Twitter for those who are not familiar with it is an online social media and micro-blogging platform. Launched in 2006 it now has over 330 million active monthly users. Its popularity comes from its ease of use and its free to use. Twitter used to limit the number of characters you can use in your message to 140 but they have since bumped that number to 280.
Even with 280 you still have to be pretty concise. The great thing about Twitter is you can embed links, photos, have public conversations, send private messages, tracking, and up to the minute updates.
Setting Up Your Twitter Account
To get your own Twitter account all you have to do is go to twitter.com on your favorite internet browser.
When the page opens, there should only be 2 things you can do. Sign in as an existing user or sign up as a new user.
For our example, we will be signing up as a new user. In the initial step of creating your account, Twitter asks for your full name, email address and password.
Your email and password are pretty straightforward in this step, but I want to use a little hack when it asks for your full name. If you were to use this as your personal account, you’d enter your first and last name.
Rather than do that you will enter the name of your food truck. Continuing with the Jimmy’s Taco Truck example, we would enter Jimmy’s Taco Truck in the Full Name box, then click sign up when you’re done.
The next page you will be asked for some more account info and details. Most of that is self-explanatory so I’d like to focus on the username box. This box will display the full name I entered in the sign-up screen except that there will be no spaces between words. So, I entered “Jimmy’s Taco Truck” for my full name but my username is converted to “JimmysTacoTruck”.
One more thing I want to mention here is, IF Twitter says someone is already using your username you have some choices on what to do next. Twitter will try to add number at the end so rather than go with JimmysTacoTruck1 I’d rather choose an addition that means something, that has a little more explanation, like a city or state designation. JimmysTacoTruckFL or JimmysTacoTruckMiami.
The only thing you have to watch is if you have a food truck that shares the same name as other food trucks, especially in the same state you would want to be as specific for your area as you can, so a city or local area type add-on name might be best.
Your username will be converted to contact info that you can use to share with all your followers. So, for Jimmy’s Taco Truck, here’s what the Twitter contact info I would look like to share with people (and remember this is just a made-up example, so don’t go looking for Jimmy’s):
JimmysTacoTruck and twitter.com/JimmysTacoTruck
Also notice how I did the upper and lowercase letters for JimmysTacoTruck, it makes it much easier to read than if you went with all lowercase, jimmystacotruck.
Some Other Set-Up
Twitter walks you through this whole process, I am just trying to touch upon some of the places where being a little clever pays off later. You will definitely want to provide your website address as well and a description of your food truck business when you are setting up your account.
This is the info that appears on your main Twitter feed page, as well as on the Twitter app as people find you via mobile phone. By providing a good description and your website address, viewers can easily click to get to your website for more information about menus, specials, events and all the other good stuff you want them to know.
Send That First Tweet
Sending your first Tweet, click on the icon that looks like a square with a feather coming out of it. This is the “Compose New Tweet” button. Just click that and type your message. Remember you only have 280 characters to work with so keep it concise.
If you are including a web address in your tweet you will quickly see it uses a lot of characters. Adding your own link or someone else’s is a great idea just make sure you are taking advantage of a URL shortener to conserve space. Twitter has a built-in service that allows you enough space to create an informative tweet and include a link.
What Are The Best Food Truck Tweets?
Need a plan of action? Yes you do. Marketing your food truck with Twitter can have a huge impact on creating customers, so here are some ideas to model in your own Twitter marketing.
8:00am: We will be at #MemorialBridgePark today 11am serving up made to order Tacos & Burritos! Come on down the weather is beautiful!
8:30am: Here’s the menu for today at #MemorialBridgePark (include your shortened link)
10am: We’re on our way to #MemorialBridgePark serving our savory Tacos & Burritos at 11am. Bring a friend, heck bring a stranger!
10:45am: It’s almost that time at #MemorialBridgePark! Can you smell those wonderful Tacos?!
11am: We are open! Your Tacos await! #MemorialBridgePark
11:45am: Have you tried our new Toasted Burrito? We’re at #MemorialBridgePark today until 2pm!
12:15pm: It’s like a Taco Tornado today, these things are flying out the window! Hurry and get yours now at #MemorialBridgePark
12:30pm: Check out these Tacos we’re serving at #MemorialBridgePark today (include your shortened link)
1pm: We’re serving THE Toasted Burrito for another hour at #MemorialBridgePark
1:55pm: A BIG thank you for a wonderful day! We enjoyed meeting and serving each and every one of you!
7pm: Highlight moment from today! (include your shortened link)
7:30pm – We won’t be at our usual location tomorrow because we’re catering a Dog Show in South Beach
Analyzing the Tweet Schedule
Let’s take a look at what we were doing with each tweet.
8:00am – We are announcing early in the day where we will be and at what time we will be open and serving. It gives people the time needed to plan their day accordingly as well as letting them know the weather is nice. We also used the hashtag #MemorialBridgePark in case anyone was searching for #MemorialBridgePark or Memorial Bridge Park can see our messages.
8:30am – We are letting them know what you will be serving today by providing a shortened link to our menu on the Jimmy’s Taco Truck website.
10:00am – We are on our way and it’d be great if you showed up with more people than just yourself.
10:45 – Can you smell what Jimmy is Cookin’? Some people can just from a tweet, it’s like smellavision.
11:00am We are open!! Right here #MemorialBridgePark!!
11:45am – Maybe they weren’t in the mood for crunchy, but a nice toasted burrito all of a sudden sounds like exactly what they need, oh and how long we will be at this location.
12:15pm – FOMO! Everybody else is ordering Tacos at Jimmy’s I can’t believe you are missing the Taco Tornado or is it a Taconado?
12:30pm – Maybe there are people who have seen your tweets and they are still on the fence; a live pic of scrumptious food can knock them off that fence get them headed your way. A picture (of food) is worth a thousand words.
1:00pm – We tempt them with more food item talk and tell them how much time they have to get there and get served.
1:55pm – Since we are packing it up at 2pm, now is the time to Thank everyone that you served today.
7:00 – One of the coolest things is acknowledgment of a highlight of the day, it often includes regular customers, but sometimes special orders, and even something funny that happened in the kitchen, be creative here and it increases your followers.
7:30 – It’s time to prepare everyone for the next day. If we were going to be at our normal place, we would tell them that.
In this case we will not be at our normal place we are catering a Dog Show, so we give them that information. That does 2 things, it tells people who are used to us being at a certain place during the week that we won’t be there, so they don’t show up and get mad, and it also shows people we do catering events.
Alright, alright, alright, that’s a lot of Tweeting for a 3-hour lunch. It looks like a lot of work, but it is so important to keep your followers informed. Not only is it top of mind awareness, it builds trust and fits into the electronically based lives your customers have today.
How Can I Make This Easier?
So, I think we sent 12 Tweets in a single day, that seems like a lot for a lunch, but as you can see in the breakdown of each tweet they each have a specific purpose to help your customers and attract new ones. It is brand awareness at its finest.
You’re probably saying, I get it, I can see how important this is for business, but quite frankly who has the time? I’m busy waiting on customers, when am I going to find the time to do all this Tweetin’?
Unfortunately, you are probably not going to have time to work the Twitter angle and provide the excellent customer service you’re known for. That’s why you automate the process.
In upcoming articles we will look at cool tool to help you automate and manage your Twitter efforts.
To see part 1 of this series “How To Market Your Food Truck Business” CLICK HERE.