Part 1 of 3: Is Facebook Doing Its Job of Building a Loyal Client Base For You?
By Stephanie Hawkes | DFWFoodTruckFoodie.com for MFN
Facebook is by far the largest and most active social media site. It is a site that most food trucks have some presence on but are you using it effectively? In this article, we will discuss the top ten ways to use Facebook to build a loyal customer base for your mobile food business.
- Set up a business page. Don’t use the standard personal page and modify it for your business. Yes, business pages give you less access to you follower’s information; you cannot see their wall or pictures if their settings are private. But with a personal page, the customer has to send you a friend request and then both of you can see any and everything on each other’s page. Most people do not want to allow people they don’t know to have access to that much information about them so they choose not to follow. It also means you cannot keep your personal life separate from your business life and do you really want Aunt Gladys tagging you in the 1986 family Christmas photo for all your customers to see?
- Claim your page. When you set up a business page Facebook assigns it a long URL, with the word “pages” and a long string of numbers. As soon as you have 25 followers you can convert that to a personalized url that will be www.facebook.com/ (name of your business) Make this change as soon as possible, it makes printing your facebook address much easier on business cards, signature blocks and any other websites that wants to link to you.
- Promote yourself. Write a profile that reflects the business you want to have. You should be able to explain your business in 50 words or less and make people want to visit you. The profile box is the place to but that explanation in writing.
- Be aware of your profile picture. Make sure your profile picture represents your business. Think about changing it every now and then. Change peeks people’s interest and will make them stop and consider what they are seeing. Alternate pictures of your truck with pictures of your food.
- Engage your followers. Always respond back when anyone comments on your wall. People are following you because they want a connection to your product. Give them that connection and their loyalty will follow.
- Use Facebook’s features. Post pictures of your food, your truck, customers visiting your truck. Many people are visual and seeing these things is very appealing to them and makes them want to be a part of it.
- Ask questions. Use the poll and question feature to solicit information from your customers. If you are thinking of changing the menu, have your followers suggest items or vote on what they would like to have. Looking for a new location? Ask your followers, they most likely work or live in areas you have not thought about visiting
- Have contest. Followers love to win things but be aware of rules regarding Facebook contests. There is a laundry list of things you can and cannot do if a contest is posted on Facebook and if you don’t follow the rules, Facebook could pull your account
- Always look for more followers. Never stop growing your page. Follow businesses that are similar to yours or businesses near where you set up your truck. Post on their walls or respond to their updates, others will see those posts and follow you.
- Connect Facebook and Twitter. Cut down on the time it takes you to update on both Facebook and Twitter by connecting your accounts. By doing this, you only have to type once but it shows on both platforms. I prefer to have Facebook update Twitter since I am wordy and often go over 140 characters; Twitter just shortens and links to my Facebook status. Some prefer to update Twitter and let it post to Facebook because it may be faster to access Twitter. Either way, you save time.
Too many trucks are only using Facebook to promote their locations and not to engage their customers. Taking these few steps can build your customer base and ultimately your business in ways that you never dreamed, especially when the only cost is a few minutes of time each day.
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