Social media is nowadays necessary for every single business in literally any industry. This does include shipping. Unfortunately, most companies involved in the shipping process fail to take advantage of the power of social media.
The industry is historically under-represented on social media simply because it is more conventional and relies on other operations, not on online practices. However, this does not mean that shipping organisations cannot take full advantage of the power of social media, from freight forwarders to port authorities.
After handling social media promotions for the New Zealand based sea and air freight shipping company Rocket Freight International, it quickly became clear that some strategies are particularly effective in the goods and products transportation industry. This is why I highlight the following really important tips that can be used for businesses working in any area of shipping.
Use Crews To Promote Your Organisation
For years now, we know that social media can damage an organisation. It can even lead to it going bankrupt. Numerous reports are showing us how this can happen. However, the exact opposite can also happen as posts from people working for the shipping company can benefit the organisation.
A very interesting and effective way to promote the services of a shipping company or practically any business in the industry is to highlight the people that work there. This is especially effective with the use of videos that show regular employees doing day-to-day tasks.
There is no real limit to how you can use employees to promote an organisation on social media. Just make sure everything is authentic because people relate to that, not to pre-recorded scripts. Those are much better for ads.
Create A Social Media Strategy And Stick To It
One of the biggest problems with shipping companies is that they just post random articles on social media pages. This should be avoided at all costs because a lack of a social media strategy automatically means it is impossible to measure results and get new clients (since this is the goal in most cases).
The lack of social media strategy also has one negative aspect that few people realise. It makes it difficult to respond to social media remarks that are damaging. Because the vast majority of shipping companies do not even have a Facebook account, they cannot manage their online social media reputation properly.
To keep things as simple as possible, shipping companies need to have an online presence on social media. They also need to create a strategy that includes all the tasks that would be done and SMART goals that can be measured.
Attract Business With LinkedIn
LinkedIn is definitely a very useful social media channel for shipping companies. This is because it is very easy to reach decision-makers that can become clients or business partners. Fortunately, many shipping companies already have a presence on LinkedIn. Unfortunately, this does not mean that it is used right.
LinkedIn is nowadays very problematic because so many users spam others in an attempt to sell or promote something. This is where a content strategy comes in to help you. One of the best ways to promote a shipping company on LinkedIn is to create content that is valuable for your target audience.
As an example, let’s say you want to promote sea freight transport services between Australia and New Zealand. Instead of using ads to reach companies that might need them, create articles that educate people about what is needed to transport something. When such an article is read, the decision-maker might check out the shipping company and its services.
Take It One Profile At A Time
It is quite common to see shipping company staff handle social media promotion alone, without a specialist being involved. Whenever this is the case, the best thing that can be done is to take it one profile at a time.
Most people underestimate how much time it takes to manage social media accounts. If the shipping company has only one person taking care of all channels and there is no specialised experience, bad decisions will be made.
Remember that it is always better to post less but properly promote the business than to try to be present on all channels. The best example of this is Twitter, which is not a true necessity and would take so much more time than many anticipate due to the need to post several times per day.
Use Local Promotion Strategies
One of the highly underestimated benefits of social media is that you can target your post locally. This is something we normally think about when we discuss search engine optimisation but most social networks offer different tools that help users to promote posts locally.
Since we already discussed shipping between New Zealand and Australia, let’s say the shipping company has a special discount available for businesses that want to import items from New Zealand. In this case, it makes sense to create social media posts that would only be seen by users in New Zealand because the deal would not apply to businesses in other countries.
There is no way to deny the fact that social media can be a very valuable tool for any shipping company that tries to expand its operations and get new clients. However, this opportunity is still underused. This can be a very beneficial thing since when you are an early adopter of new technology, you can instantly stand out.
The real problem is that most companies do not really know how to use social media properly. Because of this, it is a very good idea to work with a social media management firm. If the budget does not allow it, the company can hire employees. Just always make sure that the person hired has high experience in creating very effective social media strategies, using local promotion strategies, and be aware of modern trends to take full advantage of all that social media offers.