Top 5 Social Media Lessons from a Taco Truck


If you are an Angeleno you probably know that one of the best things about this city is the Mexican food. However, not known to many is an existing subculture of taco lovers that make a pilgrimage to the streets in order to taste some of the yummiest amalgam of meat, cheese, beans, vegetables and tortilla one can only get from a...taco truck. Yes folks, blogs have even been dedicated to our flourishing taco scene. Check out the brave Bandini's The Great Taco Hunt for the evidence.

But before this turns into a foodie post. I bring ye the social media tale of The Kogi Taco Truck. Here are several lessons I have learned from them that I would like to share:

1. Don't be afraid to be different

The Kogi Taco Truck is different because it uses korean bbq to create a taco. Kogi actually means meat in Korean. Just take a look at their signature taco: The Korean Short Ribs (prntscrn image below).

Kogi crowd favorite

Ultimately, what makes Kogi unique is the fusion of these ethnic ingredients. In a time where society is more aware of the importance of diversity their product has never been more appealing.

Lesson#1 in Social Media Terms: Get creative. Fuse ideas don't cut and copy.

2. Go flaunt your goods

According to Co-founder Chef Roy Choi, they didn't sell a single taco when they first opened. So they began peddling until the people finally caved in and took their first bite. Unable to resist the yumminess, the people started taking pictures of their taco sending it to friends and uploading it on facebook. This in turn made a lot of other people curious which obviously translated into a lot more sales for the Kogi team.

Now they have a Flickr photostream that makes my stomach grumble every time I look at that glint of grease in the night.

kogi on flickr

Lesson#2 in Social Media Terms: Spread the word out through pictures. A single jpg can be as powerful as 140 characters.

3. Unleash your inner cuteness

One of my most favorite blog posts on their website has to be Alice Shin's Things To Do WhiLe Waiting For KoGi #1: Romance is in the Air. Best line ever: "Dude, the crowd here is totaLLy different from the SiLverLake crowd. It’s cooL how each location has a different fLavor. Is this your primary KoGi spot?"

If there is anything we have learned from sites such as and is that cute is more than accepted in the web-o-sphere. It is embraced.

Kogi's blog is as cute and as funny. They're not out to impress their reader with fancy shmancy verbiage. They want to talk to the people in their own voice.

Lesson#3 in Social Media Terms: When communicating be yourself. Write as you speak even if you sound like Betty Boop.

4. Learn how to hustle

Aka "innovate"...the Kogi Team saw the power of web 2.0 and ran with it. Now dubbed as "America's First Viral Eatery", these Taco Trucks invaded the streets of the Twitterverse. Aside from tweeting times and places where they would be, they also tweet to tell everyone if they are stuck in traffic. I think that is just darn awesome.

kogi bbq on twitter

Lesson#4 in Social Media Terms: Why re-invent the wheel when you can just tweak it? Working smart means leveraging on tools.

5. Take it to the streets

photo by astrobuddha
Photo credit: astrobuddha

As you can see, people line up for The Kogi. This is the result of their mastery over social media marketing. I Survived The L.A. Kogi Truck Line: Masterful Marketing Meets Meaty Munchies is an excellent blog post about this. Going offline and taking it to the streets is still the best course of action. Online conversations are good but real life conversations are even better. It's all about communicating and building lasting relationships.

Lesson#5 in Social Media Terms: The real world is where the real magic happens. Go out...unplug yourself from the web.

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