Food Trucks Master Small Business Social Media: What’s Your Excuse?

If you hold a mirror under your nose and find even the slightest hint of mist, you’ve probably heard that social media has arrived. Many of us use it as a means to watch endless hours of cat videos or keep up with the whimsical George Takei’s most recent meme that has been shared a couple trillion times.

Then there are the select few who own a small business and are coming to the realization that even a sparse involvement in the proper social media channels could be integral to success. So why not?

  • It’s free
  • there’s hundreds of millions of users
  • the learning curve is simpler than the Wii.

There’s only one slight issue with this perceived golden ticket…

Or so it seems?

It might be hard to maintain the “no time for social media” excuse when we discover other very busy small business people who are killing it in that arena.

Let me introduce you to one.

CARPE DIEM: and other inspiring words I may have read on a bathroom stall

The Raleigh-Durham area has a cultural staple that has grown exponentially in popularity over the past few years in the form of mobile restaurants or food trucks. These are the quintessential small business owners who not only get social media, but rely on multiple platforms to keep their business afloat.

The ever present Klausies Pizza food truck has been providing the Triangle of North Carolina with delicious square-shaped pizza for a couple of years now. In addition to waking up before the sun rises and closing up shop long after it has set, Klausie has managed to:

These stats may not be chum for the shark tank, but don’t forget the fact that Klausie’s is also a mobile single-staffed restaurant run by a single man named Michael Stenke.  Michael is the owner, operator, head chef, mechanic, driver, plumber, and the entire marketing department. To pull a profit he must be responsible for the duties that are usually delegated to upwards of 8 different people, depending on the size of the company.

"Klausie's Pizza

In the Triangle babies eat pizza

I had the pleasure of meeting Michael one afternoon when his food truck had broken down in front of my house. I helped him jump start his truck and to thank me, Mike gave me a tour of The Klausie’s Pizza Truck. While on my tour, I was enlightened to the amount of hard work and long hours that are involved in running your own business.

An easy day for a food truck owner would be a paltry 12 hours of driving, prepping, cooking, and cleaning. On some of the more intensive days, upwards of 16 or even 17 hours would be devoted to running his baby faced business.

Remember, he’s doing all that and maintaining an active social presence that connects him with his customers.

So…what’s your excuse?

TIME TO PUT THE TRAINING WHEELS ON

Hey, I hear you say, I’ll just hire someone else to  do it!

Outsourcing your social media is a spectacularly unsustainable short term plan to get some fair weather fans. Experts and agencies are invaluable due to their knowledge of how to create a well-balanced solid campaign to effectively drive traffic to your site, but they can’t be the expert of your industry. This Just In – That’s you.  Like professors, these experts are a wealth of information that can help you create and sustain the ideal campaign with the most useful tools for time management, but should not be doing the homework for you.

Take a chapter out of the book of food trucks and find the time to explore a proper social campaign that will supplement your success.

**Consult a Social Media Expert for proper dosage**

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Food Trucks Master Small Business Social Media: What's Your Excuse? by

Comments

  1. I love Klausies Pizza and think Mikes does a good job with Social Media. However, I don’t think it is accurate to refer to the business as “a mobile single-staffed restaurant run by a single man”. That may have been true when Klausies first started. I do recall visitng the truck a year or so agao when only Mike was in the Truck, but now I regularly see the Klausies truck with 3-4 staff working a shift at a time. I’ve even seen the truck working a location without Mike. Now Mike works very hard, make no mistake. But Klausies has grown way past being a one man operation.

    • Matt Zaffina says:

      Hey Jason,

      Very true. I have recently seen Klausies at a food truck rodeo, and yes he does have a few helpers. When I met Mike he was essentially a single man running all aspects of the business about 2 years ago. The article does use Klausies as an example, but the commentary is relating to all small businesses with just a few employees and seemingly exhausted resources. Resources that can not be allocated for any sort of social presence.

      Next time I see Klausies I will try to get a more in depth one-on-one with Mike to be able to update the article. Thanks.

  2. Matt,

    Thanks for the response. In looking back at my comment I occurs to me that it was overly critical, and that was not my intention. Sorry about that! Your point is well taken about small businesses and their social presence. I agree that Klausies and several other food trucks here in the Triangle do an excellent job of using social media to keep their customers updated on where they are and where they will be. Some do a better job than others, but Klausies is definitely one of the best. On a side note: I am thrilled to see he has been so successful that he has hired more staff! I wish other companies would be as active with their social media or at least as responsive as people like Mike. Nothing drives me nuts more than leaving a question on a facebook page or twitter feed for a small business just to see the question ignored for weeks. If you run a business and open an account on a social media outlet I think you are well served to be somewhat responsive to posts. It is a two way street after all. Too many business seem to use twitter and facebook simpy to broadcast announcements and never interact with their customers or respond to their tweets. Seems like a lost opportunity for customer interaction.

    Again, thanks for your insight and I apologize if my original comment came off the wrong way!

    - Jason

    • Matt Zaffina says:

      Hey Jason,

      No need to apologize at all. You were completely accurate with your assertion on Klausies current staff. I much appreciate the update. Us locals, in the Triangle, need to do everything that we can to help preserve our food trucks presence.

      Your comments are most welcome, thank you and Happy Holidays

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