Facebook vs Twitter: Which Platform Do Food Trucks Use Most?

Stress much about social media? You’re not alone. The platform choices are endless. And deciding what to post and when is enough to drive anyone batty. Food truck owners have a harder go than the average social media user because so much of their businesses rely on customer outreach and engagement through social channels.

Let’s end the madness, shall we? To do so, let’s focus on data to tell the true story of which social media channels work best.

Specifically, the FoodTruckr team analyzed how a diverse sample size of food truck owners use the two heavy hitters in social media: Twitter and Facebook. Our unscientific study included 60 trucks from across the country. The trucks we studied had followings ranging in size from 22 to 109,270 Twitter followers and from 100 to 47,074 Facebook ‘Likes.’

Here’s what we found.

Which Platform Gets More Followers?

All together, the food trucks we studied had a total of 453,065 followers on Twitter and 267,006 likes on Facebook—an average of about 1.7 Twitter followers for every Facebook like. Overall, 57 percent of food truck owners had more Twitter followers than they did likes on Facebook.

Does that mean that it’s easier to get people to follow you on Twitter—or that food truck owners are promoting their Twitter accounts more? Not so fast, grasshopper. Those are just the first data points. But they do establish context: Twitter appears to have greater influence potential as compared to Facebook.

It’s worth noting that fans may be more likely to follow you on Twitter because the platform promotes super-short messages of only 140 characters. Brevity is appreciated in social media, which is Twitter’s bread and butter.

You May Also Like...  How to Run a Food Truck 19: Promote Your Truck Through Yelp

Which Platform Do Food Trucks Use More?

We tallied the total number of public tweets and retweets that our food truck sample size posted between August 30th and September 5th—along with the total number of public posts, likes, and comments they made on their Facebook pages between the same dates.

Our finding mirrored that of audience size: Food truck owners sent a total of 1,353 tweets and made 812 interactions on Facebook—an average of 1.67 tweets for every Facebook interaction.

Twitter surpassed Facebook once again, which may not be that surprising considering the majority of food trucks have larger Twitter followings. The lesson: spend your time where your audience spends its time.

Which Platform Gets More Responses?

Want your social media efforts to matter? Then care a lot about your engagement stats. Without engagement from your fans, social media is nothing more than a distraction. That’s why we analyzed interaction metrics like retweets; we wanted to know what kind of results food trucks were getting from their audiences.

To measure this, we tallied the total number of public tweets, retweets, and mentions from Twitter followers as well as the total number of public posts, likes, and comments from users on Facebook. This analysis was conducted during the same date range: August 30th to September 5th.

We found that food truck owners received 2,453 tweets back from their followers. Pretty solid, right? We thought Twitter was again going to trump Facebook. Surprise! Facebook garnered 3,822 interactions. That result is impressive enough for Facebook. But Facebook one-ups itself when you compute the per-update return-on-investment ratio.

You May Also Like...  FS004- Best Practices for Sharing Your Location and Using Social Media with Matt Berkland from Truckily.com

Recall that food truck owners sent a total of 1,353 tweets, which resulted in 2,453 engagement tweets. That’s a 1.81 average engagement rate. Now, Facebook. 812 updates resulted in 3,822 interactions. That’s a 4.71 average engagement rate—a 260 percent increase over Twitter.

Sorry Twitter, you just got trounced.

How Do Food Truck Owners Determine Which Platform to Use?

From the data, Facebook reigns supreme as the #1 social media platform for food truck customer engagement. But does that mean you should deactivate your Twitter account and go whole-hog into Facebook?

Absolutely not. To prove the point, we examined the correlation of social engagement with the food truck’s audience size, on a per-truck basis. We found that 72 percent of food truck owners get more responses from the platform where they have more followers. This finding reinforces the key lesson: spend your time where your audience spends its time.

Which Platform Should You Use?

There are clear benefits to using both Twitter and Facebook. Since both are the two undisputed heavy hitters, you likely want to establish a social presence on both. Just realize that social norms and habits differ between the two. Hence, be sure you’re creating content and engaging fans appropriate to those platforms.

For example, Twitter is best for short bursts of information as well as personal, witty updates that make you likable. Facebook is better for longer updates and multimedia content that grants more “behind the scenes” access into your meals and business.

Reflecting back on the lower engagement rates we saw on Twitter, those results may have surfaced because food truck owners aren’t using Twitter as it was intended. For example, we saw several trucks who had incomplete Facebook messages auto-posting to Twitter with short links that sent the user right back to Facebook. That’s a rather crummy user experience that risks driving away fans. The lesson here is simple: don’t auto-post from one social platform to another; keep them unique and tailored to their respective strengths.

You May Also Like...  2 Effective Ways Food Truck Owners Can Boost Their Social Media Game

Stay tuned to FoodTruckr in the future to learn more about the best practices to follow for both Twitter and Facebook—as well as the most effective types of content that will get people interested in your truck.

Until then, share your social media tips and tricks in the comments below. Which of the two have you found to be most effective for your food truck business, and why?

image by Jason A. Howie

Recently on FoodTruckr

How to Start a Food Truck 02: Decide What You’ll Sell Last week on “How to Start a Food Truck,” we explored the business model differences between food trucks and brick and mortar restaurants to help you decide which one best fits your vision for life an...
5 Ways Food Truck Owners Can Ensure Success In The Mobile Kitchen Industry Surviving and thriving in the mobile kitchen industry is no easy feat, yet here you are, trying to do exactly that. If the food truck industry was an easy one to conquer, then, well, everyone would tr...
How To Attract More Customers By Making The Food Truck Environment Enjoyable QUICK: What is the most important ingredient for any food truck business? Answer: It depends. After all, every food truck has to have a flawless business plan, recipes that will make food lovers dr...
How To Handle Angry Customers At Your Food Truck Business Whether you are dealing with angry customers at your food truck or on social media, you have to know how to handle these types of people. After all, it's all about the customers, the customer is alway...
FS025: Reverse Food Trucking with Jacquie Berglund from FINNEGANS I'm thrilled to bring you this very special episode of the FoodTruckr School Podcast, where I interview Jacquie Berglund, CEO of FINNEGANS and mastermind behind the FINNEGANS Reverse Food Truck. ...
How to Run a Food Truck 24: Expand Your Business to Events In last week’s “How to Run a Food Truck” lesson, we helped you write the recipe for future success by examining a popular goal-setting approach and providing you with 30 questions you should ask yours...
The 12 Days of FoodTruckr: 12 Reasons We Love Food Trucks On the twelfth day of Christmas, FoodTruckr’s giving you… 12 Reasons We Love Food Trucks! Merry Christmas, FoodTruckrs! We’ve had such a great time celebrating the holidays with you, and we couldn’t...
FS014- What You Need to Know about Your Truck with Felix and Scott from KitchensOnWheels.com In this episode of FoodTruckr School, we welcome Felix and Scott from Kitchens On Wheels, a company that has been helping build food trucks for over a decade! We talk about a lot of important t...
Food Truck Owners Should Include Live Streaming Into Their Social Media Strategies Editor’s Note: Today we’re excited to present a post from Jeremy Adams. Jeremy is the President/CEO of Prestige Food Trucks, which is the world's leading custom food truck manufacturer. In his current...
Why A Food Truck Is A No-Brainer For Catering An Event If you are looking for the perfect catering service for an event -- whether it be a party, wedding, family reunion, parade, festival or you name it -- then you should look no further than a food truck...
Create Sticky Memories to Build Long-Lasting Fans Editor’s Note: Today we’re excited to bring you another guest post from Mike Kelley, a software and business consultant from Arlington, TX. Mike approached us and offered to share his experiences from...
Business Bites: Twitter Tips, Heartbleed, a Must-Read Book, and an Audacious New Coffee Cart We've had a lot of fun exploring food trucks from the fan's perspective, but it's time that I play with this column's menu a bit. We've heard from you loudly and clearly—it's the business advice that ...
Photo Gallery: Texas Food Truckin’ Fest Editor’s Note: All images in this photo gallery were taken by Mike Kelley, a software and business consultant from Arlington, TX. Mike offered to write about his experience at the Texas Food Truckin’ ...
Should You Spend A Lot Of Money For Your Food Truck’s Grand Opening? You finally purchased your food truck and got it customized to fit all of your needs (not to mention, it has your awesome logo on it!). You knocked your business plan out of the park. You have your me...
#FoodTruckFan: Getting Unstuck & Finding Your Next Big Idea Running a food truck is an inherently creative endeavor, from the crafting of the recipes, to creating a visual brand for the truck, and especially to conjuring money for truck repairs out of thin air...

About the Author

FoodTruckr

FoodTruckr is the #1 online destination for current and aspiring food truck owners looking to succeed in the mobile food industry. Self described “food truck devotees,” the FoodTruckr team enjoys reading about successful entrepreneurs, salivating over photos of burritos on Twitter, and long walks through food truck parks. Chat with FoodTruckr on Facebook or check out the FoodTruckr School podcast for more awesome tips to level up your business.

Love it? Share it: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter