Internet marketing has totally changed this business.
In the many years since I was an active poster here, internet marketing has really made a huge impact on the way we do business. When I started it was all still word-of-mouth. Our cart operations took a quantum leap up when we put up a website, that single factor has really kept the phone ringing because I just happen to be a professional web developer on the side and what they call SEO or Search Engine Optimization just kinda comes naturally to me. Plus i love talking about hot dogs.
But back in the day the food truck people were in the middle of a WAR for public acceptance and it's interesting to see how they use social media like facebook and Twitter to develop almost cult-like followings practically overnight and this puts them at the top of Google.
Now it kinda seems like this hump has been straddled and food truck won the war of public acceptance. I'm hearing from some fasionable cities that the food trucks are HIP AND CHIC and it's definitely caused us to revise our menu so we're not just selling hot dogs. Our meny has got pretty exotic.
But anyways, how these young, hip and fashionable people are using social media internet marketing has suddenly put these newcomers right up there with us old guys. We thought we knew everything and here's these kids running circles around us. I might be a computer programmer but I have no idea what a Pinterest is, Twitter to me seems basically kinda boring, facebook I actually DETEST for the narcissism that seems to accompany it but there's no way I can deny that people are using these media to basically steal our lunch. The food truck thing is it's own INDUSTRY and they created it OUT OF THIN AIR.
In doing so, they breathe fresh life into street food and they have absolutely raised the bar for us at OzDogs. And I admit it, I'm jealous. OzDogs doesn't do street food, we do events. We get appreciation but it's temporary. It really must be nice to have a cult-like following online that worships and adores you and will travel far and wide for your good eats. I think that's what the inner hot dog person really wants to be: we don't just want to hear thanks, we want people to WORSHIP US LIKE CULT LEADERS. Myself, I still worship the dogs. I still love our chili cheese dogs with onions, I will just never get enough.
Anyways, the internet and all this social media stuff has so clearly worked for people that do it right. I think the basics are these:
1. Try to capture everybody's email address, all your customers and try to get them to like or upvote or plus you on social media and follow you.
2. Do give-aways and get a crowd to show up.
3. Once you have a crowd together, try to do something that engages everybody in fun like a dance or a cheer or something that GETS THEM TO NETWORK TOGETHER so they have a memorable experience that they will post to youtube and facebook and twitter. And they will show up again because they have made friends in real life.
And what are we doing here that we haven't done before? Nothing is what. Food still brings people together, that has been true since Creator made Adam and Eve. Fortunately we have something better to offer than a poison apple. But this whole internet marketing and social media thing has taken some of us to the top of the industry and others kinda fall by the wayside.
Note: if you find our website as foodbme did, you will see pics of our kids who are now grown up to be very good looking young adults and they kinda try their best to keep us from being dinosaurs so that is where I get all this youthful freshness.