5 Tips for Effective Food Truck Community Management

By on February 16, 2012

It’s no secret that Twitter and Facebook are effective tools for building a following online, however, with the massive increase in popularity and growth of food trucks in North America, owners will have to continue to get creative in the ways they build their loyal following.

While word of mouth marketing has always been an important part of success within the Food industry, social media has revolutionized this concept making it more important for brands to have a presence both on and offline.

There is no question that social media has made a huge impact in our current digital world and more and more organizations are hiring community managers to be the face of their brands.

While still a relatively new role, community managers are responsible for not only building a brands audience, but also engaging these followers and making them feel like they are part of a community.

Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy online and with a seemingly infinite amount of resources available at the touch of their fingertips, it’s even more important to keep them engaged. This is no different for food truck owners – their offices are mobile restaurants on wheels, so if they strive to have lineups at theirs truck like you see on Food Network’s Eat St., they must be effective community managers and help drive that traffic themselves.

Running a food truck takes an amazing amount of time and work, and today a big part of that work is being a good community manager.

While there is no science to building a community around your brand, the following is a list of tips to help current and aspiring Food Truck owners get an idea of what it takes:

Engage Your Audience Both Offline and On

While selling great tasting food from your truck is your main priority, it is equally important to market yourself online. After all, you could have the tastiest food in town, but if no one knows about it then you won’t be selling much.

Engage with your community online but also engage with them at events where you can meet them and speak to them in person.

One great example of a brand doing this effectively is Sprouter, a Toronto based startup that helps connect entrepreneurs with experts in their industry.

Not only do they engage with their comminty on a daily basis online, they also hold ‘SproutUp events’ to bring their community together and give them a chance to put faces to people they normally only interact with online.

Food truck owners can continue the online conversation to the real world by encouraging their customers to tweet them when they come to their truck so they can start to meet their online followers in person and add another layer of context to the relationship.

Have a Strong Social Media Presence

If you’re not on Twitter and Facebook then you are behind in the Food Truck game and to be honest, the social media game in general. Social media is so important to a food truck’s success these days that you simply can’t afford not to learn how to use it effectively.

Use Twitter and Facebook to announce your locations, update people on your menu and provide information about upcoming events you will be participating in.

Having an updated website where your online identity can live is also important and it gives you a chance to facilitate content from all of your social media channels. Having a voice across several channels will allow you to better engage your community and this is important because it’s your community that will give you the best feedback on how you can ultimately improve your brand experience.

Facebook and Twitter are not the only tools available to communicate with your audience online. Sites and applications such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Path are growing momentum and are all great tools for online communication.

Once you build your community, you can use social media monitoring tools to track your activity – TweetDeck, HootSuite, Social Mention, Google Reader are all useful tracking tools that are free.

Dell is a great example of a global brand taking advantage of the social media revolution. They have an entire resource section dedicated to engaging their Community, which includes “Ideastorm,” an online forum for customers to engage with the brand.

Food truck owners can use tools like Facebook polls to get feedback from their audience about things like their menu and what locations people want to see them at.

Be Authentic

It’s not about you, it’s about your consumer. Focus on creating an authentic voice and content that engages the consumer and excites them to check out your truck.

Consumers don’t want to engage with you online if you’re just trying to sell product so be yourself and give your audience a chance to have their say. Connect with them on a personal level and they will feel like they are a part of your brand and become an advocate for you.

Starbucks has done an amazing job of creating an authentic voice on their social media channels. Take their twitter account for example – they interact with their following (over 2 million) on a daily basis. Their strategy is to reach out to all of their followers on a personal level rather than spam them with advertising messaging. They have created a personality for the brand that consumers can interact with directly.

Be the Champion of your Product and Build Relationships

If you don’t believe in your food, your audience won’t either. Being passionate about your product will help you engage with your audience and turn them into advocates for your brand.

If you set them up for a great experience when they visit your truck, they will share that experience with their audience. Listen to what your community is saying and gather feedback so you can provide the best consumer experience possible.

While it is important to let your audience have a say in the conversation, it is up to you to add value to that conversation and build solid relationships.

Be an Entrepreneur – You Are One!

Not only should you be innovative in creating the food you produce on your truck, but you also need to be able to stay on top of the newest social media trends when trying to build your brand. After all, in today’s world it’s a vital part of your business.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to break into the Food Truck industry, now, more than ever, developing a strong community of followers is a key factor in achieving success.

As the industry explodes in popularity, Food Truckers have a wealth of resources available to help them stay connected and get ahead of the game. It’s no secret that in today’s digital world, social media tools can be extremely valuable to any business. The true measure of success is how you take advantage of them.

What are your favorite ways of connecting with your followers?

About the Author: Mark Macdonald is the Founder of Toronto Food Trucks. He is a Toronto freelance web designer and a street food movement supporter. Get more from Mark on Twitter and .

Never Miss a Food Truck Again

When it comes to food trucks, it's all about being in the right place at the right time. Make sure you never miss one coming to a corner near you by signing up for free email updates:

Please enter a valid e-mail address.

Popular Posts

Food Trucks in your Inbox

Sign up for our free email newsletter to get street food news delivered to your inbox.

Please enter a valid e-mail address.

Download the App