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