The New Jersey-based company wants to compete in the growing TNC market.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — If you use social media strictly for keeping in contact with your friends and family but don’t use it for business, you may be missing out on the best form of free advertising in our lifetime, say two heavy social media users and experts.
Matthew Silver, founder and president of Ultimate Class Limousine and Transport located in Hicksville, N.Y., and Michael Campos, founder and owner of Dash30 Digital Media in Garden Grove, Calif., and a former LCT associate editor, both emphasize that simply updating your status once in a while isn’t going to land you many sales. Silver and Campos led the most popular session at LCT Show East in Atlantic City on Oct. 27, 2013.
Starting from the basement of his home in 1988 and building a fleet of sedans, vans and buses, Silver relates well to start-up operators and their need to make a splash in their communities without having any money to do it. He shared how he uses social media to drive sales. Campos, whose digital marketing firm specializes in organic, inbound marketing methods, spearheaded and developed LCT Magazine’s social media efforts.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram can all be used in various ways to promote your business at minimal cost, Silver and Campos said. In fact, it can be done for free, except for the production costs of graphics and videos if you choose to have them professionally done. Campos stressed the use of high-quality content with clean and clear designs.
“Avoid busy pages that can confuse readers,” he said. “Keep your pages simple and neat as well as keeping the content fresh.”
While the presentation was clearly designed for newbies with statements such as, “Your connections on Facebook are called ‘friends,’” newbies and veteran operators such as Kyara Kahakauwila from LA Limousines in Victoria, B.C. attended to learn how ever-evolving social media tools can help define your business to potential clients.
Campos introduced the importance and value of using videos to create a mini-commercial about your company. Videos can feature a particular vehicle or an overview of all vehicles. You can incorporate messages to clients about the services you offer and make personal commitments about the level of service a client can expect to receive, he said.
Silver offered solid methods of driving immediate sales through online specials that can be introduced at any time and scheduled in advance to be posted to a Facebook page, even in the middle of the night. When people wake up and check their Facebook pages, they can receive special offers available only on Twitter or Facebook or other social media sites. Using such specials can mean the difference on whether or not a vehicle sits idle for the weekend. By using photos and videos, you can promote vehicles not chartered for the following day with unique specials.
Campos and Silver stress updating your pages frequently. In most cases, that means daily. By changing your content frequently with updated topics, specials and photos, you can increase the frequency of visitors to your social media site who keep coming back to literally see what’s new. By building a loyal frequent follower group, you can increase your chances of closing a sale simply because the person viewing the page is looking for a deal. And if the deal fits, the sale is made.
While Pinterest and Instagram are basically photo applications meant for sharing photos, Campos places great value in their prominence and their rapidly expanding followers. While meant as a place to show photos, Campos illustrated photos of vehicle interiors, company logos and phone numbers that actually could motivate people to call and say they want a particular vehicle simply because they liked the way it looked.
Campos will join NLA board director and New Hampshire operator Michael Campbell for a follow-up seminar on social media at the International LCT Show in Las Vegas, Feb. 16-18. Check www.lctshow.com for schedule details.
Social Media Cheat Sheet
With so many social networks popping up that offer such various and sundry features, it’s tough to keep track of it all. But here’s a guiding rule to help you achieve success through social media no matter what the platform.
People use social media to find what’s interesting to them — cool photos, entertaining videos, educational articles, etc. Social media is always about the consumer, not your company. Thus, to be successful, all you have to do is align your company with the consumer’s interests by sharing content that is relevant to them.
Here are some specific tactics for Facebook and Twitter:
1. Post more photos, because they generate more engagement than regular status updates.
2. Have a call to action in your caption or status, with a link for readers to click.
3. Use hashtags to categorize your posts.
1. Use Twitter search to find hot leads (ex. “looking for limo” or “planning my wedding/anniversary.”)
2. Tweet “Hello, “Thank You” and “How are you doing?” to random.
3. followers to show your human side.
4. Aim to write tweets of 100-115 characters.
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