Operations

How To Make Social Media Work For You

Lexi Tucker
Posted on July 21, 2016

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — If you want to run a successful business, using social media is not an option — it’s a must. This is a scary realization for those who didn’t grow up using it, but it shouldn’t have to be.

The number of different platforms available can be daunting, but not if you take the time to understand the best way to use each one. The good news is you only need to know a few of them.

Nick Cavarra, a presenter at the 2016 International LCT Show in March and founder of Social Punch Marketing, explained why your business needs to be on at least one social media site while updating your online presence.

Numbers Don’t Lie

“I call myself a social media user, not a social media expert because when I go to sleep, I know everything about every social media channel, and then I wake up,” Cavarra said.

While it seems as if a new platform emerges daily, or at least new features, statistics show being mobile savvy with social media is the best way to attract and inform potential clients.

Mobile Internet usage surpassed desktop in 2014. About 65% of time spent on social networks happens on mobile devices, and 51% of emails are checked on smartphones. And get this: Out of the six billion people on the planet, 4.8 billion have a mobile phone, while only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. Clearly, people put a priority on their devices and use them to their fullest potential.

But let’s step away from social media for a moment and focus on your company’s website in general. Cavarra shocked the audience when he dropped this bombshell: “You will not come up on Google search on a mobile phone if your site isn’t mobile friendly.”

International LCT Show speaker Nick Cavarra, founder of Social Punch Marketing.
International LCT Show speaker Nick Cavarra, founder of Social Punch Marketing.

For operators still behind on this, it should be top priority. How are you going to build clientele if they can’t even find you? Being active makes you relevant. “Your website is the most valuable piece of real estate you own because that’s where customers will find you,” Cavarra said. In the age of “Just Yelp it,” it’s no surprise 60% to 80% of your customers will research your company before going any further.

Visitors hate talking to salespeople, and are looking for information relevant to their immediate needs. When potential customers seek a service, three quarters use their mobile phones to get real-time, location-based information. Nine-tenths of these mobile searches lead to an action, and 70% of users who run a local search via their mobile device act within one hour. This is why your site must not only look good, but be constantly updated. Staying current influences purchasing habits, and you don’t want to lose business because you had the wrong email, phone number, or address listed.

Stay Active

So what should you do to ensure potential customers will find you? First, search for your company on Google. Check your listing information for accuracy, and if something is wrong, correct it. Make sure you list information people usually want to know without having to call you. These include but are not limited to: Hours of operation, a business description, list of services, specials/deals, logo and photos, contact information, links to your social media channels, and payment options.

The same goes for your social media channels. Of course, you cannot remain active on every social media channel out there. That’s why Cavarra suggests finding the niche sites right for your business. While this may sound daunting, choose one at the very least. In the vast sea of the Internet, you either swim or perish. Learing how to use a few platforms is easier than it appears. If you take the time to learn now, it will undoubtedly save time later.

Choices, Choices, Choices

At this point, two questions arise: Why is social media so important, and what are the best sites for a business to be on? Simply, 74% of people rely on social networks to guide their purchase decisions. This includes people looking for luxury ground transportation. Let’s say a person chooses a company out of all the others in their area and ends up pleased with the service received. Fifty-five percent of people share purchases they have made on social networks. That means this customer’s review could serve as free advertising that will entice potential customers.

As for the most important social media sites, Cavarra calls Facebook the “gorilla in the room.” It allows one to reach large audiences, assuming you create and share the right content. It’s good if you get people to like your page, but it’s better to get them to like or comment on your posts. The goal is to get them to share your posts on their personal pages so their friends can see them.

For this to happen, you need to know what types of posts get the most interactions. Cavarra revealed these statistics: A post featuring a video gets 100% more engagement than a post with just text; one with a picture gets 120% more; while a post with a whole album of photos gets 180% more. Some ideas for interesting posts include fill in the blank and multiple choice questions, highlighting a customer or employee, or sharing inspirational quotes.

The other two sites that provide the best audiences are LinkedIn and Twitter. LinkedIn lets you find potential affiliate companies you want to work with, and in turn, be found by them. Twitter, on the other hand, is the fastest way to reach your desired audience. A good sense of humor will help your tweets stand out. Try “hijacking the news” by posting something pertaining to a current event (the upcoming election, a popular meme, etc.) while bending it to the theme of luxury transportation.

When potential clients Google your business, will they see the correct information?
When potential clients Google your business, will they see the correct information?

Time is Money

Operators should spend no more than about two and a half hours a week on social media, Cavarra said. Specific actions make this possible. For example, creating a content calendar to divvy up when and what to post will save having to remember what’s been posted. If you designate specific channels to specific days (Mondays for posting blogs on your main website, Wednesdays for sharing sales on Facebook and Twitter, etc), you’ll avoid social media fatigue and stay organized. This will help you remember to be active every day on the various channels you manage.

Also, remember blog posts can be used as fuel for tweets. It’s acceptable to take interesting 140 character snippets and repurpose them for your other accounts. If you don’t know what to write about, then start stimulating creativity by using upcoming seasons, holidays, and other special events, such as prom and wedding seasons.

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Related Topics: Facebook, Facebook marketing, How To, ILCT, Las Vegas, LCT Magazine, LinkedIn, social media, social media marketing, tips for success, Twitter, web marketing

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
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