It's no denying that social media has become a massive tool of leverage for tech savvy entrepreneurs hungry to reach new and current customers.
What started out as a tool for Ivy League college kids looking to connect, hook-up and build community has grown into a multi-billion network of fans, friends and followers translating to billions of dollars in sales for small business owners around the globe.
So in today's article I want to give you some quick marketing tips for connecting with your fans and attracting more customers to your mobile food truck or concession stand using two of the most powerful social networks on the internet today. Facebook and Twitter.
4 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Facebook:
1. Set up albums to store your images within your Facebook account. You can share photos of your menu items, playful images of your family, friends, co-workers, even customers at the booth or waiting in line etc.
2. Provide links to your website and/or blog. In addition post links to any articles or reviews written about you as well as media/press coverage you receive. You can also post daily menu specials and coupons that you offer.
4. Consider registering a custom URL (web address) for your Facebook page, think of it like a personalized license plate. You or your web designer can set this up fairly quickly through a domain registration service like Godaddy.com. The reason why may want to consider this option? Branding capability for your business. In addition it makes easier for new visitors to find you. See an example in action and if you like what you see: "Like Us" at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stitches-n-Dishes.
These are just four ways to you can use Facebook to create connection and grow your fan base. But let's not forget about Twitter.
Twitter is another powerful social networking platform that admittedly can take a little while to build traction, but once you do - the results can be explosive. If you're not familer with Twitter it's basically a "micro blog" all this means is that you're only allowed to publish tight, concise tidbits of information, limited to 140 characters.
Now I realize that 140 characters doesn't seem like much, but think of this way, when you're limited to how much you can share, you're forced to get to the point quickly.
When you publish a 'Tweet' to your followers your primary goal should be to engage the reader about your current activities. For example: you can tweet your schedule, your location, daily specials etc. If you've recently received a favorable review or press mention you can publish it to your blog and then tweet about it by including the link to the direct location where the content is stored on your blog or website. Finally if the URL is too long consider using a shortener service like: http://tinyurl.com or http://bitly.com for example.
Below is an example of a tweet that a mobile food vendor would do on a typical day:
@grlldcheesetruk: Menu suggestion: New brie melt! double cream brie, smoked pork loin, peach preserves and fresh thyme on black peppercorn potato bread!
Imagine the power of posting something like this to your followers. Now imagine how many customers would show up at your booth or truck to try this sandwich.
Don't underestimate the power of Twitter; this is a powerful resource and one that should be a part of your marketing toolkit. If you'd like to see more example you can follow me on Twitter @stitchesndishes.
One thing I want to emphasize if you truly want to get the most out of your Twitter experience or any of these social media tools, make your primary goal about relationship building and sharing resources not solely about 'selling' your services. Building and maintaining quality relationships is where it's at; the more you share and demonstrate your expertise the more opportunities will come your way and your business will grow exponentially.
4 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Twitter:
1. Post frequently. Twitter's true power comes from the frequency of your communication. Basically the more you Tweet, the more the connections you'll make.
2. Link your Twitter feed to your Facebook account. Within Facebook you can have your Twitter posts display on your Facebook page without you having to log in manually to add your posts.
3. Tweet back and Retweet. When you receive a new follow (another term for someone subscribing to your feed) send a short message in return. It's essentially the same as replying to an email. Whether online -or- off it's all about forming and maintaining relationships.
4. Use a custom branded image for your twitter background. If you don't have Photoshop or image editing skills you might want to consider hiring a graphic designer to help with you this. Many mobile food vendors report that a graphically appealing page is a great way to engage new and current followers.
Remember no matter what you think of social networking, marketing your mobile food services online has become one of the most effective and affordable methods of establishing new contacts and growing your business.
Bonus Tip: Tie your offline with your online marketing efforts for example: publish your Twitter and Facebook addresses on your business cards, postcard flyers as well as on your cart or side of your truck. If you do this your fan base can't help but grow and become more effective.