The use of social media is becoming more vital to the success of mobile businesses such as food trucks.
Places in Oklahoma City like the Bleu Garten food truck park support small mobile businesses by providing them a more static location. Social media, though, has allowed mobile businesses to build a loyal customer following, according to owner of Junction Coffee OKC Lori Bollinger.
“We rely fully on social media to communicate to our customers where we’re going to be and times we’re going to be there,” Bollinger said.
Alison Hansen, owner of Snow S’more says social media is beneficial to keeping customers informed.
“We post our schedule every week so that people know where we’re going to be and that’s huge,” Hansen said.
Katiebug’s shaved ice namesake, Katie Morgan, said social media is useful for more than just posting locations.
“It helps us interact with our customers on a personal level,” Morgan said. “It helps our customers to find Katiebug’s and it also allows them to explore our menu.”
Morgan said the sole use of social media has its drawbacks, however.
“Because we only function through our social media, our customers are required to get social media if they want to know where we are,” Bollinger said.
Ultimately, Morgan said social media is a unique way to interact with customers that the business can’t sustain elsewhere.
“It would definitely affect us negatively if we didn’t have that ability to interact with our customers,” Morgan said.
Katiebug’s has nearly 8,000 followers on social media and they have about 200 customers per week.
“People will scroll through their Facebook or their Instagram or their Twitter feed and see Junction Coffee and that we’re open right now,” Bollinger said.
Smartphones and the use of social media are good for businesses to be part of because of its accessibility, according to Morgan.
“I think social media has a huge role in how successful food trucks have been,” Morgan said. “Finding locations and times is so easy; it’s in the palm of your hand.”
Food trucks can also be located and discovered through the Truck it OKC app where food truck owners can update their location. Another option to find the mobile businesses is through the Roaming Hunger website, a national database for locating food trucks.
Bollinger said social activity in Oklahoma is increasing.
“People are always looking for fun new things to do and I think that’s where the food trucks come in,” Bollinger said. “Oklahoma City’s just a kind, awesome city and they love to support local people.”