Omnitracs LLC

03/08/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/08/2018 15:47

Competitive Advantage in 6 Easy Steps: Social Media and Trucking

Social media is not just a fad, and trucking and logistics companies can use it to their advantage. That's what Francisco Martinez, VP of Social at Zen Media, discussed in an engaging breakout session at Omnitracs' recent user conference. Martinez, who has a background in logistics as a Marine, covered both the 'why' and the 'how' of social media for the trucking and logistics industry. Here are some key takeaways from his talk.

First, why should trucking companies have a presence on social media?

Why should trucking companies have a social media presence? Why should they care? The reason is that your competition is on social media. Logistics companies and trucking companies alike are growing their presence on social media, meaning that if your company isn't also on social media, you don't have a seat at the table.

In addition, B2B decision makers are on social media, and they use the platform not only to research purchases but to make them. This may be an even more compelling reason for trucking companies to start leveraging social media.

How can trucking companies achieve a competitive advantage by using social media?

Martinez outlined 6 steps for utilizing social media to gain a competitive advantage.

  1. Start social listening.
    Social listening means finding out what the conversation is online about your industry and topics relevant to your industry. Using a program like Hootsuite, companies can follow hashtags, set up streams to track industry-specific keywords and see any time someone mentions their company name online.

    Keeping track of these conversations will give you a better idea of what your audience is interested in, what they like about you, what they don't, and what they want more of.

  2. Create a social strategy that maps to your overall strategic plan.
    Once you've started your social listening, you need to create a social strategy. That strategy should tie in directly to your long-term organizational strategy. Where do you want your company to be in one year? Five years? 10 years? And how will social media help you achieve that?
  3. Create SMART goals that social media will help you reach.
    What are your objectives? Do you want to sell more products? Increase direct traffic to your website? Increase referrals?

    Whatever those goals are - and they should be SMART goals, or Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound - your social strategy should be designed to help you achieve them. If your strategy isn't mapped to your larger organizational goals, then all the time you're spending on social media won't move your company forward.

  4. Choose your platforms.
    Not every company has to be on every social media platform, like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc. LinkedIn is a place where people go for business development, reading industry articles, and looking for jobs or recruiting, whereas Facebook is often used for communicating with friends and family. Twitter, on the other hand, can be thought of like a cocktail party where you can eavesdrop on conversations but it's socially acceptable to interrupt and jump into, say, a conversation about fleet management.

    You know your company best, so you and your marketing team can decide which platforms make the most sense for your message.

  5. Develop a content strategy.
    This may be the most in-depth element of developing a strong social presence. Companies need to remember that the reasons people use these platforms do not include being sold to, even though they use social media to do research and even make purchases.

    Instead, companies need to add value to their end users, just as they do with their products. Whatever content they share should have something educational, entertaining, or informative - something of value - to deliver.

  6. Engage and facilitate.
    Finally, companies need to engage their followers and facilitate conversations and interactions.

    Social media is all about engaging. Your followers don't want to be talked at; they want to be part of a conversation. Using social media well and wisely means giving your followers ways to participate in that conversation, whether by sharing their own pictures, posting their own comments, or sharing your post with their friends. It's all about give and take.

We really enjoyed hearing about this timely and important topic. Best of luck to all the trucking and logistics professionals working toward getting your company's message out there through social media.