(l) Elisabeth Jachym-Allan, (r) Briana Candeub.
As social media has become an essential tool for branding, many limo operators are struggling to come up with long-term strategies for content, and are seeking advice in how best to engage with their customers through social media.
Briana Candeub of Park Avenue Limousine in Philadelphia is a newcomer to the Fast40, and attended her first LCT Show last month at the ILCT Show in Las Vegas. Having grown up in the industry, with her father Alan founding Park Avenue 30 years ago, Briana is now taking a more active leadership role in the company and working on social media efforts for Park Avenue.
Having attended the Fast40 session at the ILCT Show, Candeub had some questions about how to get more results from social media after the presentation. Elisabeth Jachym-Allan was a featured speaker at the Fast40. Having an expertise in social media marketing through her experience working with limo companies in the Chicago area, including Deluxe Chicago Limo, Jachym-Allan took some time to write out a response to Candeub’s questions.
Here’s their Q&A:
Candeub: I feel like my follower count is at a standstill for all my social media networks (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram). What are some ways you recommend to get the count up? Is there anything specific you do to ensure you’re always gaining more followers?
Jachym-Allan: Of course you can “buy” followers but I don’t recommend that. It’s spammy and doesn’t really help develop your networks at all. Plus, it’s easy for someone to discover you bought your followers and then what will that say about your brand?
Building followership is a process and just like anything, it will take time. My first suggestion would be to engage, engage and engage. Twitter allows you to join conversations and add-in. If you contribute engaging material to conversations, you will develop an audience and at least, engagement. There are tools to help navigate through this process, I always recommend Simply Measured, that measures which communities are mostly likely to engage with your brand and what kind of posts specifically (even down to the date and time) that led to direct follows.
Secondly, I compare marketing efforts to a cable. Social media is just one thread of your very strong “cable” of marketing. It is not just one single thread that makes a strong campaign, it is the bonding of multiple threads. If possible, you might consider supporting social media with an outside marketing campaign. For example, here in Chicago, Windy City Limousines, ordered a billboard and customized wipes for distribution inside restaurants and their limos, encouraging riders to post a selfie to win a free limo ride. They saw an increase in followership and social media activity.
Lastly, I would remind that followership is not the sole marker of success on social media. It’s other aspects as well: engagement, response, management of Twitter lists. To measure success of social media by followership is almost like measuring a billboard success by how many viewers it has. Yes, a billboard might see 200,000 cars per day, but if it’s not engaging or offers anything about the brand, no one will take notice.
Plain and simple, sometimes I just don’t know what to post. Since Philadelphia is reinventing itself I always have good content to post about new attractions/restaurants/hotels/etc., but I feel like that can get old. What is other content that you feel the public is interested in reading?
The beauty of the limousine industry, is there is so much cool content to write about. I always try to think about what is relevant according to your geography and your brand.
For geographically relevant posts, I would follow:
- Major hotels in your city: are they hosting a wedding? Special event? New promotion?
- Restaurant groups: connect with local foodies or special events, openings.
- You have x amount of drivers who are already out there, eyes first on the road. Use them to snap pictures for content. For Chicago, the weather is always of topic and relevant; just a simple snapshot with a temperature gauge.
- Follow major airlines for travel updates or to see what they might be launching specific to your area.
As for your brand, some immediate ideas are:
- Google upcoming exotic cars (think about the new releases of the Cadillac CT6 or Lincoln Continental), follow all major airlines for travel updates, local news stations, and car companies: Ford, Cadillac, Lincoln, to re-post their content.
- Travel blogs
More content will generate better content. Once you start, the momentum will build!
While our affiliate network is very strong, we are looking to gain a bit more retail work on the weekends. We have been working closely with a company on our SEO efforts, which has definitely helped but we are still trying to explore other options ie. social media. How do you recommend that we get this message out to not only our followers but to new customers as well?
Social media is perfect for capturing potential customers! If we look at insurance companies (Geico, E-Surance, Farmers) they are always active on social media even though not everyone is thinking about buying insurance everyday.
Your social media feed should reflect this. Engage in topics that are trending in your city, even “jumping on the bandwagon” for sports events or games will put your name out there and at least earn you more clicks on your profile page.
Disrupting Uber or Lyft conversations as well might help you connect with customers looking for transportation options however, most of the time they are looking for something more on-demand.
Simply being active on social media and engaging with different group discussions and communities online will allow you to introduce your brand. Although it might not bring immediate sales, the next time people think of transportation, they will remember your name.
When do you feel is the best time to post on social media?
I tend to think more about content in relationship to the timing of when you would like to post. For instance, assume most people browse Facebook or Twitter in the morning on their phone, so post content that would look best to a mobile device. Then, in the afternoon or late morning, assume people are on their laptop, then in the evening, when people have more time, perhaps post content with longer video.
Lastly, the timing depends on the medium through which you are posting. Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram allow you to get away with posting more frequently, (you could even get away with posting once an hour). However Facebook can be less frequent (maybe a minimum of once a day).
Besides FB, Twitter and IG what other social media avenues do you recommend, and how do they help?
This really depends on your audience and who you want to target. For instance, for Deluxe Chicago Limousine, we tried Snapchat, but it turns out it was a little creepy and no one cared what their Chauffeurs were doing on their “off” time. However, we had a lot of success grabbing a younger audience (mostly college age) through Yik Yak. The ability to pin point to conversations happening directly around us (making our content more relevant) gave us an ear to what people were talking about in the community. We would take conversations from that community to help make relevant Twitter content.
LinkedIn is great for corporate connections — you can get away with being more direct and asking for procurement manager or “selling” services.
We use Whatsapp and Viber to take reservations.
The Fast40 will have its next session at the LCT Leadership Summit, at the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach on Tuesday, May 19, at 11:15am.