Since we have come out in the past and suggested that food truck owners should adopt Instagram usage, we thought we’d share some Instagram tips to help you get the most out of it. New apps pop up all the time, but Instagram remains a must-have in a food truck’s social media tool box.
Whether your food truck’s account has 10 followers or 10,000, here are some Instagram tips for boosting your food truck’s visibility and improving the quality of your posts.
Instagram Tips For Food Truck Owners
- Choose an account name that’s the same as your Twitter handle. Having the same Instagram account name and Twitter handle serves two purposes. One—your profile will be easily recognizable and easy to find. And two—if you are tagged by another user in a caption and that photo is shared on Twitter, that tag will link to your Twitter profile. It ensures that tagging makes sense when an Instagram photo is shared on other networks.
- Complete your profile. This may seem obvious but in order for followers to fully engage with you they need to know who you and your food truck are. Your profile includes a clickable link, so if you have a website, make sure to include a link to your food truck website.
- Set up an account on a web based viewer. Instagram’s focus continues to be all about the mobile experience, but the app recently added the ability to view individual photos on the web through a shareable link. This feature allows your food truck’s Instagram stream to not only be seen by those not using the app, but allows those who do have an account to like and comment on a shared photo right from the web. However, using a separate web based viewer can help you manage your presence and track your progress.
- Use images to tell a story, not blast your branding. Since food trucks sell products off your menu, make sure the images you use are about the experience of visiting and eating from your truck, and not a product placement ad. There’s not a lot of tolerance for marketing that’s obviously marketing. Keep it subtle and keep the focus on your customers.
- Most photos fall into two categories: beautiful imagery or humor. Make sure your Instagram photos fall into one of these categories. Most users aren’t posting all their random party pics to their Instagram stream and you should exercise similar constraint. Photo albums in that vein are for Facebook. Think of your Instagram photos as high value/low volume.
- Don’t post too often. A general rule, don’t post more than three photos in a row or one every three hours. Also, unlike Facebook, the commitment level to an account is low. Unfollows can happen frequently. Don’t automatically share your Instagram photos, select and customize each one for the appropriate platform.
- Use hashtags. Like on Twitter, hash tagging photos enables discovery of your profile by users outside of your primary connections. You can use the search functionality on the app to find out which hashtags are often used. Like on Twitter, hash tagging Instagram photos by event, geolocation, or subject matter is a good idea.
The Bottom Line
Instagram is an essential marketing tool for food truck owners. Remember that not all photos and hashtags are created equal. If you don’t take the time to curate your Instagram posts, you’ll end up lost in the crowd. If you really want to stand out, take the time to implement these Instagram tips to improve your food truck’s following.
Also remember; have a focus, but stay flexible. If something works, keep doing it. If it doesn’t, learn from it and move on!