The food truck explosion has offered a fantastic example of the power of social media combined with great food in a real-time mobile setting. What used to be called the 'roach coach' is now the it thing that everyone wants to be a part of.
Most know the success story of the Kogi BBQ trucks in Los Angeles -- taking the time-honored taco truck concept, combining that with Twitter for marketing, adding Korean BBQ and voila! We referred to them at the first Gravity Summit at UCLA event in 2009 - a social media and foodie success story all in one, complete with ROI and everything.
So successful, in fact, that the evolution of this phenomenon now includes gourmet trucks and this summer in LA even the return of the Familia Camerena Tequila truck offering a summer of free tequila-infused tacos. Yum.
What's the secret? Well, it starts with great content, both the actual food itself and the social media marketing. From the beginning the idea has bubbled from the ground up -- people loving the food, sharing pics and videos, telling friends, finding the next stop on Twitter. Guaranteed rocket to stardom. If either the food or the marketing content failed to measure up, we'd be telling a different story.
Yes, content matters. Just ask Hollywood and Broadway -- century old business models that may be flawed in many respects, but when it comes to delivering content that matters, they are the pros. Turning entertainment content into cash from adoring fans is a complex undertaking. When it all comes together, it's simply magic. There really is no business like show business.
Producing that magic, as Charlie Sheen -- aka Vatican Assassin -- discovered last week in Detroit, is much harder than it looks. And winging it doesn't work.
In this era of real-time social media, reviews are the new advertising. I know from my entertainment business friends that one of the worst words in a review that can be made about a performance is the word boring. Boring is even worse than bad or terrible.
Yup, boring is the kiss of death for an entertainer and that's the word used to describe Sheen's opening show by audience members leaving the theater last night -- that it was boring and not winning. I'm sure Charlie left the stage wiping the flop-sweat from his brow.
The difference between Charlie and the food trucks is that the food trucks understand the fundamental principle of producing and serving up good content -- both online in the social media marketing platforms and offline in the actual food they deliver.
Apparently, things started to improve as the Torpedo of Truth rolled into Chicago, but Charlie Sheen still can't hold a candle to FREE tequila tacos!