Driving instructors and social media
It's hard to go ignore the presence of social media these days and not to feel bombarded, confused or caught up in its grip. That's because Facebook has 900 million active users, there are more than 200 million Twitter users.
The thing you have to realize is that social media is here to stay.
So why bother using social media for your business?
You will be able to connect with your customers quickly as they themselves are using social media. Infact, checking Twitter or Facebook accounts has become such a daily routine, people log onto it every single day.
Social media is all about building relationships and growing trust.
This means answering questions, providing helpful information, and serving as a trusted resource.
You don't have to be a big brand like BSM or the AA to brand yourself on twitter.
You can be a lone driving instructor to brand yourself on twitter although nobody wants to talk to a LOGO unless it's a famous brand so make sure tweeters can connect to a real person.
Use Facebook to show prospects, clients and customers the "real you." Provide the occasional business tip, link to your website or link to your new blog post but as a general rule of thumb, only 5% to 10% of your social media activity (i.e. status updates or tweets) should be self-promotional.
That's what everyone else is doing so why not show them you're a real person by posting updates about things you're passionate about?
At the end of the day, once you have engaged, helped your customers (your followers) they will be loyal to your brand for a long time.
Once you have connected with your customers you will for sure be getting feedback on how you can improve your product, your services and maybe even improve your customer's service. Listening to them will help you in the future.
If you do something bad to a client they are going to talk about it on. So you can either ignore it or let the reputation grow or you can jump on and help people move on.
It is very important to be seen to be addressing complaints on social media sites, apologize sincerely, invite them back even consider giving them freebies.
Promotions and special offers
You can also tweet about new deals and promotions to help give your company the extra boost. What everyone love include me is getting a good deal. Whether it's a discounted block of lessons or a cheap or free driving lesson, people will want it.
If you're driving school has built a loyal customer base or would like to invite new followers, you can send out messages like "Free lesson for referrals this weekend." They can tweet you for more information regarding that.
Creating giveaways and contests is one of the most effective ways to generate new likes and improve overall engagement but small businesses often feel the pressure to offer flashy prizes that are well beyond their budget.
For example, you're driving school doesn't have to give away an iPad if that's not what you can afford. Instead, consider giving away one of your company's services.
Although it's not the sexiest prize and won't generate widespread interest, it's more budget friendly and everyone who participates is sure to be interested in what your company does.
Karen's School of motoring has previously given prizes of iPods, Highway codes to blocks of 5 or 10 driving lessons.
Social media can help you increase sales and make PROFIT although social media isn't the place for the hard sell. This might be a difficult lesson for the small business owner to appreciate.
If you're social media strategy is just about marketing or sales, then you're not approaching it right. Yes, you can use social media for marketing and you can increase your sales figures from it, but it shouldn't be your focus 100% of the time.
One necessary element of a thriving business is a strong list of qualified leads. Collecting names and emails is essential to any small business because you can communicate with your ideal audience on a regular basis.
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You can also give latest updates on Twitter and Facebook about your company by tweeting or updating your status as news stories dictate.
This might include the most recent driving test testimonials, instructor additions to the school or updates about changes to a tuition vehicle.
The Driving Standards Agency has over 10,000 followers and regularly posts news updates that are relevant to our business. By following the DSA or associated businesses you can keep informed of current events which in turn can be passed on to your own customers.
Social media goes Viral
If you've have succeeded gaining some popularity with your account s you will know how viral they can be. This will be part of your marketing strategies that you can use in the future.
Without question, the hottest and most effective use of social media today is video. With all the recent changes in how Google and other search engines index web pages, adding short videos is the number 1 way to get into the top of search results.
Creating a custom channel on YouTube is very easy. Creating a series of short instructional videos around your driving lessons and using testimonials from happy clients/customers are great ways to add credibility to your company and dramatically increase the chances of a viewer going to your website.
Social media isn't really free
Sure, you don't have to spend a penny to join Facebook, create a Twitter account, or start a blog.
But if you consider your time (or the time of your employees) worthless, social media is free otherwise there's a significant cost involved with social media.
For example, if it takes ten hours a week to develop social media accounts, you can assign a hard cost to the effort.
Social media is far from free once you factor in the time, and effort it demands. Social media requires constant commitment, from keeping fresh content on your accounts to engage your followers.
Fewer young people learn to drive