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.
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 Much
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
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.