Facebook and Your Mobile Food Business
As most mobile food vendors discover early in their careers, social media can be the best way to build your food truck’s national and local brand recognition. Facebook is one of the strongest online branding tools at your disposal. With Facebook presently maintaining a population big enough to make it the third largest country in the world, you want to make sure you have a strong presence on the site.
Making the most of your social media marketing efforts on Facebook helps you build your brand and establish your reputation. It also helps you keep an ear to the ground for what’s being said about you and your food.
Start a business page on Facebook
The first step in starting a new Facebook page for your food truck is to click Create a Page for a Celebrity, Band or Business (you’ll find the link under the Sign Up button for personal accounts).
The next step is choosing how to classify your new food truck business page. Facebook provides you with six different classifications for creating a page:
Local business or place
Artist, band, or public figure
Company, organization, or institution
Brand or product
Cause or community
Food truck owners should select the local business option unless they have trucks in more than one area of the country (in which case, choose company or organization). This classification helps your page rank higher in more searches and provides relevant information fields on your food truck page.
After you make this selection, choose the category your food truck fits in (such as restaurant/café or food), and fill out your business name. The business option also asks for further information on your location, such as your address and phone number. After adding this information, check “I Agree to Facebook Pages Terms” (of course, after you’ve read them) and click the Get Started button.
You can’t change your category and name after you create your page, so choose wisely; otherwise, you’ll have to delete the entire page and start over.
Add details about your food truck to your Facebook page
After you start a page and classify your business, the next step is to complete your page’s basic information. Upload a photo that you want to be the first image new visitors see when they find your page. Ideally, this image should be your truck’s logo or a picture of your truck.
Facebook will then ask you to invite your friends. You can do so by allowing Facebook to add people you’ve listed as contacts in your e-mail provider, such as Gmail, Yahoo!, or Hotmail. Uncheck the options to “share this page on my wall” and “like this page.” You don’t want your page popping up in your friends’ or family’s news feeds until you’re done creating it.
Your next task is to fill in your basic information. Add your website’s URL and a brief biography about your truck in the About section. Make sure you focus on your food or your business philosophy in this section. If you’ve already created a Twitter bio, you can use that same blurb in this section as a short introduction about your truck.
Now click Edit Info and add the information you feel is most important for your visitors to know about your truck. As a local mobile food business, you likely want to add the days you’re open as well as your hours of operation.
Be sure to also fill in a description. The description differs from your About section in that you can share more in-depth information about your business. Be sure to add an e-mail address and spend time adding pictures to the photos tab. This section is the place to share images of yourself, your food, your truck, or even guests who have been to your truck.
Make the most of Facebook’s special features
Make sure you take advantage of the various features Facebook business pages have to offer. Clicking on the Get Started button under your default image displays multiple steps you can take to make the most of your page.
Invite your friends: When you invite your friends and family who you’re already connected with, your posts show up in their timeline, which exponentially increases the number of people that see your updates.
Post status updates: By posting status updates, you’re able to stay in constant contact with your friends and those who “like” your page. You can post your truck’s schedule and location and any changes that take place during the day. You can share interesting stories that occur at the truck or even correspond with people who “like” you if you get a slow moment in the truck.
Promote this page on your website: Social media is best used when it’s shared among all your online platforms. This function provides you with a graphic link that allows those who visit your website to visit your Facebook page, “like” it, and even help share your information with their friends.
Set up your mobile phone: By selecting this option, you’re able to use your smartphone to make Facebook updates, post comments, and track all the activity taking place on your business page, even when you aren’t sitting in front of a computer.
To measure how all your Facebook efforts are panning out, make sure you take advantage of Facebook Insights by clicking the View Insights tab on the right-hand side of your Facebook page.
This feature allows you to see how many people have become fans of your page or, in Facebook terms, “liked” your page. You can change the time frame to compare how many “likes” you received on one day versus another.