Social Media – Core Beliefs to Follow for Logistics Companies

The effective use of social media starts with a set of core beliefs that should govern the terms in which a logistics company plans to participate on any social media platform.

 1 – Social Media is a conversation. Be there first and foremost to listen. And when you do start to talk make it a dialogue.

2 – Transparency is the only way to build genuine trust. People will quickly learn whether or not you are being open and honest. Your goal is a “trusted advisor” type relationship.

3 – To gain people’s interest you have to offer something of value. This starts by giving without expecting something in return. 

4 – Communicate like a friend to build connections. Simple, casual language – not “corporate speak” is how you become real and engaging to the client.

5 – Accept that clients control the conversation. If someone out there wants to have it, social media always allows the conversation to happen. The only question is will you be a part of it.

6 – Be patient, the clients will come to you. If you are too intrusive with your use of social media, clients will be pushed away. See #1.

Logistics Software and Social Media

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SEO Primer: Getting Found on Google for Logistics Companies

Frankly stated, SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is the process of getting your companies website found when people search for certain terms on Google (or any other search engine like Bing or Yahoo).

As an example, if you are a third party logistics company that specializes in frozen food service distribution, then you want your name to appear in Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP) when customers are looking for the type of services your company offers. SEO is the process of creating and positioning your site to rank well on Google’s search pages – organically. If someone goes to Google and searches on “frozen food logistics” you want to be the first company that potential customer sees on the page.

You will notice there are other listings at the very top and right margin of the Google results pages. Those are ads that company’s pay for to be located in those areas. Each time someone clicks on one of those links it is costing the company $.50 to several dollars for the privilege of a user clicking on their link. Organic search like we are talking about here is the process of getting your site to rank high on the page without paying any of Google’s pay per click fees.

So what is Google looking for to rank your company highly as a logistics software company, or as an ecommerce order fulfillment provider? There are two main things: relevant content on the site related to the search terms and site credibility, which means there are other sites with “backlinks” to your site. Backlinks are a type of “social proof” that other website are linking to your website because it is credible and worthy.

So what to do? Figure out what “keywords” your customers are typing into Google that relate to what services you are selling and add related content to your site in the form of blog posts or new pages that will show Google you have authority on those topics. Then, work to get backlinks to your website from other credible websites. This can be done by responding to blog and forum posts and getting your website address out there. Both these strategies are complimented by a well executed social media strategy.

These two ideas are just barely scratching the surface of ways to improve SEO for your site. The benefits of ranking well with Google are almost priceless, yet easy to achieve when executed properly.

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Why Social Media Helps SEO For Logistics Companies

Did you know that one HUGE benefit of using social media can be that it helps people find your logistics company when they search on Google? This idea is called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, and it has to do with what results come up in Google when a user types in a certain search term.

For example, if someone types into Google “truckload carrier Pennsylvania”, Google will do a search of all website and provide a list of relevant websites. Being on that first Google page of results for a company’s key search terms is THE goal for marketers at every company. Are you are 3rd Party Logistics company? Then you want people to find you when they search on Google.

Here is a good article discussing how social media and SEO are connected.

http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008046

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Read my EasyLogisticsManagement Blog. Find me and more information on Social Media for Logistics.

http://socialmediaforlogistics.tumblr.com/

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Sausage and Social Media

Online sausage retailer Sausage Obsession makes great use of social media to create traffic for its blog (www.sausageobsession.com).

Adding content like The History of Sausage and mulitple sausage recipes from cuisine all over the world is the content that drives the Sausage Obsession popularity.

Logistics companies can learn from these lessons. Presenting valuable content to readers and customers through quality blog posts and Twitter are what get people to your site. Logistics providers need social media to help create brand awareness and engage customers.

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3 Ideas for a Logistics Company to Build a Social Media Presence

Start a Blog – A very effective way to establish credibility for your company and yourself is through a blog. It will also help your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and social media marketing (SEM) – both of which help draw traffic to your website. A blog builds credibility by giving you the opportunity to post regular updates and content that will be of interest to your existing and potential customers. Are you an expert on logistics software? You can blog about that. Are you an expert on ecommerce order fulfillment, blog about that, etc. These updates should be educational and not overly promotional. Giving the opportunity for readers to comment will engage them in discussion and help you develop a deeper level of trusted advisor relationship. Becoming the expert on a topic, and then when a need comes up you will be who the customer thinks to go to first.

Post Customer Reviews and Testimonials – As part of your blog, website, Twitter, or anywhere else – make sure to promote and encourage customer feedback and reviews. Positive comments hold a lot more weight when a reader feels they are coming from an independent voice. It adds credibility to the message. But what about negative comments you ask? Use those as a chance to engage the person with thoughtful follow up and help to resolve the issue. Done right, this will turn the unhappy customer into a fan and win over potential clients who were watching the dialogue. Being willing to engage and talk to customers about the good and the bad is great for trust building in the market place.

Be Accessible – A social media presence is also about be available and responsive to the marketplace. Make sure your offer the chance for readers of your content to have the chance to comment, as well as contact you directly with questions. Needless to say providing emails and phone numbers is a given in addition to offering a contact us page.

Building a presence in social media for a logistics company is largely about building credibility for your logistics business. It is accomplished through educate, engagement, and in the end, consistency.

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Good Example of How 2 Logistics Companies Are Using Social Media

Log into Twitter and do a search on something like “lost my package” and you’ll see a bunch of tweets by people complaining about packages that UPS or FedEx or the USPS has lost. As logistics professionals, we all know these things happen with small package shipments and full truckload deliveries.

I know from experience if you send a tweet about FedEx or UPS and a service issue, they’ll will proactively contact you through Twitter to try and resolve the issue. That’s a great use of Twitter for a lot of obvious reasons.

If you have customers unhappy with your service they may be talking about it on Twitter (or somewhere else). “Carrier X” delivered late again, or “Carrier Y” missed another pick up and their customer service stinks. And what if you ARE Carrier Y?

Do you know if customers are talking about you online? What’s your process to deal with negative comments? 

You need to be there to respond to those customers. This is one outstanding way a logistics company can leverage social media.

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Logistics Social Media Strategy

Recognizing that your Logistics company can benefit from a social media presence is just the first step in actually realizing those potential benefits.

A Facebook page, Blog and Twitter account does not complete a strong social media presence. In fact, they can hurt your brand if they are not developed and attended to in the right way.

Here are some examples of companies using social media effectively:

– UPS and FedEx search for and follow up on every mention of a lost package posted on Twitter. This is a great proactive approach to addressing customer issues.

– Other 3PL companies post their available loads each day for carriers and drivers to see each day. Twitter has become a widely visible (and free) load board for their operations.

– I have seen examples of ocean container companies posting delivery updates via Twitter.

Simply having accounts set up at the various social media platforms does not make a strategy. How can you set up an effective social media strategy for your logistics company?

http://socialmediaforlogistics.tumblr.com

http://socialmedialogistics.weebly.com

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