While many small businesses have embraced social media like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., as a means to build stronger relationships with their customers, it’s instructive to see how one approach works for Business A, while it doesn’t seem to do as well for Business B. Last week, we visited with the owner of a company called The Peach Truck regarding his discovery that Instagram worked best for his company. Why? Because their product is visually interesting, especially when it’s paired with a great recipe, maybe by a local chef. And because they work really, really hard to interact with their customers.
How It Helps Us: Every business is different. Solutions don’t come in one-size-fits-all. For that reason, we’ve started the feature, How it Helps Us in which we interview small business owners who have found success using certain products, approaches, channels or ideas. If you have a favorite method, approach or product that is helpful to you and that you can share with others the specific ways in which you use it, let us know via email: [email protected] (Note: Do not submit products or services with which you have any personal or commercial relationship.)
However, there are other very similar companies that have discovered other platforms and approaches work better for them. In an attempt at some “synergy,” we talked with Karl and Sarah Worley, owners of The Biscuit Love Truck, a Nashville-based food truck. (If you don’t see the synergy, tasting a southern-style biscuit loaded down with Georgia peach preserves would help you immediately understand.)
While the Biscuit Love Truck has a presence on Instagram (909 followers)(@BiscuitLoveTruck), Karl and Sarah have found more success on Twitter (@BiscuitLuvTruck), with nearly six times the followers (5,964).
To find out more about how and why Twitter helps the Biscuit Love Truck, we interviewed Sarah recently.:
Was Twitter your initial social media platform choice? If so, what drew you to it first?
Twitter is the most instant connection with our audience. So it was the easiest to utilize as a marketing platform. As one of the food bloggers in Nashville said the other day, rather than getting her news from a morning network TV show, she relies on Twitter. It’s fast, can give you an overview, and if you’re interested or want more information, you can turn to a more lengthy platform.
With the food businesses doing well on photo-centric social media (Instagram and Pinterest), and with such great pictures of your product, why have you chosen to focus on Twitter?
I actually carry my posts through all of the social media platforms. I am yet to embrace Pinterest and Vimeo, but I am told there is a huge draw there–with the visual aspects. I usually start with a photo via Instagram, keeping in mind the content will then be carried to Twitter and Facebook. I agree that a photo can cause more “buzz.”
A great morning at the Franklin Farmer’s market. The chief biscuit officer will be there w/new menu items until 1! pic.twitter.com/87YRNyFIzf
— Biscuit Love Truck (@BiscuitLuvTruck) June 7, 2014
You have, to date, 909 followers on Instagram and 5964 on Twitter. What do you think is the reason for the disparity? What about Twitter seems to help you attract followers and retain them?
I think the way Twitter works leads to more followers. Retweets, favorites, etc. But it was also the earliest form of our strategy. You see a lot of focus on Twitter within the food truck community (because it’s been around longer).
What is your strategy on Twitter?
I don’t really know. I guess I just try to do what I like to see. I try to avoid bombarding my consumers with excessive boring posts, but I also like to create content by what is going on in the world, in our lives, and with the business. I try to avoid the boring scheduled posts without including something interesting, like a photo or new menu item, etc.
Do you find customers/fans are more active on Twitter?
I think that it’s easier to track on Twitter. I’m not sure that they’re actually more active.
What kind of posts do you find they respond to best?
People like to feel like they know something before other people. So, I think keeping things interesting, breaking news, new menu items, information about trips we take, etc.
— Biscuit Love Truck (@BiscuitLuvTruck) June 3, 2014
How vital has Twitter been in your business’s success?
I have access to almost 6,000 people daily, I think it is an incredible marketing tool with little cost more than some time. The key is using it effectively. Making sure your followers are fans, and truly people interested in the business. (There is a LOT of focus on Twitter numbers in the food truck community. To the point where some folks even buy their Twitter followers.)
Do you find you’ve gained customers from it?
Absolutely. However, I think it is as much from our customer’s posts as from ours. Word of mouth is a strong marketing tool.
Would you suggest Twitter, over Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc., to other mobile food vendors, or restauranteurs? If so, why?
I think in a world where we are bombarded with information constantly that Twitter is the fastest way of communicating to a customer base. But, I think if you apply those Twitter concepts to other forms of social media, you can utilize them the same way.