Posted on Oct 17th 2019 under Social Media
As a chauffeured transportation provider, you know you can’t afford not to be on social media in 2019. Perhaps you have a company page on Facebook, and maybe also a Twitter or Instagram account. But do you wonder whether you’re getting the most out of them?
It’s not all about gathering followers or likes. So, how do you make an impact with your customers and see a real return on the time, money, and effort that goes into running these accounts?
Many businesses struggle to get to grips with using social media to their best advantage.
Here, we share our 5 golden rules to make social media work for you.
1. You don’t need to be on every platform, all of the time
This is social marketing rule 101. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the more social media platforms you’re on and the more you post, the more your business will benefit. Yes, you may get more exposure – but is this with the right audience? In the days of offline marketing, would you take out an ad in every magazine on newsstands in the US, in the hope of reaching your target customers? Of course not. The same goes with social media.
Being across every platform can be expensive (especially if you’re running ads or boosting posts), time-consuming, and ultimately ineffective. Find out where your target customers are hanging out and what times of the day they are most likely to log on and see your posts, then focus on that. For example, corporate clients are best reached through platforms such as LinkedIn, but if you’re promoting wedding and bachelor/bachelorette limo services, you’re probably better off focusing on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram where these customers are more likely to be.
It will be different for each group of clients and each type of service you offer, so find out what these are and use it to focus your efforts.
2. Make a plan
Always have a clear goal in mind – don’t just randomly post for the sake of it. Think about how you are going to achieve it. You need to create a content calendar that gives you a clear picture of what you are going to do, when, and on what platforms.
Don’t be put off thinking this needs to be overly complex – you can just add a few ideas into a few days of your calendar each week. And don’t be afraid to share some of the same content across several social media platforms, so long as it’s relevant.
This will help with your workload, too. There will be fewer surprises and last-minute scrambles for content, so you’ll be able to plan resources and timeframes required and come up with better quality posts. This doesn’t mean you can’t react to relevant news or interesting content that you see, but this can be fitted around your existing plan without the added pressure.
When making your plan, start by gathering some information by looking at what posts have worked well for you in the past, as well as key dates for your business such as prom season or the Holidays, then go from there. Post a variety of content and see what gets the best response. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but come back to your plan as necessary to be sure you go about it in a methodical way.
When it comes to choosing the type of content you want to share, video is particularly effective for promoting your business on social media. Special events such as weddings lend themselves perfectly to this format, and planning out your social media calendar in advance means you can prepare for it. Contact a couple who have booked your services well in advance of when you want to post and ask if they would mind sharing some pictures or video content of their day with you. Many will be happy to be featured on your social media, and it gives you personal, powerful content to share with potential customers and show them why you’re great at what you do.
3. What are you posting, and why?
Give some thought to the actual content you’re posting, and why you’re posting it. How will it help your customers? Why would they be interested in it? You are trying to get them engaged with your business and the services you offer, but that simply won’t happen if you can’t offer them something useful that will make them sit up and pay attention to what you’re offering as a chauffeured transportation business.
When thinking about types of content, ask yourself: how can I add value? What would my customers be interested to know? You have a wealth of expertise within your industry and you can share some real insights with your customers – you just have to identify what they are.
For example, if you want to promote your airport shuttle services to corporate clients, you might think about sharing some business travel tips, based on your personal experiences, to get customers engaged, or industry trends in corporate travel. It’s fine to share secondary content occasionally, too – just don’t do it too often or it looks like you don’t have anything original to contribute yourself. The strongest content will be pulled directly from your expertise. If you do share secondary content just make sure it is from a reputable source (and isn’t promoting another service!) When posting visual content, try not to use only stock images – instead use a picture of one of your chauffeurs with your vehicles, or a couple using your wedding car services. This is much more powerful social proof.
4. Use hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to improve discoverability and drive engagement with your business. Use them well, and you’ll see real results. Here are some simple rules to follow:
- Do your research
See what hashtags are trending and what kind of content potential customers are searching for to make your posts more visible. You can do this by using Twitter and Google+ or hashtag monitoring services such as Trendsmap (which shows trending hashtags by geographic location) or Hashtagify. Don’t jump on just any trend, though – you still need to make sure your post is relevant to that particular hashtag and that it adds value for your customers, otherwise it will be buried in a mountain of tenuous content.
You should also do your research to be sure you’re not using a hashtag that has negative connotations. Sometimes a hashtag might be trending for the wrong reasons – so read the comments too! See how people are actually using it and what they are saying in their posts to determine whether it’s OK to go ahead and include it.
- Don’t make them too complex
Hashtags that are overly long or difficult to read will not get you results. Keep them short and easy to spell to avoid any confusion. You need words or phrases that customers will quickly understand and be able to easily replicate in their own posts. This encourages a conversation and engagement with a wider online community.
- Don’t use them when replying to customers
This looks too pushy and salesy. Social media is all about showing the personal, approachable side of your business and customers will be put off if all they see is hashtag marketing spiel. For this same reason, you should also try and limit your use of hashtags to one or two per post for platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and around ten on Instagram for optimum engagement.
- If only you use them on one platform, do it on Instagram
On Instagram, hashtags are essential to help customers find your content and make it more shareable. You still need to keep your audience in mind though, and only share the most relevant content with customer segments that are actually on Instagram.
5. Track your success
Make sure that you monitor analytics for your social posts, and don’t just get hung up on the number of likes your post received or the number of new followers you got.
While these are interesting to track, they can give a false picture of how social media is really helping you grow your business. Far more important is asking questions like: What were your conversion rates as a result of this post? How many people clicked through to that landing page? How many people made a booking?
There are powerful tools for tracking these types of metrics such as Google Analytics, as well as social media platforms themselves. Use the feedback you gather to inform how you share your content in the future. What worked well and what didn’t? Do more of what drove the best results based on the goals you set when you planned out your content calendar.
Social media can be a powerful tool, not only when it comes to reaching new customers but for building better relationships with existing clients.
Keep it simple, be selective, and do you research and you’ll quickly start to see real results for your business.