(This is a test blog post, originally written as a writing sample for Digital Marketing by Aniket Badole)
Choosing the right social media platforms
For the venture, we will need to set up our social media accounts. Having a page on all the major social media web sites is good as long as we manage them properly. For our project, we have divided our our online presence in three categories: major social media web sites, customer review portals, and the website for the food truck. For social media, we have to setup a page on the three most important web sites for businesses, namely Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Facebook is the biggest social media web site and we will draw most of the online user base through it. Similar to Facebook, Twitter is a very popular and powerful tool to attract customers. Instagram is mainly a photo sharing web portal but it is just as essential as any other social media web site. For customer review sites, we will focus on Yelp, which is the biggest user review web portal, as well as Zomato which is not only used to see the reviews but also to check the menu as well as order food online. All of these are essential in attracting and retaining customers and creating a user base. We will generate real time feedback using all of the above mentioned portals. The accounts on all of the portals will be connected to each other and will be all linked on the website. The benefits are stated in the strategies we will discuss below.
In order to use social media effectively to kickstart the business, we will need to follow a guideline or have a basic strategy. We will focus on what the customers would expect from us before we start the business and the detailed strategies will be discussed further.
To start creating a brand on social media, we need to use high quality content on all platforms. The content we will be using to promote the business are images of the food truck and the food itself at various parts of the town since we are are running a mobile restaurant business. Videos of the same would be a bonus.
We need to create a calendar which will list event details, locations etc and have it published on the social media channels as well as the website to make people aware of whats happening with the food truck, where it is going to be in the coming week, etc.
In order to attract customers, we will need to give out promotional offers and coupons. This is a very effective way to capture the attention of our target audience.
Participating or running our own campaign or social event will immensely help create a loyal customer base. The events that we could target would be the weekly evening markets, a local school event, festive fairs, etc.
Occasionally promoting reviews and testimonials from the customers on the social media platforms, giving people the spotlight would be quite helpful as it will other people connect with the brand on a personal level.
There are some important steps that need to be followed in order to get the best results while promoting the business on social media online. These strategies are crucial to gain the desired growth on social media for not only mobile restaurants but any food business, be it a restaurant, a fast food chain or a hotel.
The first and very significant step is to know who the customers are. Thinking like the customers and doing what they expect will help gain the right momentum online. Interacting with the customers as frequently as possible on social media. Tweeting at them, replying to their queries and messages on Facebook, even complaints. Taking notes of their suggestions on Yelp and Zomato. We would need to present the brand online as we would when the customers visit the food truck, with a friendly face. This will help gain insights about what the customer thinks and how we could help serve them better.
Brand promotion is key when starting a new business, and this applies to food trucks as well. Using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram could help make the brand exponentially bigger in very little time as these are very powerful tools. Advertising on Facebook using their geo-targeting features could help find the right customers. We could use Facebook’s page analytics to find out the demography and geographical locations, etc. and use the information to figure out who and where are the people that are more likely use our services.
Promoting on Instagram is straightforward, using high quality images, creating the right and catchy hashtags and using them will be beneficial. Tagging and promoting other businesses and in return having them promote our business will help reach even wider audience.
Just like Instagram, promoting on Twitter is simple. The twitter feed will be used to share pictures as well as links that redirect to other social media or articles written about the business. Like Facebook ads, we could use Twitters’ Promoted Tweets to help reach more people.
People like to get to know more about the faces behind a brand. For the food truck, we could have the chef and employees’ pictures taken and post them online. This will help give the customers a more humanised and personalised experience. A few things that could be done are posting behind the scene updates, what we do during breaks, or showing how to make the food will attract people to interact more.
We talked about promotion offers and coupons. By the help of social media, we could run contests and have people participate in them. The winners would get coupons that could be used at the food truck, or gift cards that could be somewhere else. We could use the contest to promote the social media pages which will eventually help boost the growth of the business. The most common ways to do this is to ask the people to like and share the content or the page, this would make them eligible to win the prize. We could also ask them to share a picture of their food they bought from the food truck, or simply share a unique idea. Also, targeting specific audiences on each social media, making it exclusive on either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. This would help run multiple contests on different platforms if we need to do so.
There are several more ways that can be used to help grow the food truck business but the ones mentioned will definitely help create a user base and even help gain more customers, eventually helping the business grow. Based on the responses and the revenue generated, we could implement other strategies to make even bigger brand.