“The Voice won’t make you a star, Instagram will”
- Will.I.Am, January 2019
Who knew that Will.I.am could offer such words of wisdom to the world of street food? Obviously The Voice isn’t relevant here, but it can be substituted for almost any other singular platform and still ring true. ‘The Feed’, as the music mogul dubs it, is an undeniable force to reckon with in the social stratosphere at the moment, and if you’re not using it full throttle to promote your business - why not!? Instagram has over 1 BILLION active monthly users and more than 500 million daily scrollers. With the correct hashtagging, story-sharing, image-posting toolkit the possibilities to get your food truck seen are endless.
A strong social media campaign is your food truck’s BFF and there is no better place to start than Instagram. Here’s our top 7 tips to help you maximise your Instagram brand strategy and drive your food truck into a sunset of increased footfall, well-documented hype and increased social engagement:
## SHARE YOUR CONTENT!
We all know from experience that our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. We know it’s an obvious one, but get your pictures out there! People taste with their eyes and the stats are there to prove it with accounts such as @BuzzFeedTasty (28.5m+ followers) and @food52 (2.1m+ followers) sporting loyal followings of astronomical numbers. If you consider these accounts aren’t even sharing their own food, think about what you could create with your own ingredients, menus and ideas. With Business Insider revealing last year that 72% of users had bought a product they had seen on Instagram, it’s clear there is a hungry market out there waiting for you.
Embrace the ‘social’ in social media: make sure to share content of your events, people enjoying your food and generally having a great old knees up whenever you’re around. Us human beings have an obsession with seeing other people eat - there’s a reason why ‘Mukbang’ channels and ‘eating broadcasts’ exist and have massive followings. A surefire way to make sure you’re trending is to get footage of your customers chowing down on your menu, leaving client testimonials and sharing the delights they have tasted! It builds trust, and trust is a must.
It’s not just about the food too, share your set up. If your food truck is the piéce de resistance at any event and gets the crowd talking, then get snapping!
So the question is, with 1 billion monthly users and so much noise, how do you cut through and get your food truck business seen? The answer is simple: #hashtags. From following hashtags to adding them to your posts and Instagram stories, they’re a pivotal tool to achieve cut-through, identify your brand with trends and gain a larger following.
Researching hashtags which accurately reflect your posts will give your brand the best visibility and engagement. You may have heard that you can add up to 30 hashtags to a post, but word on social street is that the optimum number is around 10. AdWeek advise that you should use up to 10 focussed and relevant hashtags to grab an engaged consumer, cutting away any confusing and frustrating irrelevance which could encourage people to bounce from your profile.
We’d advise using a mix of hashtags which includes your brand name for awareness, relevant tags to reach an engaged customer and researched trending hashtags to get you featured in popular threads. Here’s 10 trending hashtags we use ourselves at Feast It:
Let the hungry people know where you are! More and more people are starting to use Instagram as a search engine, looking for businesses and food that are within reach. Again, we come back to relevance - if you’re trading in London and sharing mouth-watering food hot off the grill, what good is it to someone in Timbuktu? And what good is it to you if someone can see it from Timbuktu!? For both you and the consumer, do yourself a favour and add your location to your posts - who knows someone could be around the corner and feeling peckish!
Stories are great on the go; an engaging feature optimised perfectly for mobile that gives your audience a direct insight into what you’re up to and what you’re all about. Brands across all industries have taken notice too - Shopify recently revealed that a third of the most viewed stories on Instagram were created by businesses. In a step away from your image feed, stories give you a chance to get creative by asking interactive questions, filming quick snippets of your events and even providing the opportunity to get some face-time in with your consumer base as you prep for service. Whilst the feed can be a little removed, the stories feature allows you to get personal - a real look through your food truck window, if you will.
Not just this, but stories are a great way to drive traffic to your content. If you have over 10,000 followers you can add hyperlinks to your stories to direct consumers to your website or press cuttings and let people know about your latest #newpost! What’s more, make sure you are hashtagging here too. Chances are if you have a great piece of content posted on a story and hashtag #streetfood or #londoneats, that you’ll be featured on these respective thread stories, opening you up to an ever wider audience. Don’t forget to geo-tag your location too!
It’s worth noting stories only last 24 hours, but fear not! You can curate these into ‘Highlights’, a feature that displays your past stories in a categorised and meaningful way. We’d recommend compiling highlights into named categories that showcase themes such as:
Obviously you’ll grant them with much more exciting names, but you get the drift! This way customers who are on the brink of booking you for an event can get the relevant trust-building info they want quickly and effectively. It’s one of the first things visitors see when landing on your profile so fill them with relevant and exciting content!
‘But I’m too busy prepping and feeding hungry mouths to do this’ we hear you cry! We completely appreciate running a social media strategy whilst at the helm of a business that doesn’t sleep is a challenge, but you’re in luck! Apps such as Hootsuite (which we use ourselves) are a godsend in situations where you know you’re not going to have the time to post. These allow you to plan ahead and schedule your content, so even if you’re chopping ingredients from 8AM until 8PM your posts can reach your target audience at the appropriate time. You’ll be left feeling as chuffed as this Piadina Project legend: