You asked for it and we listened. In this column, we ask operators of all sizes and from all walks of the industry a question about their business and report their answers so you can assess how your own company compares to your peers. If you would like to participate, please email Rob Smentek at firstname.lastname@example.org for next issue’s question.
TOPIC: Are you using social media for your marketing in 2020? Which platforms have been most successful, and in what ways? Have you added or pulled back from any platforms this year?
We are continuing to use social media for marketing in 2020. Currently, we are using Instagram feed and stories, along with Facebook stories, posts, and targeted ads. We have started doing more on LinkedIn this year and plan to start using Twitter as well.
We have seen the most success with our targeted ads on Facebook. We use them to target specific verticals that we are selling to: What’s great about it is that you can drill down on specific criteria, such as job types, geographic locations, and income levels. It really helps to reach the correct people without blowing your marketing budget.
Kelly Alderete, Director—Special Projects
Premier Transportation Services in Dallas, Texas
In early 2019, we hired an outside media company that handles all our online SEO, social media, and video content. Since the short time we have been with them, our sales have increased, our followers on social media rose significantly, and they are drawing customers to our brand. Facebook has been a big part of that success. We took their recommendation and invested in Facebook ads. In the past year, our sales have increased 35 percent and our online presence has grown very strong. We are averaging 600 unique website visitors per month. I think it is safe to say social media will be a big part of our marketing budget for 2020.
James Barnes, President
Jimmy’s Limousine in Cincinnati, Ohio
We are focusing on building our social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. Both of these platforms have allowed us to introduce our team so our followers can connect with us—the company itself and individuals within the company—on a more personal level. The short videos we share about the cool new things we are introducing or slideshows from our company outings really keep our followers engaged.
These platforms have also provided an opportunity for us to stay in touch with potential clients without formally advertising to them. Facebook and Instagram present a cost-effective, constant, and open line of communication with potential clients, allowing us to reach people we may not have before.
Allie Benson, Office Manager
Majestic Limo & Coach in Des Moines, Iowa
We have been using Facebook on a beginner level for quite a while now, and last summer we started running ads done by a professional marketing company. We got a great deal of responses from those posts and plan to continue on that path. However, Instagram is the most popular platform right now for average monthly active users. There is more consistent activity there than on Facebook, and we are planning to put more effort and money into Instagram to capture a younger market for bus work. For both platforms, we will heavily push that this is our 60th year in business.
Carla Boccio, Owner
Buffalo Limousine in Buffalo, N.Y.
About six or seven years back, we lost a lot of business in the Netherlands for several reasons, so I started using my LinkedIn account—with, at that time, maybe 25 contacts—to look for work beyond the country and connect with international operators to earn their trust as an affiliate partner. My network grew massively and affiliates were finding us via recommendations. A few years later, just before attending my first CD Show in Orlando, one of my biggest affiliates advised me to join Facebook and start using it in addition to LinkedIn. At the time, I had a Facebook account but never used it; since then, I can’t do without it.
Richard de Krijger, General Manager
DMC Limousines Worldwide in Amsterdam, Netherlands
With 3.48B users worldwide and growing, we are definitely using social media for our marketing. We have found success in Facebook and Instagram through targeting ads to our retail and wedding clients, and also adding organic content to our stories on these platforms to show viewers our operations and demonstrate who we are. This year, we have started uploading videos of our fleet and staff on YouTube to help us with our marketing and sales. We have pulled back on using Twitter since we neither saw its benefit nor engagement.
Sam Emam, General Manager
BBZ Limousine & Livery Service in Bergenfield, N.J.
Because our stretch limousines offer “the Hollywood dream,” my company is very well known, and we have had a lot of free, organic social media marketing for providing limousine service in Sweden: If you want a stretch limousine in our country, you will find us on the first page of search results.
We use internet advertising on several platforms, but the most efficient is when other people post about using your services, share their pictures of your vehicles, and talk about their positive experiences to their social network.
Hans Hallberg, Owner
LimoEurope in Orebro, Sweden
I am very active on social media. I use Instagram more for our retail business and LinkedIn for corporate work. However, I’ve found that in addition to posting, you also have to interact with your audience with likes and comments. It’s a very time-consuming process, but it’s necessary to build your brand. I also leverage my personal Facebook page for my company’s benefit.
Mark Kini, President & CEO
Boston Chauffeur in Beverly, Mass.
We are actively using social media for our marketing in 2020; however, we have backed away from Facebook as our main platform. Ultimately, it hasn’t been beneficial to blast pictures of our fleet and service all over the feed. We have been very successful with Instagram, as it lets us target our clients accurately. In fact, we picked up four new clients from Instagram posts. LinkedIn has been similarly successful. We recently received a direct message from a corporate client who found us on the site, and we were able to book them a trip in Washington, D.C., using one of our affiliates.
Wendy Kleefisch, President
Brevard Executive Limousine in Indialantic, Fla.
Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are the top three social media sites that we use for business. Facebook is great for keeping up daily with our clients and seeking out our target audience; we use LinkedIn to search for new clients and see what our industry members are currently doing. We added Instagram in the past year, which is great for posting fun pictures that showcase our products and services while branding our company.
Arthur Messina, Founder/President
Create-A-Card in Smithtown, N.Y.
In 2020, we will continue to use social media. Facebook is where we find the largest response; however, we are finding that our younger followers are using Instagram. LinkedIn has been great for finding corporate opportunities and connections to larger businesses. I think you will find the best results by frequently posting on all forms of social media. Once you start seeing patterns, you can focus on what works best for your company.
Gus Ortis, CEO Executive Transportation in Minneapolis, Minn.
We’ve increased the use of social media for marketing considerably last year. We analyzed potential online marketing channels and, as our focus is predominantly B2B, we decided not to use B2C channels like Facebook or Instagram. As a result, we now mainly use LinkedIn and sometimes our Twitter account.
Because we cater to the needs of executive travelers, we’ve found that LinkedIn is the best way to reach them. On LinkedIn, we have a specific strategy: We’re republishing our own blog posts about worldwide events that will most likely attract visitors from all over the world. In this way, we not only communicate our professional focus but also underline our efforts to acquire business across worldwide markets. Ideally, this will benefit our global affiliates.
Ralf Rehder, Owner
Action Worldwide Limousines in Hamburg, Germany
We are pretty diligent in posting daily on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter would be the third platform. Far and away, though, our most successful medium is Facebook because it’s where we can have a continuous private dialogue with prospective clients—and those overwhelmingly convert to bookings. It is also our most successful recruiting platform. Plus, with Facebook’s marketplace, we end up selling a good majority of our fleet as we turn those over.
Vince Schneider, Managing Partner
JED Transportation/Country Club Limousine in Saint Louis, Mo.
Personally, I don’t care for Facebook, so even though we’ve had a business page since the company started in 2008, I have been slow to adopt it. We’ve only recently made an effort to post more often, and I’m trying to do better.
Quentin Shackelford, Owner
AllClassLimo.com in Wichita, Kansas
I use social media because I believe it’s a powerful tool for brand awareness. Currently, I use Facebook and LinkedIn for business-related posts; I’ve found that LinkedIn has been very resourceful and my profile activity has increased because of my engagement. I do have an active presence on Facebook for both personal and business. At this time, I have not pulled back from any platforms.
Nancy Vargas, CEO
DH2 Chauffeured Transportation in Jamaica, N.Y.
We’ve loved hearing your answers to our benchmarking questions—but we always welcome suggestions for future topics, too!
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