3 Ways Food Trucks Are Using Instagram to Build Loyal Customers

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With a recent statistic claiming that 100% of Food Trucks use Twitter, it’s a no-brainer that social media has become a necessity for vehicles sporting some of the best-tasting goods in America. But what I find interesting is not very many of them are branching off into other social channels that could be as beneficial to building their business, specifically, Instagram.

To date, there have been more than 64 million foodstagrams on the platform and over 200,000 photos tagged with #Foodtruck or #Foodtrucks, there is a definite craving for more food porn. But surprisingly, after researching some of the top ranked trucks, I found very few that were putting effort into Instagram, with the exception of the awesome examples below. Here’s how some of these top Insta-trucks are becoming foodie favorites. (Note: Many waffles were mutilated after the making of this article.)

To Show Their Products – Wafels & Dinges

Yeah it’s obvious that you would use Instagram to showcase your product, but some trucks are doing it better than others. Enter: Wafels & Dinges.

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Bam.

Wafels & Dinges lets their customers show off their food for them. They do wafel giveaways for customers who share photo of their wafels with their own digital communities using hashtags such as #showusyourdinges. (Bonus points if your outfit coordinates with the dessert?)

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Image: Emily Kodi

Comodo NYC (Not a Food Truck but equally as strategic) took this simple idea a step further by asking customers to Instagram menu items and then inviting new customers to view their crowd sourced menu by searching #ComodoMenu on their phones.

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To Tell a Story – Waffle Love

Last December when I was visiting my parents in Utah, a girlfriend begged me to go to a waffle truck with her called Waffle Love. She had me at the mention of Nutella but also at the mention that I could get a FREE waffle just by subscribing to them on Instagram. Yes, please.

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Despite the fact that I now live in LA, I still follow them and get a waffle whenever I am home. Why? Because their photos tell a really good story.

They have integrated themselves with their local neighborhoods and narrate their daily happenings on Instagram as it relates to their community. Here are a few ways that these waffles show some love:

Using employees and local artists to create interesting announcements of the schedule:2b1f444e074611e3815722000a1fa518_7

Becoming peacemakers during community sports rivalries:

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Providing boxed late-night waffles the night before Mother’s Day and hand delivering last-minute Christmas cards during the holidays:

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Customizing content to highlight different locations:

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Teaming up to help with new local businesses and charity events: 87e1cbcc3fe311e3b91222000ae80325_8

With over 10,000 followers and an avg. of about 560 likes per photo, their customers clearly love them back. The message here is simple: giving is receiving. Waffle Love goes out on a limb to tell great stories that highlight their local community and it pays off.

To Involve the Community – The Buttermilk Truck

Food trucks are also finding ways to use their fans more on social. The Buttermilk Truck has been promoting their red velvet pancakes on Instagram and inviting customers to buy the actual pancake mix to take home with them. To involve their fans with the launch of the new pancake mix, they sent free mixes to food bloggers to create their own red-velvet recipes that were then shared on Instagram with the hashtag, #RVMIX.

The Buttermilk Truck also set up cooking lessons around Los Angeles to show their local neighborhoods how to make their coveted pancakes from home.

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You can get mad at me later for jumpstarting your taste buds with sugary breakfast foods, but I think we can all agree that these approaches are sweet both strategically and edible-y. Instagram provides new opportunities for trucks to integrate themselves with their local fans and showcase their story with a little more flavor. (Yeah a pun. I couldn’t help it.) What do you think? Should more trucks follow suit?

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