Social Media Lessons from Food Network’s Food Trucks
You have more in common than you think!
Yesterday I listened in on the SXSWi panel on how food trucks use social media, a panel pulled together by Text 100 (Food Network is a client), moderated by Bob Madden, GM and SVP for the Digital Food Category at Scripps Networks Interactive, and with insights from James DiSabatino, Chief Cheese Griller, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese Truck (Boston), Stephanie Morgan, Owner/Founder/Chef, Seabirds Truck (Orange County, Calif.), and Daniel Shemtob, Owner/DCEO/Visionary, LimeTruck (Orange County, Calif.) – recent participants in the Great Food Truck Race.
Think you have nothing in common with a food truck? Think again. James, Stephanie and Daniel shared their best advice on how any kind of business can (and must) use social media to build their brand, which I’ve shared here in two main points:
1. Engage to build an experience. If you’re not engaging on social media, what’s the point? Stephanie, a vegan food truck owner focused on spreading a message of responsible and sustainable framing, shares photos of her at farms with her suppliers, with the produce and crew – all to provide transparency about the part of her business that sets them apart. James shared, “The biggest mistake you can make is not engaging with customers… it’s meant to be a conversation, not an advertising platform.” As they all pointed out, if you’re just using a platform like Twitter or Facebook to talk at them – in their case to tell people where they’re parking — you’re missing the boat. The truck?
2. Tone and consistency are key. Stephanie shared, “My brand is an extension of me, my personality, so I do all the social media myself.” All brands, regardless of size or audience(s), can learn from this point. Any touch point with your brand should tell a story, paint a picture, of your brand’s personality – what you stand for.
Building a brand is not something that happens overnight. For start-ups, it takes persistence, consistency and a commitment to get to know your customers.