Ryan Hilberth, Rental Limo founder and CEO, shares tips and tricks that will help you keep up with the ever-changing world of social media
There is one truth about social media that must be acknowledged: Whether you love it, hate it, or feel neutral about it, it’s here to stay. But that’s not the only reason why it is incredibly important to know your way around these sites. If you have yet to make an account, you are missing out on valuable opportunities to interact with your clients and learn from past mistakes.
Equally important, is understanding how to go about using the different platforms and what they are best used to promote.
Know Best Sites
Ryan Hilberth, Rental Limo founder and CEO, knows his way around the big three — Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn — better than many. He deals with both operators as well as customers, and recognizes the fact that certain social media
sites are better than others depending on who he is trying to reach. When it comes to building relationships with operators, LinkedIn and Facebook are the way to go.
“It’s because you have business professionals, other operators and owners of ground transportation companies worldwide who are constantly looking for the next affiliate partner or for the next opportunity to meet another professional in the ground transportation industry through LinkedIn,” he explains. “Facebook is like a lifeline for people to stay connected to their family, and that’s important to this industry because we are so family-oriented.”
On the other end, if you are trying to tell potential customers about the quality, luxury transportation services that you offer and why they should book with you, Facebook and Twitter are better platforms.
“Twitter is focused more around a business to customer experience, and the ratio of interaction we have with operators on Twitter is skewed heavily in the direction of customers,” Hilberth says.
The interactive capabilities that sites like Facebook and Twitter provide allow operators to understand what they need to continue doing and what they need to improve on. For instance, customers can leave reviews on your Facebook page, and this has the potential to make or break your business.
“It’s very important to us to make sure that each and every review is analyzed,” Hilberth says. If there is an issue, he tries transitioning the complaint to an email or phone conversation. "You don’t want it to become a public spectacle. You must ensure that if someone has a complaint, you catch and fix it before it has the chance to stick on your rating records.”
Turn It Around
It doesn’t matter how much you pride yourself on customer service; eventually there will come a time when things don’t go as planned. Negative reviews will happen, but you always have the opportunity to make things right. Hilberth gave his own
You always have a chance to turn a negative review into a positive one. This customer changed his rating after Hilberth did everything he could to make the situation better.
example: Last New Year’s Eve, a customer was accidentally double booked by an operator. When it came time for the ride, the operator let the customer know they would be unable to fulfill the ride due to the fact it was a holiday and it would be highly unlikely that they could fix the problem in time. Sure enough, Rental Limo received a negative review.
However, Hilberth immediately jumped on the situation and was able to line up a complementary Rolls Royce stretch limo with Lamborghini doors. The customer revised his review from one star to five stars.
“When negative reviews come, it may feel like the end of the world, but it’s not. You have an opportunity to respond,” he says. “You might not always be able to set them up with an extremely luxurious vehicle, but you have to do something. If you don’t respond, the negative reviews will keep rolling in. In the end, you’re not even going to have a three-star rated company due to complaints and bad ratings.”
For those who want to up their social media game but are not exactly sure how they should proceed, Hilberth recommends that a company allocate resources to ensure they have a social media manager who knows the ins and outs of many different platforms, as well as keeps an eye on what is posted. An art team is also good to have on hand to work with the content creators so the messages you put out are amplified with supporting graphics. Another option is working with a third party marketing agency, such as DriveProfit.
If you are trying to reach a younger audience, Hilberth believes social media is the number one way to get in with Millennials in terms of advertising. Employing a media-rich strategy specifically to promote events like proms and weddings can be a big help. Rental Limo created a video called, “Rental Limo: Lifetime of Luxury,” which details some of the services they provide.
“Video works well for proms and weddings because there’s an experience there that is so visual and fixed in your memory. The best way to sell that to the younger group is the awe factor,” he says.