Let's quickly breakdown the 3 Social Media Platforms you should be actively engaged in right now, and then I will teach you how to integrate them and spend as little time possible creating large hoards of friends, so you can tend to the party and reap the benefits of being "the host with the most".
Keep this one basic. It's FREE. Try to register your real name. Such as @johnnyschrunk (yes, you can follow me). No one wants to be friends with a "secret code name", number, acronym, etc. It's like an email address. No one cares what kind of car you drive, or your birthday or nickname or favorite pet. Be transparent. Be easy to find. Be you. This is essentially a 140 character limit instant messaging platform that allows you to make large quantities of friends and share valuable information. It's extremely "viral", making it a powerful marketing tool for your business. For those already registered, learn to love the "retweet" function. Save good articles you find and share them; if you find articles of value to you, which you received from a friend, share those as well. Twitter is a great resource for accumulating resources in mass quantities. You will see questions answered in seconds. HINT: You can "search" for people and/or an industry and go "follow" them. Not a lot will follow you back at first. Become trusted by providing good valuable, ready-to-use information, and you'll soon have people following you in your sleep. How's that for creepy cool?
I will delve into advanced social media soon, however right now, understand that the concept behind Facebook is what you make it. For me, it's not personal, it's business. Using Facebook for marketing your business is on the brink of exploding. If you have a Facebook page now, I would suggest starting a "fan page" for your business. If you don't have one, start both right away. You have to have a personal page to start a fan page. There are many perks to doing so, such as building a customer list without using email, gaining in-depth information you don't need to ask for, and of course the opportunity to build trust and integrity with very little effort. Your contact is wider reaching, never ending, and you CAN'T stop it from GROWING. This is the big "aha" moment for sales professionals. This is a powerful marketing and sales tool that cannot be ignored. Facebook is the largest social media platform, but Twitter is gaining at lightning speed. Use them both.
The important thing to understand is that none of these social websites are going to be beneficial marketing strategies if used alone. They can and should be integrated. Free applications such as "Involver" can do this for you. Just do it, or better yet, have someone else do it for you.
Until recently, LinkedIn was moving at a slow pace, albeit it's probably the most widely used social media within the trucking industry today which is why it would be a wise decision to jump on board now and get going. It's perceived to be more "business oriented" and has limited capabilities for creating mass contacts. It is most beneficial when used in conjunction with the above media platforms; because it allows you to exploit your business in ways other media cannot. Many folks set it up and then don't check it for extended periods of time. It ends up being a small rolodex, which is ultimately useless. LinkedIn, if understood, can be an invaluable recruiting, sales and marketing tool. Extremely invaluable. There are groups you can join and network within specific niches you wouldn't normally have access to. Like Facebook and Twitter, I will dig deeper into the power of actively using LinkedIn to boost bottom line profits in the near future. Until then, get connected and learn the basics. Understand the concept and then outsource it. You need not spend more than 20-30 minutes a day total, if you're doing it by yourself. It's the best 20-30 minutes per day you're spending working "ON" your business. Just stay at it.
There are many other media platforms that provide robust strategies for progressing your trucking business and we'll discuss those in the future. These 3 social media platforms if used in conjunction, actively, will not only provide positive exposure your business would not normally receive, but also boost your company's SEO rank, build a pre-qualified customer base and strengthen overall communication with customers, drivers, dispatchers and most importantly, your spouse!
If you're working your tail off, working on your business, implementing new blogging and website techniques, using social media for sales and marketing, and just flat out working smarter than ever, you won't be surprised with my last statement. You "get it". For those still struggling with the economy woes, those intent on "waiting out the storm", and those unfortunate ones that remain "victims", thinking things are going to "turn around" or that we're in a recovery, you're probably, eventually, and most certainly, going to stand up and take notice. Just don't be late for the party or you might miss the best part.
In my next blog I'm going to jam some gears a bit and reveal some secret strategies for "How to Please Your Drivers and Spouse at The Same Time".