading is effective for all scroll-feed social media.

SIMPLIFY + TOPICS = RETWEET

This is a great little trick for getting your content circulated and you brand retweeted- especially if you are linking an article, either a blog post on your own site or another great piece of content you have discovered that you feel is really on message for your food truck brand. Before the link, create a simple equation that will help readers quickly ascertain why this is a click-worthy link:

Example: #FoodTrucks + #Social Media = Low Cost #Marketing! (follow with link).

See how the hashtags are a natural fit as well?  You can even add a dash of humor to get even more traction:

Example: #QSR + #SocialMediaFail = #hilarious! (link to article). 

You can have some fun working with these tips but be sure to experiment.  See what helps get your food truck tweets the most traction.

BONUS TIP) GET TRENDING

One of the quickest ways to spread the word about your business is to get a hastag listed in Twitter’s trending topics column. Twitter keeps an updated list on the left side of the site that shares what hashtags or topics are trending the most. You can see what trending locally or nationally or if interested worldwide.

To get into that list, a large group of people need to be tweeting about that topic in a certain point of time. We have created a way food trucks can get their topic of choice trending. Social Surge is our new site offering that allows members of the mobile food industry to gather social media donations to shout out a tweet on a topic all at once.

If you’d like to learn more please head over to Social Surge and start a campaign of your own. It’s simple and best of all…IT’s FREE!

0 707
Twitter Engage Followers

Yesterday we dove into the topic of finding relevant Twitter followers for your mobile food business. Today we’ll expand on that thought and discuss how to keep your new followers.

While having fantastic food coming from your service window with great service will get customers to keep coming back, the same type of strategy needs to be used when using Twitter. Your followers aren’t going to keep tracking your tweets if the content is the equivalent of an unpleasant server presenting them with bland, non-innovative food.

So how do you keep your followers coming back for more?

Tweet Interesting Content

If you are new to Twitter, this task may seem easier said than done.  Even if you aren’t an investigative journalist there are a number of ways to share interesting content? Here are some ideas.

Use Google Alerts

Set up Google Alerts to get daily email updates about all of the things that are of interest to your audience—from “vegan recipes” to “food truck industry news”—and share them through Twitter.

Share Images

Photos and videos are a proven way to engage your audience. Use photos to share your menu items or events you take part in so your food truck business will get click-throughs and comments.

You may have just come up with a great new recipe, take a picture of it and ask “what do you think?” Photos engage, especially if you tie them into a giveaway.

Engage With The Crowd

Mobile food business’ on Twitter who don’t talk to other people are significantly less engaging and less likely to get followers. Just because someone hasn’t followed you back doesn’t mean that you can’t engage them. Check out their conversations and see if you can jump in with relevant comments, or retweet some of their links.

Join The Conversation

Chances are, what is of interest to your followers is what they’re already talking about! Rather than trying to start a new discussion, why not join an existing? See what your audience is talking about and engage them in that conversation. Ask questions, answer them, retweet and respond.

Also, being part of conversations will get you in front of more people, increasing your chances of being followed.

Get involved with #chats

Anyone can start a chat on Twitter by using a hashtag. By joining the conversation at appropriate chats, you can quickly build your relevant followers; assuming you have something valuable to add!

If you’re looking to engage other local merchants, you could chime in at a chat set up by your local chamber of commerce. If you are looking to talk about the national food truck scene, please feel free to join #FoodTruckChat. Although we have been lax in operating this chat, we do plan to pick it back up shortly.

Promote Your Twitter Account Through Other Channels

Leverage the following you’ve built elsewhere by promoting your Twitter account. Talk up Twitter at your website, blog or through email.

Leverage your social media platforms

Likewise, include links (and calls to action) on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.

You may be tempted to sync all of your updates and tweets together using a tool like HootSuite or TweetDeck. While there’s nothing wrong with this, use this technique cautiously.

Certain platforms may not be as “conversational” as Twitter, and if you’re already connected on Facebook and you’re syncing all of your tweets and Facebook posts, what’s the value to your fans of getting the same content on Twitter?

What do you think? What tips, tools or tactics have you been using to build your own relevant Twitter following? Share something in the comments box below and include your Twitter handle and you’ll be sure to pick up a few new followers.

1 1181
relevant twitter followers

Is Twitter working for your food truck business the way you thought it would? Are you looking to grow a larger and more relevant Twitter following for your truck?

Early on Roy Choi discovered how powerful Twitter was for finding and engaging an audience for his Kogi BBQ. Not only was it a low cost marketing tool, but the speed it delivered his message and its viral nature made it a favorite tool for advertising his next stop.

Yet when some food truck owners jump on Twitter for the first time, they wonder why they don’t get an overwhelming response to their initial tweet. Soon they learn that they must develop a following.

They see other trucks with followings of 500, 5,000 or 50,000 and they want some of that. So they head over to Google “how to get more followers on Twitter” or falling for tweets advertising different ways to buy followers.

Well, I’m here to tell you that it can be very easy to build a following on Twitter if you’re willing to try tactics such as following and un-following people, creating fake accounts that follow you and retweet everything you say or even buying followers.

Although you may be able to build up your food truck’s following quickly using these shady tactics, very few of those followers will provide your business any value.

So the basic premise of this article is to let new food truck owners know that it’s not how many followers your food truck has, but how many relevant followers you have. Having 1,000 followers who don’t respond to anything you share is equivalent to shouting from your service window and claiming that the entire city is your audience.

With that said; more engaged followers are better than fewer engaged followers. So, let’s focus on getting your food truck more engaged followers.

Building a relevant Twitter following comes down to four basic principles:

  • Find and follow prospective customers
  • Tweet content that interests your target audience
  • Engaging with your audience
  • Promote your Twitter account

Today I’ll discuss the some tips, tools and tactics to attract relevant followers on Twitter and follow up tomorrow with the other three.

Find and Follow Prospective Customers

The audience you want to be able to convert into food truck sales is out there, it’s just up to you to find them.

Build a Strong Profile

Because most people will check out your profile before following you, it is important to put your account settings in order and present your food truck business in the most engaging way possible.

Profile photo: Make sure you’re using a photo of your truck or your logo for your account. Let people know what type of business you are and what tells them more than showing off your truck.

Background Photo: Use this large area to help show potential customers what’s on your menu…show off a single item or collage of images of the food you serve.

Detailed Bio: You’ve got 160 characters, so get creative. Let people know what type of food you sell and where you sell it. If your tag line explains this and fits…use it here to keep a consistent marketing message across all media platforms.

Location: Because the food truck industry is so hyper local, make sure you include the city you operate in. If you are like most trucks and work in multiple cities or counties, put the general region and state you park your truck in. This can be the make it or break for some people to follow your mobile food business.

Third-party Tools

One of the first places to start your search for relevant people is at one of the many Twitter directories out there. Over the years a lot of these directories have come and gone but these are our favorites:

Use these tools to search your area for your ideal customers.

Leverage other Truck’s Twitter Lists

A great source for new people to connect with is other food truck’s Twitter lists. As long as the lists are made public, you are free to subscribe to them, quickly getting access to dozens or hundreds of vetted Twitter users.

Search Twitter

You can use Twitter’s search functionality to find relevant people and engage with them. For example, let’s say you are launching in Cleveland. Start by doing searches on #Cleveland #Foodtruck on Twitter.

Once you find people discussing food trucks in your area, you can join the conversation by @ (mentioning) them, answering their questions and otherwise engaging them.

Since your truck’s customers will normally be local, run a search to see if you can who’s hungry and close to your next stop. Then reach out directly to those starving members of your community on Twitter and offer them a discount or free drink if they show up to your service window and mention “Twitter” as they place their order.

For more ideas on finding and following the right people, keep an eye out on tomorrow’s follow up article.

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to retweet it or add us at twitter.com/mobilecuisine.

0 600

If you want to transmit a one-way message to your customers, a billboard is a wonderful option; radio ads work well too.

However, if your goal is to build your food truck business around loyal customers, a better option is to use a marketing channel like Twitter, where engagement is one-to-many and one-on-one. You and the customer, the customer and you.

twitter-tips

Here are some tips for making that digital relationship more personal.

State your name. Whomever is the owner of the truck should at least be listed in the bio by name. It helps tweets that start with “I” make a little more sense and be more meaningful.

Use your business as a canvas. If you have a smartphone, you’re officially obligated to post photos. Is there something new on your menu? Are you preparing food in your commercial kitchen? What’s on the menu today? How full is the line of your truck? These are all opportunities for photographic bragging rights.

Actively listen. Use social media monitoring tools to chime in when someone talks about you. Don’t let a mention go unnoticed or unappreciated. Respond when people talk to you.

Be a voice, not an echo. Cross posting to both Twitter & Facebook, or (gasp!) having Facebook feed into Twitter is the biggest pet peeve of Twitter users. Use each platform separately and to their greatest individual strengths.

Jump in on hashtags. There are lots of TweetChats and hashtags to join. There’s #foodtruckchat for discussing your truck and issues around it.

Be their guide. Your customers are following you because they think you’re cool, they like your food truck, and they want to hear about specials. Be a resource to them about the topics related to your mobile food business.

Provide customer service. Listen to what your customers are saying on Twitter, and respond to them no matter what the feedback. It’s just like how in real life a great service window attendant can get someone to buy half the menu, while a poor one sends customers off to their next destination quickly. Resolve complaints, and be gracious of compliments.

One of the biggest hurdles that anyone who’s just joined Twitter will come across is the question of how to interact. However, for food truck owners, the question is more esoteric, as you’ll need to build a digital persona that acts as both a brand and a likable human.

0 130

tip of the dayWhen it comes to social media, food truck owners should become a master of one or two platforms rather than flounder in many.

When you look at all of your various social media options, a good way to break them down is into social platforms vs. social networking sites.

Social platforms are like soapboxes; they allow you to establish your expertise and credibility, but provide a method for feedback and discussion. (i.e. blogging, YouTube or pod casting.

Social networks are more like a real-world networking event. Think about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and possibly Pinterest.

Since food trucks are considered B2C (business to consumer), it’s beneficial to choose work in the social networks first to focus on initially, and really develop a deep engagement level with your ideal customers there. As you master those channels, you can then start to expand into other realms.

0 200

tip of the dayTwitter is an important way for food truck owners to learn about the mobile food industry, build relationships, and extend the impact of their work. Even Twitter enthusiasts can be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tweets and the velocity of conversations, but Twitter lists—groups of individual Twitter accounts—can help focus your attention. You can quickly focus in on updates from the people you really want to hear from—industry experts, well-networked colleagues, and customers—simply by looking at your two or three most crucial lists. Separate your incoming tweet stream into lists by thinking about:

  • Development: Who do you want to learn from? Section out the smartest people you know or want to know.
  • Interactions: Which relationships do you want to initiate or strengthen? Engage with the people who will have the greatest impact on your effectiveness by mentioning and retweeting them.
  • Goals: What do you want to accomplish? Tune into the people and conversations that support your aspirations.

0 288

When the head chef of a local restaurant in Oxfordshire, England was fired a week before Christmas, he wasted little time before heading to Twitter to share his anger with the situation. Unfortunately for the restaurant, he still had access to the company’s twitter account and decided to use the brand’s platform to share his story.

In just 7 tweets, chef Jim Knight’s rant gained nearly 12 000 retweets and 3500 favorites — an incredible number for the otherwise quiet Twitter account. To make matters worse, the tweets are still viewable, as the disgruntled chef was the only member of the restaurant that had access to the social media profile.

fired chef twitter

Many mobile food vendors don’t know exactly who has access to their Facebook and Twitter passwords, and if you don’t keep a tight rein on access info, you could be leaving yourself at risk.Whether your food truck is an organization of 2 employees or 25 you can never be too careful when it comes to the security and protection of your brand’s image.

Here are three ways to keep your organization’s social accounts safe and secure.

  • Verify who the Administrators of your Facebook Page are, and remove everyone who no longer needs access (do this NOW).
  • Change your Twitter password if you’ve ever shared it, and keep a log of who knows the new password so you can always be sure who has access to your account.
  • And finally, if you do ever have to fire an employee who has had access to your social media accounts, change the password BEFORE you talk to them!
best food truck graphic ad
Give-Network-Ad 3