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The Skinny on DC events

The Skinny on ‘ Twitter and Food trucks’ – a Social Media Club DC event

Yes, yes- this happened in October but I was there, I took notes and I was inspired. So, I wanted to share with you all- better late than never.

I found about about this club and the event thanks to Twitter. (Yay for Twitter!) I was impressed by the location ( PR company Edelman HQ downtown) and fascinated by the food truck industry exploding in DC over the last year or so. Here are my brief ‘cliff note takeaways’- I highly recommend reading the official blog post about this event on the SMC-DC site. They have events already planned for January 2012- connect with them on facebook and twitter my fellow social media aficionados!

A food culture that is changing and challenging

  • The challenge of using foursquare when you are a mobile entity has been overcome
  • DC law can be tricky- there has to be a line formed at your intended location before you make your stop
  • Food truck lines are a more social experience than waiting for your table at a restaurant
  • Food trucks have ‘followers’ while restaurants have ‘clients’, followers make new friends when they meet in line!

Food truck marketing 101

  • Facebook creates a ‘family’ of followers where interaction is intimate and personal
  • Twitter works for followers who thrive on ‘live in the moment’ concept
  • Traditional media plans and press releases are not commonly used, preference is to contact food bloggers to get the word out and relying on the twitter/Facebook referral universe
  • The nature of the business is serious, delicious fun. Tweets and Facebook posts reflect this- they are fun, engaging, cheeky and witty- many build on popular culture references (Cupcake nation vs Colbert Nation?)
  • Interestingly enough, all three food truck owners here tonight report that tradition media hits procure spikes in twitter and Facebook followers. Hail to traditional media!

Too many food trucks?

  • Food trucks can activate spaces
  • Collaborations with coffee shops, retail or even real estate open house events have been successful
  • Truckaroo is a great example of food trucks activating spaces and power in numbers, however…
  • There is such a thing as ‘too many food trucks’- you need to create scarcity in order to keep level of demand high: food trucks could suffer considerably from a possible ‘Starbucks’ effect.
  • Success stories are aplenty, but there are food trucks that didn’t make it despite initial success- you need to stay focused, in touch with your followers
  • Food trucks that support each other, stay together- Food Truck Fiesta tracks and supports food trucks, especially necessary when navigating proposed legislation or getting a new food truck up on the road
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