Snapchat for Food Trucks

Businesses today have more options to reach target markets than ever before, thanks to online social media platforms. But this wide variety of ways to communicate with people have their own benefits and challenges so choosing the right platforms that your business can get the most value from is important. One of these platforms that food truck entrepreneurs should consider and take advantage of is Snapchat, a video messaging app that features a unique way to interact with customers.

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The core functionality of Snapchat involves “Snaps,” photo and video messages that can be manipulated using filters, effects, text captions, and drawings. What sets it apart from online platforms like Facebook and Twitter is the time limit that can be set by users on how long their messages can be viewed by recipients. Snaps can be viewed for up to 10 seconds and then automatically disappear from the screen.

Some may view the short form and life of Snaps as too limiting for businesses to use for marketing. Some even consider the app as one of the most challenging platforms to master. But the unique experience that Snapchat provides is to offer food trucks a way to differentiate the business and even encourage consumer loyalty… the challenge might be worth it.

So, how can you use Snapchat for your food truck business?

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By embracing the time limit of Snaps, many businesses are already using the messaging app to market their products and services. One great use of Snapchat for food trucks is through teasers for upcoming products or services that make users wanting more. Many users of the app are encouraged to be creative and also be concise due to the time limit, ensuring that the message is communicated to viewers without too much fluff.

Another way to take advantage of Snapchat is being candid. Food trucks can achieve this by letting their audience take a peek inside the inner workings of their operation. People love behind-the-scenes content… just look at the plethora of “reality” shows on air today. But sharing what goes on inside the business is not just about entertainment; it also serves as a way to influence people’s perception of your company. By showing the food truck’s “personality” using content that is casual and relatable increases its impact to viewers and can attract more potential leads.

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Some businesses are also using Snaps and Stories (a sequential compilation of Snaps where each Snap disappear after 24 hours) to launch promotions, contests, or giveaways. Though Stories can “extend” the life of a Snap, it is best to still limit the length of Stories. Best Story length is around one to two minutes.

Viewers can be encouraged to view an entire Story by putting in promo codes or increase engagement of food truck customers with Snapchat scavenger hunts. Utilizing the time limit for exclusive content created and shared in Snapchat can also let your followers feel special and strengthen customer loyalty.

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Food trucks that cater on events can take advantage of Snapchat’s Live Stories feature: a curated stream of Snaps submitted by users who are in the same event or specific location. By contributing to a Live Story, your Snap has potential to be published and viewed by anyone which can increase exposure for your business. For similar events, up to eight times more 18 to 34 year olds view Live Stories compared to television.

Though, be aware that getting your Snap picked for a Live Story of an event can be competitive. According to a article, a Live Story is curated by a team that sifts through more or less 20,000 Snaps and only choose 50 to 60. Fortunately, Ben Schwerin, Snapchat’s director of partnerships for Live Stories, gave this advice so you can increase your Snaps chances of getting picked, “We like to see snaps that are fun, snaps that show unique perspective on that event.”

SubheadersArtboard 2 copy 3According to Snapchat, “By default, Snaps disappear from the screen once they are viewed – unless your friend decides to keep it, such as with a screenshot or separate camera.”

Some people feel that this is a negative but just because your content did not self-destruct as expected does not mean your food truck is doomed. By creating content that cannot be put out of context, screenshots can be used as a positive indicator.

Snapchat notifies users when the content they shared is captured by screenshot. Some businesses incorporated this feature into their promotions (encouraging people to take a screenshot of a code in a video to redeem a free product) and use the number of screenshots taken as a metric of engagement or impact. A study suggested that Snapchat’s success is based not on security features but because users find the app fun (Franziska Roesner, Brian T Gill, and Tadayoshi Kohno, Financial Crypto 2014).

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At the moment, there are 100 million active daily users of Snapchat. More than 5 billion video views are done in the app every day. In the US, more than 60% of 13 to 34 year olds that owns a smartphone use Snapchat and love it because of the unique perspective, real-time Story updates, and authentic expression the app provides. Vertical video viewing is growing from 5% in 2010 to 29% in 2015 and vertical viewing ads like Snapchat’s are watched in full nine times more than landscape ads.


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Though some find Snapchat harder to master compared to other online social media platforms for use in marketing, the app has a lot of potential for food truck businesses that can effectively utilize it. It can provide unique insights, genuine interaction with followers, and showcase your business’ personality that can strengthen its brand. At a time when trusting online social media personas can be dangerous, Snapchat can help introduce your food truck’s true identity and turn mere viewers to loyal customers.


Thank you for reading!

Be sure to check on our Twitter and for more information about Food Trucks and check back here for more blogs!

By |February 29th, 2016|Categories: blog, social media|0 Comments

Instagram for Food Trucks

Now that you’re confident on Facebook and Twitter, it’s time to tackle the next social media outlet that can be extremely beneficial to your food truck business: Instagram. The same basic social media rules apply on Instagram:

  • Be kind, courteous, and respectful to your customers
  • Tackle any negative feedback you receive with grace
  • Respond promptly when appropriate

With that in mind, here are some tips to get the most out of your food truck’s Instagram account.

instagram food truck profileFill Out Your Profile

Make sure you include your website in your Instagram profile so your fans can click through to your website to find your hours, menu, and location. Your profile photo can be an appetizing photo of our food or a glamour shot of your truck or logo.

Share Quality Photos

Unlike Twitter and Facebook, people won’t be using your Instagram to check in on your schedule or location. Users will be skimming their feed, looking for beautiful pictures to like and comment on. Your goal on Instagram should be to share the best of the best pictures you take. And you’re lucky to be in the food truck business because people love pictures of food. You can take pictures of your plated food or specials you’re having that day, pictures of your employees (with their approval!) serving food and taking orders, and well-framed pictures of your truck on location.

Avoid blurry photos, photos that show too much mess in the background, and overly stylized filters.

Edit Photos Consistently

Do some research and check out other really popular Instagram accounts. You’ll see that those users choose a certain visual theme – whether it’s light and airy, or lots of bright colors and heavy saturaion – and stick with it for most of their photos. These helps achieve an overall sense of cohesion within your Instagram account.

Think about your brand and what kind of photos would appeal to your customer base and use this to establish your Instagram aesthetic.

Share Your Fans’ Photos

If someone tags you in a great picture of your food or truck, share the love by regramming their photo. You can use an app like Repost that will allow you to share their image to your Instagram while easily tagging them in the process. This is a great way to engage your fans, show that you are keeping up with them on social media, and that you appreciate their efforts in helping promote your business.

Use Hashtags… But Not Too MuchFood truck food instagram

You should definitely use hashtags on Instagram, it’s how people will be able to search for your content. But, you have to strike a balance between over doing it and underutilizing them. Do some research to find hashtags specific to your area and the type of food you serve to really connect with the right crowd. For instance, Food on a Truck is located in Western Massachusetts and the hashtag #413eats is a popular foodie hashtag used by food lovers and restaurant goers in the area. Other popular food truck hashtags include:

  • #foodtruck or #foodtrucks
  • #foodtruckfriday
  • #foodtruckinvasion
  • #foodtrucklife

You can even create your own hashtag and encourage your guests to tag their own pictures to your custom hashtag.

Interact With Others

Like Twitter and Facebook, interaction is a big part of the social media game. Follow food trucks and some of your own followers and participate by liking what they post. If you’re at a food truck festival, as you taste food from other trucks, take a picture and tag them so you’re followers can see the kind of food you appreciate. If you work with local farmers, share pictures of your food that incorporates their produce and tag them so their followers can see how the food they grow gets used in the community. Doing this will help build your local network and solidify you as a cool person to do business with.

Don’t feel like you need to devote hours a day to this, either. A few minutes here or there is all you need to get these kinds of relationships started.

Ask For Help

If taking high-quality, well framed images isn’t your thing, you most likely have someone your staff who loves to Instagram. Ask for their help and have them snap a few images a day to use for social media fodder. They can use editing software like Snapseed (a free app) to tweak lighting and saturation levels of images to achieve a consistent aesthetic for your brand.


By |December 15th, 2015|Categories: blog, social media, starting a food truck|0 Comments

Facebook For Food Trucks

Like Twitter, Facebook is an integral part of your social media arsenal (followed closely by Instagram, we’ll write about that soon). Facebook is one of the best ways for your food truck to keep in touch with its customers.

As on any social media platform, it’s important to maintain a neutral, friendly tone on your Facebook page. On a Facebook business page, your customers have the ability to not only post to your page (although posts by those without administrative privileges on Facebook are now kept off to the side and no longer appear on your page’s wall), they can also leave your food truck ratings and reviews. It’s important to put your best foot forward and leave only the best impression on your followers.

We’ve put together some great tips on how to best use Facebook for your food truck:

Fill Your Food Truck’s Profile Out Thoroughly

the fat shallot about page

Whenever you fill out a social media profile, you should be as thorough and as accurate as possible. People will often arrive on your food truck’s Facebook page because they want to find out what you serve or where you’ll be. Make it as easy as possible for them to find you. Post menu and location updates as often as you change them. Fill out the “About” section and be sure to include a link to your website.

korilla bbq foodBe a Person

It’s true you’re on Facebook to remind your customers about how awesome your food truck is. But it’s important to remind them that people are what make your food truck awesome in the first place. Remember to post pictures of your truck, your staff (with their permission, of course), and your food along with your location and menu items. If you participated in an event, be sure to take pictures and post a status about what a great time you had. The event holders are likely to share your post and expand your reach to even more potential customers.

Share A Lot of Pictures

People love pictures of food. You can’t go wrong with awesome snaps of your food taken either by your food truck’s staff or your customers. If someone shares a great photo of your food on their social media, be sure to share it (and give them credit for it) with your followers. A well-timed photo around lunch time can tip a customer in your favor while they’re trying to decide what to grab during their break.

Facebook for communityBe Part of Your Community

You should find other local businesses, music groups, and even other food trucks to follow on Facebook. By keeping in touch with what’s going on in your community, you can share other events and awesome local projects with your Facebook page. You don’t have to devote a lot of time to this, but several times a month share something cool that’s happening in your community. You’re apt to gain more followers when the people and businesses you’ve shared “like” your post and expose it to their community.

You can also tag organizations and business in your posts. If you’re participating in an event thrown by a particular group, be sure to mention them (by typing an @ symbol followed by their business name) so they have the chance to share your post with their Facebook followers.

Don’t Be Shy

Invite your Facebook friends to like your food truck’s page and encourage them to share it with their friends. The more people who view, like, and share information from your Facebook page, the more visible your Facebook page will be. Friends are usually more than happy to be able to help you and your business out in such an easy way.

Respond to Customers in a Positive Way

People take to social media because they want to be heard, so the best thing you can do when someone takes the time to post to your page or send you message, is respond to them. Even a simple, “Thank you!” will reinforce your customers image of your food truck as an awesome place to visit.

This is especially true in the face of criticism or negativity towards your business. Be sure to apologize for whatever your customer feels was unsatisfactory about their visit to your food truck. If the complaint warrants it, you can even invite them to message you so you can offer them a discount or some way to make up for their bad experience. Being courteous and offering to help may not always make the customer feel better (though more often than not, it does), but it will definitely make your other customers feel comfortable supporting your business.   

Taceauz Loceaux menuAvoid Charged and/or Controversial Topics

Your social media is likely to be the first thing many customers see before interacting with your food truck. You want to put your best face forward. You’re likely to live in an area with a diversity of viewpoints and you don’t want to alienate a group of customers because of something unrelated to your food truck.


Using social media well does take practice, but the more you do it the better you’ll get. Don’t be discouraged by its importance. Just be yourself, make sure your customers know where you’ll be, and engage your customers when they engage with you and you’ll be on your way to leaving a positive impression on current and future customers.


By |September 6th, 2015|Categories: blog, social media|Tags: , |0 Comments

Twitter For Food Trucks

It’s so exciting when a new food truck business is born. And creating the twitter account for your food truck is just as essential as the truck, a well thought out menu, and necessarily permits. We hope this blog post is especially help to those food truckers about to launch their first food truck.

But even the pros that have been out on the streets for years and years can always take a look they can improve utilizing twitter to get more customers to show up at the truck day after day.

Would the modern food truck even exist without social media? Here at Food on a Truck we feel that twitter and communicating to customers is just as essential to a successful mobile food business as having amazing food and stellar service.

Being a mobile restaurant is a double edged sword. You get to serve at different locations to build your customer base. But because you are mobile you must make it as easy as possible for your customers to always be able to find you.

Yes – setting up your twitter account takes time. And it does take time throughout your day to tweet your customers about your current location, hours, and current menu items. But it’s clear that when you do this, you will get more people to show up at your truck.

Here are some essential tips to help you get the most value out of twitter and use it to grow your business:

Make it Obvious!

orca-eatsIf you cater events, mention it. Excellent marketing is all about planting a seed. So when a customer of yours find out their friend is planning a wedding reception they mention their favorite food truck is available for catering.

Here’s an excellent example of a twitter bio from the food truck Orca Eats. It becomes obvious to the customer this is a food truck that caters events and is located on Vashon Island in Washington.

They also state how their menu changes frequently giving a sense of urgency for the customer to get out and try the truck!


Where are you?

We’ve visited cities wanting to try specific food trucks and have been unable to find them due to their location not being published online. You cannot over communicate your schedule to your customers. People follow your food truck for a reason: they want to stay updated.

Sure, when you tweet your location it might only be a small percentage of customers that show up because of that tweet, but in this business every little bit helps and can really add up over time.

Plus, if you don’t tweet or have your schedule online, you could be losing customers that are actively wanting to eat at your truck and not even know it.

Always MaintainPositive Tone

This is critical. At some point you will get a “troll” that will want to start a fight on the internet. You absolutely always want to be completely professional and positive even when you are tempted to give in and lob some heated words back at them.

This can only backfire and damage your brand. If you are really frustrated, just relax and put off responding to the person after 24 hours. Often people will give up trying to start a fight if you simply don’t engage on their level.

Avoid Debated Topics and Politics

If you want to openly support a political candidate or a current issue feel free to do that under your own personal twitter account. However, with your business you want avoid any topics that could offend people. Your customers are going to be diverse people with many different backgrounds and political views.

It would be a big mistake to bring up politics and give a reason for your customers to not show up at your truck.

Harness The Power of Retweets (RTs)

When you follow accounts like @FoodOnATruck and @MobileCuisine you will always have interesting content in your twitter feed. If something is partially interesting to you just retweet it to your followers.

It’s a great way to stay top of mind to your customers and even interact with members of the food truck community. We strive to be a source of quality relevant content to food trucks. Do the same with your own followers, follow your local news sources so you can share tweets to your customers that will be of value to them.

Follow other businesses too and become involved in your local community via twitter. And if you are lucky enough to get a tweet like this from a happy customer be sure and retweet it to your followers.

Respond with Quotes

You can also respond with a quote when customers tweet to you. It’s like retweeting but takes just a bit more effort and it shows your customers that you really listen and are responsive. Use the “Reply” option and your followers will see both the original tweet and your reply.

Photos, Photos, and more Photos!

Even if you have an Instagram account post photos via twitter. There’s something very powerful about seeing your favorite truck at a location that’s near you that will cause your stomach to grumble. Post photos of your truck, your food, your employees and even your happy customers.

Train your Employees

Share this guide with anyone that uses your twitter account.  If you are going to let anyone tweet for your food trucks account be sure to set some ground rules so the expectations are clear. Also if anyone no longer needs to use the twitter account – change the password. It’s a best practice for a reason.

Don’t buy Followers

twitter auditThere’s many services that allow you to easily buy followers. You might be tempted to do this. While it can be easy and even inexpensive to go from 5 followers to 50,000 it really don’t provide any value to you.

Worse, twitter works by recommending accounts to follow. So if someone follows other food trucks and then yours your account will start to show up to potential customers organically.

We wouldn’t be surprised if Twitter starts to penalize accounts that buy followers in rankings. If you buy followers you risk having to go through and purge those fake followers at some point.

Here’s a tool you can use to check any account to see how many followers are fake.  Accounts like ours which have never bought followers will still have some fake accounts, but the majority (85% or more) will be genuine accounts.

Try using your Phone

It almost sounds a little old school at this point, but some customers love to use the phone. Try tweeting your number like Mantraah to receive pick up orders or have it posted so customers can call if they are trying to find you.



Seasoned food trucks have learned the value of twitter. Consistent communication drives your best customers to your truck. For new food trucks this could make the difference between a successful business that grows and one that stagnates never reaching the full potential.
The problem is that when you show up at a location it’s a mad dash to open your window and serve. There’s simply not time to get on social media.

Our software now automates your twitter messaging. Just set up your schedule and twitter can now go on autopilot so you can focus on your customers, not on sending out tweets. And it’s fully integrated with our POS software.  If you’re interested, join our launch list to be notified as we expand our beta:

Happy food trucking.

By |August 23rd, 2015|Categories: blog, social media|0 Comments

Should Food Trucks use the new social media app Meerkat?

meerkatJust a few days ago an app launched and has taken the internet by storm.

It’s called Meerkat – and it allows you to easily stream video to your twitter followers. Is this an app that the mobile food industry could utilize to engage customers and drive them to their food truck or food cart?

Twitter has already been HUGE for food trucks – in fact it’s often included in the definition of the modern food truck.  And Meerkat is really just an extension of twitter – you install the app and then you can create a live video stream that gets tweeted out to all of your followers.

Your followers can then view the video on the web, or in the meerkat app itself if they have it installed.
meerkatMany food trucks are already social media pros and use Facebook, Snapchat, Youtube, Vine, Pinterest, and other apps. But those allow photos or video….what’s so different and game-changing with Meerkat is that the video is LIVE.

Sports fans don’t want to watch the big game after it’s happened – they want to see it live. It’s exciting and if you show your customers that you are near them over a live stream it could really increase excitement. You can show them video of your food and encourage them to come out in a way that’s just more provoking than just tweeting a message or photo.

Plus you could set up a stream and leave it on as you prep for your lunch shift – the app is really easy to use.

Like any other app, it will take some time for this to catch out – but we really think this could be a useful app for food trucks to help promote themselves and really get customers excited about coming out and visiting your truck.

What do you think?

Leave us a comment or tweet us at @FoodonaTruck! We would love to hear from you.

By |March 6th, 2015|Categories: blog, social media|0 Comments

Food Truck Friday

We admittedly aren’t the first to use the hashtag #foodtruckfriday, but yesterday we had a blast promoting its use on the internet. We started with this tweet which was quickly retweeted and embraced by the food truck community.

Why #foodtruckfriday? Here’s our reasoning:

hashtag1. It just rolls off the tongue and has great “stickiness”. People will remember it.

2. For new customers it’s a little reason for them to try grabbing lunch from a local food truck for the first time. Sometime people just need a slight nudge to try something new.

3. So many customers have their own social media following, it’s a great way for customers to share the food truck experience with a solid hashtag.

4. For many customers and especially 9-5ers, fridays are perfect to take a longer lunch than usual. It’s so close to the weekend, people are more apt to try something new.

5. The more the entire food truck community embraces this hashtag, the more the community can grow as a whole.

Even though most people are just familiar with #throwbackthursday (#tbt for short), there are many more weekday themed hashtags. The important point is that the concept has been embraced by the internet for a long time…..well as far as internet standards, since 2011 or so.


Because people are familiar with the weekday hashtag concept it will be easy for them to consume and embrace it. This survey by Mobile Cuisine shows Monday as being the most busy day for food trucks. We potentially could make friday the biggest day. But more importantly it will help spread awareness which will help food trucks beyond just fridays.

Because as most of us already know, once a customer has fantastic food truck experience they will be back again and again regardless of what day it is!

What do you think about #foodtruckfriday? If you are a food truck, what’s your busiest day of the week?

Feel free to leave comments or catch us on twitter.

By |October 25th, 2014|Categories: blog, social media|Tags: |2 Comments