How to speak a truck driver’s language on social media

Don’t worry! This isn’t going to be a cringe-inducing guide to speaking like a bad stereotype of a truck driver. I’m simply talking about leaving corporate speak at the door, and engaging with drivers in casual, comfortable language.

Over the span of hundreds and hundreds of posts spanning the past several years, we’ve learned that drivers are looking for honest, authentic communication delivered in a direct, no-nonsense way… no matter which social channels you happen to be using. With that in mind, here’s a straightforward approach to speaking their language on social media.

Walk the line between grit and professionalism

Much like drivers themselves, your social media voice needs to strike a fine balance between gritty plain-spokenness, and polished professionalism. This means no swear words (that goes without saying!) OR desk job buzzwords either.  Here are some dos and don’ts.

  • DO speak in a conversational manner.
  • DON’T use driver slang terms. You’ll come across as phony or forced.
  • DO get straight to the point. Drivers are busy, busy people.
  • DON’T forget to address what drivers care about most (hint: it’s not quarterly profit margins).

Remember that in social media, authenticity trumps beauty

Well, maybe not for makeup tutorials, but truck drivers probably aren’t following you for that reason (if they are, congratulations on your contouring skills). They’ve likely followed you to find the whole truth about who you are and what you offer. That means they won’t care if your video was made with an unfiltered lens. Or if your face isn’t perfectly lit while you’re speaking.

Focus on your message before you worry about how polished it looks. You still want to come across as knowledgeable and reliable, though. So here are some tips to get your story just right.

If you’re writing a post:

  • Put your facts first. Avoid any corporate window dressing.
  • It’s okay to be casual. Use a relaxed, conversational approach.
  • Make your call-to-action crystal clear. Drivers want to know in an instant what you’re prompting them to do.

If you’re filming a video:

  • Make sure all dialogue sounds crisp and clean.
  • Eliminate any distracting background noises.
  • If you’re filming outside, choose a day with little to no wind.
  • While your video should be informal, make sure the background has no visual distractions.

Prioritize communicating your message clearly and concisely. Then you can clean up the superficial rough edges. Make it real, and people will believe it.

Interact with your audience

It can’t be stressed enough: social media communication only works if you’re actually engaging with people.  It involves a lot more than throwing up a post and calling it a day.

If you’re going to engage with truck drivers on social media, you need to be prepared to interact every day. Since drivers don’t keep 9 to 5 working hours, your social accounts will also need to be monitored at regular intervals. For optimal results, it’s best to hire someone who is dedicated to this task. At bare minimum, designate someone in your company for daily social media management.

Here’s some best practices to remember:

  • Respond to comments and messages in a timely manner.
  • Arm your social media person with the tools to handle replies, such as an FAQ sheet.
  • Yes, keep the same conversational manner used in your other communications.

Make sure to interact with employees’ social media accounts

Many drivers are active on social media with lots of positive things to say about the driver lifestyle… and the fleet they drive for, too.

If you notice any of the following content from your drivers, be sure to promote it. These are just a few examples of great content, of course.

  • “Day in the life” posts about driving.
  • Hacks that make OTR life easier.
  • Video tours of sleeper cabs.
  • “Why I love being a driver” posts…especially if they speak positively about you!

If any of your drivers routinely post engaging content, take note. You might want to contact them directly about collaborating on future posts. Truck driver influencers exist, and some have an impressive number of followers. You might just have a social media superstar hiding in your fleet.

To get more driver interaction, ask for it. Social media users love to share content, and drivers are no exception. Ask your drivers to share pictures from the road, tips and tricks, or the most spectacular thing they’ve seen while driving. It’s a great way to engage your drivers…and potential ones as well.

Speaking a driver’s language means having a strong presence where drivers go for information. With so many drivers active on social media, that means you need to be active there, too.

By now, you’ll have a sense of what the language of truck drivers sounds like: direct, authentic and without any frills.  If better driver engagement is what you’re looking for, use those three things as your guiding principles for social media. Be interactive, hype up content from your drivers’ personal accounts, and don’t be afraid to be a bit gritty. Then watch your engagement rate soar.

Want help with any or all of the above? Reach out to KAT Media to find out how we can act as an extension of your team in the social media space. It’s probably a more cost-effective approach than you think.