In our earlier posts we sang the praises of Twitter and told you how to get the most out of it. In this post we are going to cover Facebook and why it is also a great marketing tool for food truck owners. There are a few similarities as there are in most social media efforts, for instance posting status updates, with Facebook you are not limited to how many characters you can use.
Before we cover how to actually use Facebook to promote your food truck we need to cover what needs to be in place first. Facebook requires you have a personal account set up already, most of us do whether we use it all that much or not, that’s the first step. If you don’t have one it’s pretty simple to set up, Facebook will walk you through the process so I’m not going to cover that here.
One thing I will add here is you do not want to use a personal account for a business, it gets weird. I’ve seen people try to use a business name broken into first name and last name, and that kind of thing. It will not work to your advantage when you want to promote, so set up a personal account first and then go to the next step.
After the personal account is set up you will want to set up a fan page (also called a business page), this page will be specifically for your food truck posts and information. The reason Facebook does things this way is because a fan page can be viewed by the public, it can be found on a web search through Google, Yahoo…, and it can be promoted with paid ads if you were to ever choose to do that.
As you are setting up your Fan Page you will have a few choices to make, like which category to classify your business under. I mention this because it’s a little confusing, the tendency is to pick “Local Business or Place” and at first glance it makes a lot of sense, but when you get further down the process they will ask for a permanent address, which doesn’t really fit a mobile food truck.
Better choices are “Company, Organization or Institution” or “Brand or Product” because these do not require a physical address or regular business hours
The exception to this rule is if you did also own a restaurant or catering business that has a permanent address and regular business hours. If that is you and you choose to classify as “Local Business or Place” your address and hours will be listed at the top of your Fan Page depending what page layout you choose.
Another thing to mention, if you have already set up a page for your food truck and you classified it as a “Local Business or Place” you can, as the Administrator, go in and change the classification if you choose.
The First Things People See On Your Page
Your cover pic is often the first thing people see when they go to your page, it is noticed first because it is the largest image and at the top of the screen. This is where you get to be as creative as possible and use an image that captures your trucks concept as well as it’s personality.
Some ideas that work well for different reasons include, your trucks graphics, this helps people know what they are looking for when they go to find you. You can also use pics of your signature dish or specialties. If you can stage you food and your truck in the same shot that might be even better. Be creative and don’t be afraid to change it up weekly.
Remember when taking a picture or cropping a pic that it depends whether it will be viewed on a desktop or mobile device just how much of the pic shows. On a desktop, at the time we wrote this the dimensions were (in pixels) 820w x 312h and on a mobile device the dimensions are 640w x 360h.
The next thing you will want to upload is your profile pic. The dimensions on this are 360 x 360 pixels and are cropped by a circle so you will want to keep that in mind so nothing important is cropped out. My suggestion is to use your logo here. That way Facebook users see your logo every time you post something and the repetition can create brand familiarity.
Your Business Information
This is your chance to make a great first impression as visitors to your page look to find more information. Nothing turns off “hangry” people quicker than not being able to find the information they need to choose you for lunch or an event.
My suggestion is before you start filling out all of this information write it ahead of time, that way you can think about it the parts that have a little creativity to them like the description, products (in this case food items and descriptions). It’s a lot less stressful having this info gathered already so you can copy and paste your way through the process.
Here’s some info you should have ahead of time:
The ones I feel like people like to see provided the most are, About, Description, and of course your Products.
When filling out the About section, it’s a good idea to write a short description and end with your website address. Why include your website address? These words will appear right below your profile image with an active link to your website. Here’s an example:
Savory Tacos & Burritos created with love, on the streets of Miami! We’re here JimmysTacoTruck.com (remember this is fictional).
They don’t allow a lot of characters here so short and sweet is best. The goal is to say what you want include the website address and still have it all show up under the Profile Image.
Quick note: It is possible if you chose the classification “Local Business or Place” you my not be able to see the About text there, it might be replaced by the location and hours of operation.
Setting Up The All Important Description
The description is where you can go into more detail about your food truck. Don’t cheat yourself out of a chance to tell people ALL about your business. Things you can include here should be interesting and informative like a brief history, where the concept came from, location areas, how you are active in the community, just to mention a few.
In your products section you get to describe and inform your readers of what makes each dish so good.
Contact info is important so fill out your Phone, Email and Website information. This allows visitors to contact you with questions. A lot of times, the reason people call or email is to find out whether you do catering or not.
Remember to always answer any legitimate questions. We’ve all seen comments that contain complaints about food or service and these things happen, but sometimes negative comment is because they were never able to get in touch with a food truck owner or they never received a reply back.
In a day and age of online communication and reviews it’s worthwhile to pay attention and respond to the comments you get. Even if it’s a simple Thank You to a compliment or a I’m sorry you feel that way, DM me and let’s talk about how to make things right, for the complaints.
Last but not least fill in your website address so you can direct visitors to your site, where you will have more details about your food truck. The website address will show up on your About page and is an active link for readers to click through to your site.