Like many of us, you probably start each morning with good intentions for having your most productive day ever. You’ve got a clear grasp of your to-do list priorities and you’re armed with a fresh cup of coffee as you settle in to check voice messages and emails before launching into tackling the most important tasks.
As with every day, different issues crop up demanding your attention: a truck break-down needs to be dealt with, drivers are being held up at stops and are unable to keep their schedules, parts needed to service vehicles haven’t been shipped, and three people phoned in sick, leaving you to scramble to fill seats in trucks.
Hours later you look back at your list and, along with all the other unchecked items, you see at the bottom a reminder to do a social media post. It’s been a few days since your last post and you really should say something there.
You scroll through your Facebook feed and see it’s actually been two weeks since your last item. In fact, you haven’t shared much regularly for some time. And how could you? Each day is so busy, yet somehow you have to find a way to do this.
You know other trucking companies are having success using social media. They have large followings, share posts showcasing their company culture that get engagement, and they’re recruiting drivers as a result.
So how do you get on top of using social media to benefit your trucking company? Simple. You create and use a posting schedule to help keep you on track.
A social media posting schedule, sometimes referred to as a content calendar, relieves you of the burden of always having to remember to launch posts. By planning and scheduling your posts, you’ll free up more time to focus on priorities while easing the stress of potentially forgetting to use an important communications channel for keeping in touch with drivers and marketing your trucking company.
There are other ways developing a social media posting schedule can help you keep on top of things. You can drive better results by using a content calendar to:
Ensure Regularity and Frequency of Posts
When you schedule your social media posts, you’ll no longer have to come up with content at the last minute. In addition to avoiding that scramble, posting with greater frequency helps you maintain visibility, develop an audience and get better engagement — not only from your current drivers but from prospects too. Platforms like Facebook tend to limit what an audience sees based on frequency and engagement, so if you aren’t posting often, your posts likely won’t get shown to as many people in your audience as they could be.
Set a Deadline for Completion
The clients who hire your trucking company expect you to keep to a schedule and meet deadlines for shipping or delivering products. If you know you need to have a truck in say, Topeka on Tuesday, you make sure it gets there. That’s the power of having a deadline.
The same thing happens when you commit to creating a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly social media posting schedule. If that schedule is meant to go live every Monday or the beginning of each month, you’ll work harder to get it finished and launched so your posts get published.
Offer a Platform for Collecting Ideas
One of the biggest challenges many owners or managers of trucking carriers have when managing their own social media is deciding what to say. Marketing or content writing may not be your thing, or perhaps you’re too closely involved in your business to know what to share that would be of interest to others.
Having a content calendar or posting schedule gives you a tool for brainstorming ideas and for making notes and capturing suggestions and thoughts as they occur. That way, you’ll have a head start when you sit down to write your posts.
Keep Track of Significant Dates and Events
There’s a reason posting schedules are often called content calendars, because they’re built around the days, weeks and months in a year. You likely have significant events in your business, like anniversaries, etc., worthy of sharing. Be sure to add that time-sensitive content to your calendar so you’re not a day late in celebrating those important milestones for your company.
You’ll also want to extend greetings or share posts related to holidays (Christmas, Valentine’s, birthdays, etc.) throughout the year. Does your office close on some of those stat holidays? Make sure you post in advance what your hours of operation will be.
From an engagement point of view, there are tons of “special” fun days that are appropriate to share. National Fun at Work Day? Plan a few activities ahead of time and share pictures of your team that shows off your company culture and presents your trucking company as a business drivers will want to work for.
Help You Plan and Develop Content
The beauty of using a posting schedule is that you can plan your content well in advance. If you know a significant anniversary of the many years your company has been in business is coming up, you can prepare. Go back through your archives and find old photos to scan or create a video showing the evolution of your trucking company over its many years on the road.
Have any of your drivers passed a milestone or won an award? Plan the post then arrange to have a photo taken of them being recognized for their accomplishments. Such public celebrations of your team and your business are an excellent way of using social media to do some soft marketing for your company.
Planning social media content also helps ensure you meet your company’s goals. If you’ve committed to solving your driver shortage by recruiting more women to your team, you’ll look for opportunities to show that you hire and value female employees.
A content calendar also helps you stay on track for developing and sharing content that’s theme-related. Motivation Monday, Wellness Wednesday, Throwback Thursday and a whole host of other themes can serve as inspiration when you’re looking for ideas about what to share.
Involve Team Members
No one says you have to do all of this work on your own. You can share a posting schedule with your co-workers and give them an opportunity to contribute and review content. Having others reviewing your work can also help you maintain consistency in tone of voice and the type of content shared.
These same team members can also help you with finding and sharing curated content. Is there an industry-related article online with valuable information your drivers need to know? Ask your team to keep an eye out for such items to add to your schedule. That way you free yourself from always having to create your own content.
And again, keeping your team involved helps with monitoring whether you’re using the right mix of content. While it’s okay to do some selling of your business you’ll want to ensure you share less promotional vs. social content.
Even doing a photo contest with your drivers a few times a year will not only engage your workforce but will also give you a plethora of photos of your trucks and drivers in beautiful locations.
Focus on Your Audience
It’s easy to lose sight of why you’re doing all this social media posting and for whom. You need to remember your audience and what they’re looking for. For trucking companies, the majority of your social media followers are likely going to be truck drivers, mostly your own, but prospective ones, too.
Remember that social media is a two-way channel, so plan your posts with truckers in mind and share content they’ll be interested in responding to. Ask them questions. Give them a platform to share a little about themselves. Some of their feedback may be of value to you for determining how to run your business. More importantly, giving your team, who are usually on the road, a chance to bond a little online, can be a huge boost to morale.
Keeping your audience in mind will also help you in planning your posts to go live on the days and times that your audience is most likely to see and interact with your content.
The Right Tool for the Right Job
As with all tools you only get a return on investment on them when you use them regularly. Using a social media content calendar won’t give you more hours in your day, but it can help you focus on your social media a little better and make the most of the time you do have. We’re sure you’ll see improved results relatively quickly, once you get started using a social media posting schedule. In fact, we’ll bet you’ll wish you started using one sooner.
In addition to all of the above benefits, by planning your content in advance you’ll free up more of your time to monitor and respond to your social media channels. Plus, you’ll be developing content that you can potentially repurpose and recycle later on, but that’s a whole other conversation.
One thing we know for certain is that doing social media well is a big job, even when you have all the right tools at your disposal. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t come to you naturally, and if you need any help, talk to us. We help trucking companies develop their online marketing and that includes managing their social media.