As the food truck industry continues to grow, so does does the requirement to promote your business to remain competitive. The best way to promote your food truck is ultimately having a great menu and providing superb customer service. However, in today’s hyper-technological world, this also includes learning how to get votes in online food truck contests.
We’ve been running food truck contests since our early years. But, we’ve also noticed an uptick in local media organizations running their own food truck contests. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t bad. Not only is this a good sign that the mobile food industry is continuing to grow, but it shows its growing popularity.
When you enter or are entered into an online food truck contest, you might think that your work is done and you can simply sit back and find out if you’ve been chosen as a winner. Think again.
Simple & Ethical Promotion Strategies To Get Votes In Online Contests
Many food truck contests use voting to help determine their winners. Some use a voting system to narrow down the pack and pick finalists to be judged. Others go the opposite way, with judges picking finalists and a vote determining the winner.
And then again, some contests (like Mobile Cuisine) don’t have judges at all. They let voters pick the winners. This means that if you want your food truck to win more contests, you need to have a strategy to get votes. Sitting back and hoping to win might not be enough.
How To Get Votes For Your Food Truck
Design printed flyers to advertise your truck and why you should win the contest. Include a tear-away area with the contest’s website so that people will know where to enter when they get home or a QR code that people can scan with their smartphones.
Put the flyers up on at your service window and pass them out with every order. If you have the staffing, have one of your employees hand out the flyers to people walking past your truck. Who knows, this could actually lead to a sale.
Friends And Family
Your friends and family members might not be enough to win a contest, but they certainly shouldn’t be ignored. This should also include food truck and business owners in your area, or even the members of your local food truck association.
Ask them to ask their friends and followers for votes. You might have more people in your network than you think.
Remember Your Email List
If you’ve followed our advice over the years, your food truck should have an email list of at least a few hundred loyal customers. Over the duration of the contest, send out emails informing them of your entry and a link to the contest voting page.
You might not be lucky enough to have access to a massive mailing list of people you can call on to vote for you, but with some creativity, you can still get a significant number of votes if you have a list.
Make Friends With Other Vendors
Food truck contests often end with new friendships being formed. Just as the industry is, as a whole, most vendors don’t look at other food trucks a serious competitors. If you are entered in an online food truck contest, reach out to the other entrants. We’ve seen friendships built this way and maintained over the years. We’ve even seen where food truck vendors will spread the word to their followers about a contest in which a food truck friend is entered.
Get On Social Media
Most food truck vendors understand the power of social media. The industry has been tapping into this promotional source since its inception, so why wouldn’t you use it to get votes for your business in an online food truck contest?
- Facebook. Even though you may not reach the younger crowd on Facebook, it certainly has shown it’s worth to food truck vendors. Post on your personal, business page and any food truck group you belong to, to notify your friends and customers about your entry into a contest. Facebook makes it’s easy to get the word out through liking and sharing.
- Twitter. Twitter lets food trucks connect with a lot of people around the world. This makes it perfect for asking for contest votes. If you’ve built a network of followers, you’ll have a group of people to promote contest entry to as well as ask for votes.
- YouTube. This powerful platform reaches the masses, and with some practice, you could get those masses to vote for your food truck. Make a simple video describing why you deserve their votes, then provide a link in the comment section to the voting page.
We understand that there are more social media networks and if you and your customers are active there, by all means, go there and promote your business.
Reach Out To The Media
Our final tip is to contact local news organizations. Media groups always enjoy sharing human interest stories about how a local business is in the running for a national award. Give them a reason to run your story on the radio, television, or in the newspaper. This is a great way to get votes from your community.
How Not To Get Votes For Your Food Truck
There are a lot of ways that people try to get votes in online contests. Some websites sell them outright. Most if not all contests consider buying votes to be cheating.
Some people also try to cheat by gaming the voting system, like faking IP addresses or creating fake accounts. Think carefully before trying to cheat to get votes. Not only does it go against the idea of fair play, but they are often easy to catch.
Most contests have ways of analyzing the votes contestants receive. Getting a lot of spammy or illegitimate votes could risk disqualification of your food truck. Ultimately, it won’t matter how many votes you receive if you are disqualified.
The Bottom Line
The competition in the food truck industry is getting fierce, which means you need to continually boost the promotion of your truck to avoid the noise. This includes promoting your food truck when its entered into local or national food truck contests.
Please note, before you use any of strategies to get votes for your food truck, make sure you read the contest rules. Some contests let you use any available way to get votes. Others specify that you can only ask friends and family members. Some say that you can invite people to vote in the contest in general, but not ask for votes for any specific entry.
Do you have any helpful advice to vendors trying to get more votes for their food truck in online contests? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media Facebook | Twitter