Every business (that is a going concern) has experienced success.
Many brokerage businesses achieve certain levels of success through the sheer will and drive of their entrepreneurial founders and leadership. However, the wider opportunities that exist are often hidden from these leaders due to inherent uncertainties and deep seated fears of exponential success.
In some instances, these leaders are able to create a viable and thriving business that harnesses their own skills and strengths, but often overlooks their skill gaps, which ultimately limits the growth opportunities available to them. In other instances, the leaders accept their current level of success as the only (or maximum) success that they are destined to achieve. Without a resource or partner to help overcome these limitations, the business plateaus and motivation decreases, further limiting opportunity where beliefs become calcified into a ‘good enough’ mentality.
As an owner (and/or leader) of a business, you have a responsibility to the stakeholders of this ‘going concern’ to create a sustainable and growing organization that supports its employees, its customer base, its vendors, its community and its owners to maximize value.
You can do more, you can achieve more, you can earn more and you can share more.
First, you have to make the choice – the choice to invest in your business to make it stronger in the market, more agile to protect against external obstacles and more effective in providing service solutions.
If there is no failure (only success and learning), risks hold no power over your future. Risks are only shrouded opportunities.
You have the power to be great and to achieve the success that you have envisioned (in those quiet moments of reflection). Surround yourself with people who make you better and those that you can make better.
How to succeed without wasting valuable time
Social media is a wonderful way to stay top-of-mind with your customers and prospects. But, many logistics professionals are hesitant to use social media. They lack of time to learn and maintain social accounts while running a business deters many from using it. Some people opt to use automated tools to post canned social media content for them. This saves time, but the posts are typically bland and uninspiring. If you want to use social media in a more personalized way, but not waste valuable time, here are some basic tips on how to succeed.
1. Set a Goal:
What do you want to accomplish by using social media? Clearly define your goals and how you plan to measure them. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, website traffic, grow your email list, etc? Clear goals will help you determine the type of content you should publish and on what platform. Use our Social Media Goal worksheet to help you in this process.
2. Know Your Audience:
Who are you trying to reach and which social media platform is the best to reach them? This will help you determine where you should spend time (see the platform overview at the end of this article). Once you get started, check the analytics of your page to see if you are attracting the right audience. On Facebook, you can even look at when your users are online to best determine what times of the day you should post.
3. Keep it Short:
Lengthy content should be on your website, not in a social media post. Keep your posts short and to the point.
4. Make it Interesting:
An image or graphic will highlight your content better and increase the chance that your audience will read, like or share your post.
5. Mix it Up:
Try to balance educational industry topics with inspirational posts. Informational content brings value to your followers and will increase your credibility. But people love to share inspirational images and quotes, and these tend to get more likes and shares.
6. Trust the Source:
One of the easier ways to stay active on social media is to find and share content already published. Just make sure it is a known and trusted source, not just your neighbor Bob’s opinion blog.
7. Be Social:
Remember to interact with others, not just push your content to others. Share articles, follow people and companies, and then like their posts so you can participate in the social aspect. This is the online version of networking, so incorporate some give and take. I pick up new page views and followers each time I spend 5 minutes liking other people’s posts.
8. Learn From It:
Monitor how your posts are doing so you can better serve your audience. Are certain topics or posts better liked and shared? Give them more of what they like!
9. Measure It:
What goals did you establish in the beginning? Make sure to measure how you are hitting your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). You may need to adjust your approach if the results aren’t measuring up.
Social media can be a great tool to reach a wider audience and to reinforce your value with customers. If this still sounds like too much, you can always choose a marketing partner to handle your social media presence for you.
Happy tweeting and posting!
DOWNLOAD your social media planning worksheet
SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM OVERVIEW:
Where should you spend your time online? Here is our brief overview on the three most popular sites for logistics professionals.
LinkedIn is known as the professional social media platform. This is a great place to reach your target audience. You can sponsor your content and select industries, titles, cities, etc., that you want to target. Three out of five professionals using LinkedIn say they gain new clients from it.
TIP: Many people will feel more comfortable connecting on LinkedIn rather than on Facebook.
Facebook is a great place to market to the general consumer. You would be surprised by how many people are on Facebook and how often they check it. According to Pew Research Center, 79% of internet users use Facebook. And three quarters of those Facebook users visit the platform EVERY day. Facebook is also a good opportunity for your personal friends and contacts to get familiar with what you do.
TIP: Trying to ‘friend’ a prospect or customer on their personal profile can been seen as invasive and too personal. Like their business page and ask for likes on your business page.
Twitter is a great place to interact with other businesses and to find informative articles that may interest your audience. Connecting with prospects isn’t the primary goal on this platform. Many logistics professionals are sharing industry insights and starting discussions with fellow industry professionals on Twitter.
TIP: Utilizing a trending hashtag in your tweet allows you to gather more views on this platform. Try using #logistics, #freight, or #3PL in your posts.
Erika DeBlasi is the TranStrategy Partners’ Marketing Coach and has worked as a marketing executive in freight brokerage and financial services industries. She drives the marketing, branding, advertising and communication activities for a variety of companies in addition to providing a broad spectrum of marketing and communication training.
>> Schedule Your Complimentary Marketing Review with her