In 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce counted 6,402 mobile food trucks in the United States, and the number is growing. Social media is crucial to the mobile food truck industry, as it is a vital marketing tool that attracts customers, informs the target markets of one’s location, shows pictures of one’s menu and provides online reviews. To gain a competitive advantage over various mobile food truck operators, you need to know which social media platform best suits your business and know your target markets.
Know which social media platform works for you
Do you think having a Facebook or an Instagram account is still practical or relevant to expand your customer reach, or are you still figuring out which platform works best for your mobile food truck? To give you an idea, here are some of the best social media platforms for small business in 2020.
Facebook has massive audience reach, targeted advertising, powerful analytics and is great for customer interaction.
Instagram offers highly appealing visual aspects. Created for mobile, it is more popular with the younger generation.
LinkedIn has more than 65 million active users. It is great for promoting business-related content, perfect for networking and recruiting talent.
Twitter ads see 1– 3 percent more success than Facebook, easily engage followers and influencers and offer free targeting with “#” and “@.”
YouTube videos drive more conversions and are a great way to show off your brand’s personality. Videos nicely complement other marketing strategies.
Pinterest is one of the top social media platforms for small businesses because it is less expensive and has lots of potential for driving traffic. Pinterest, like Instagram, is ideal for sharing photos. It delivers in-depth content and offers countless advertising opportunities. Pinterest also gives a $4.3 return for every $1 spent on advertising and promotion, making it a more profitable advertising platform versus Facebook or Twitter.
Know your target market
Did you know young Americans continue to account for a large portion of mobile food truck sales? Statistics on food truck demographics show that more than 90 percent of diners rated the quality of experience as either excellent or good. More than 80 percent of patrons called the buying or dining experience “exciting, new, fun and different.” Nearly all food truck lovers and diners would continue to buy unique cuisine and foodstuff in the future. Convenience, high-quality, low price and fast serving times of their food truck experience are why patrons continue coming back.
Millennial generation (25 to 42 years old in 2020): Millennials will be an important group of food truck consumers in the coming years as this group’s population totals approximately 70 million. Millennials are not shy about purchasing items online, and this group is catapulting social media marketing. More than 80 percent of Millennials are using smart phones and relying on these devices when shopping.
Generation Z (10 to 24 years old in 2020): This group also currently impacts food truck sales. It will be the future of food truck industry growth in the U.S. Generation Z is a multicultural group that is highly connected to the digital world and will also drive e-commerce shopping for many years to come.
Hispanic population: The growing Hispanic market has become a target for food trucks and fast-casual restaurants. To attract the Hispanic community, food truck operators promote value-driven meals, offer foods with Latin-inspired ingredients and get more involved in community events. Spanish-language ordering and multi-lingual social media posts also help attract Hispanic consumers.
Asians and Baby Boomers: Asians’ spending power and rapidly growing population in the United States influence food trends with various regional cuisines, such as Korean and Indian offerings. On the other hand, Baby Boomers, who are now becoming empty nesters, have high disposable income levels and seek healthy and nutritious foods with rich, bold flavors.
Social media can be used for multiple purposes, so make sure you identify your specific business goals. Determine whether you are looking to drive sales, find new customers, provide customer service, or give your mobile food truck brand a boost.
Christian Manjares is a 2020 MBA graduate of Regent University’s Small Business Technology Management program. He is a budding entrepreneur and a foodie. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.