Ah, social media. It seems like everywhere you turn these days someone is talking about what they did or saw on sites like Twitter and Facebook. This phenomenon is not confined to the typical teenager, but even a number of the largest corporations and businesses around the world are turning to social media. The trucking industry is certainly no exception, however it is mainly the larger, top trucking companies that have built online social media presences. Here are some ways that they are leveraging this presence to help business.
The first question to answer is which sites do the top trucking companies actually use. According to a recent study conducted by Carrier Logistics, Inc, 68 out of the top 100 trucking companies (on the Transport Topics list) have built a social media presence. Of these, 80 percent have a Facebook page, 72 percent use LinkedIn, and 64 percent use Twitter and/or Google+. Just over half, at 59 percent, are active on YouTube.
The study also showed that this is having an effect on company operations. Among those that use Facebook, 63 percent update their page or pages at least weekly. Among companies with a Twitter presence 70 percent use the site to send tweets at least once a week.
When a top trucking company uses social media, especially Facebook, one of their primary objectives is driver recruiting. In fact, it has been shown that more than 96 percent of company drivers have a Facebook account and this site has become the main resource used when a driver is looking to change careers or switch companies.
This can also be a great method for helping drivers to quickly understand the company culture. There are also a number of top carriers that post and promote job opportunities directly. Some companies even use social media as an outlet for recognizing individual drivers. This can include new hires, driver birthdays, community involvement, company events, and really anything that seems especially noteworthy to that particular company.
Social media is also an excellent way to help increase driver engagement. Some companies ask drivers to submit scenery pictures and then use the best in their regular company newsletter (along with giving credit to the driver who obtained those photos).
Other companies even go so far as to use their social media pages to hold contests and other fun events. The whole idea is to get the drivers talking and interacting with each other. No doubt being a trucker is a lonely profession at times so this can be a way to have everyone thinking of themselves as being part of a team.
Managing The Time Commitment:
There is also no getting around the fact that in order to be done properly, your social media effort will need to be regularly managed. Top trucking companies, as well as truck auction companies, use social media for a variety of purposes and in a number of different ways. Making someone the leader or supervisor of the social media efforts of the company can be helpful, as long as they really understand the goals and how to accomplish them. Larger companies might even be able to afford setting up a social media department. Too many companies do not realize the level of effort and commitment it takes to develop and to maintain a social media presence and outreach.
Written by Janet M. Tiedtke of Taylor and Martin.