If you haven’t already followed @FreeFoodAtKU on Twitter yet, what are you doing with your life? This account is the key to success in college, and it’s so popular that the freshmen are even told to follow it during orientation. I, like many, have my notifications turned on to see where the best free food is around campus, and Free Food at KU doesn’t disappoint. We reached out to them to see what goes down behind the scenes.
Spoon: Who started the idea of Free Food at KU, and why was it started?
FF@KU: Free Food at KU was started by a KU student who realized that there was a demand (hungry college students) and a product (free Food everywhere) but students had no way to know where that product was at.
Spoon: How did you ‘inherit’ the account?
FF@KU: The Free Food at KU account is shared among students that are actively involved in campus organizations. While it’s certainly intended to provide a service to students, it also helps to promote some of the great involvement opportunities the campus has to offer.
Spoon: How do you hear about free food opportunities on campus?
FF@KU: Most of our information comes direct messages about free food. However, sometimes a little background research is necessary. Most events that involve food have fairly extensive promotional materials. When people don’t tell us about free food, we have to go looking!
Spoon: What kind of marketing strategies do you use to get the word out about your account?
FF@KU: One of the best things about Free Food at KU is its established reputation. It’s one of the first things new students are told to follow when they go through orientation, other schools try to duplicate it and people even have tweet notifications set to go off when we publish new information. We work with other student organizations to help promote our Twitter.
Spoon: Do vendors reach out to you about free food opportunities or do you guys actively search for opportunities?
FF@KU: The other opportunity for promotion is done through outside vendors. The most recent example of this is Hot Box Cookies. We contacted them (originally through twitter) to establish a promotional event during finals week. Free Food at KU will always be a 100 percent nonprofit account, so working with vendors never costs them money to promote through our account. We work to establish a mutually beneficial relationship to help them promote their business as well. Hot Box Cookies was a great partner and we absolutely loved working with them.
Spoon: Where do you hope to take Free Food at KU in the future?
FF@KU: I think the challenge for a college account is constantly finding a way to keep new students interested. We have a consistently changing audience. Our outreach has to be continuous.