Truckers are a breed all their own. This is a true statement. They are irritable after driving 11 hours, and get online with the attention span of a child with ADHD that just overdosed on chocolate cake. I pick on my guys and gals all the time for this. Even on the phone, having a conversation, you'll hear "lights!!!" or "chrome!!!" and the occasional "shiny!!!"
So, while listening to the wannabe experts who've gotten their opinions from actual experts, and chose to scam you out of money by claiming expertness, please understand something: the original experts who the wannabe experts got their ideas from were from basic business people, stay at home wives, retired couples, and teenagers. These people are online because they are bored, and looking for something to peak their interest, so aggressive tactics work. Truckers, although possibly bored online, deal with aggressive tactics by shippers, receivers, companies, DOT, etc all day long, and will become annoyed in no time flat, therefore ignoring you. So, how do you get them to be interested in you?
I enjoy people watching. It has taught me a lot of what to do and not to do. I'm not an expert, but I do better than some of the wannabe experts on keeping a captivated audience. So, pull what you can from me learning the hard way.
Everyone and their dog, it seems, has a Facebook page. Many companies have chosen to utilize Facebook to make an aggressive approach toward advertising for free. They no longer advertise in print or online (I've even felt the effects of this). They move a secretary or some other office member into the "social marketing" or "communications" department. This tactic will do one of two things based on the person online, and only the person online. Let's look at four chains of truck stops for example: TA, Pilot, Love's, and WilcoHess. TA and WilcoHess are the best at this. Pilot actually is not at the bottom; Love's is. TA and WilcoHess address the issues drivers have immediately, and diligently work to resolve the issue as soon as they get a Tweet, Facebook post, email, or phone call. They also talk to you like a human being and will comment on grotesque pictures taken at the competition's facilities. Pilot has shocked me. Lynsay still speaks to me, and will respond to issues, knowing I boycott them. It takes a lot to put differences aside and address issues, but she has excelled at this. Love's makes up excuses or ignores you, showing drivers no true concern on issues. For this, they fail to appease the driver, and fail to get their point across of wanting business in a productive manner online.
Another issue being seen is spam. You see it on Twitter, you see it on Facebook, you see it everywhere, including LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, a nice debate over trucking regulations or rates or freight bases will be taking place, and someone will post stupid comments about where to buy the hottest shoes. Needless to say, in no time flat, the comment is erased, and the person is thrown out of the group. In Facebook groups, it'll be companies posting about completely unrelated topics, hoping to get hits. My groups have these posts, and the people, along with their posts, are thrown out. Recently, Trainers for Better Trucking decided to clean house also. People were wanting you to buy this, listen to that, read this; and none were related to training. Kudos to these guys for taking a stand for this. These posts are an impediment on groups and fan pages, and the truckers are tired of it. Every time I post a reminder of no advertising on my page, the truckers "like" the post for the next three days.
Companies with their own pages and Twitter accounts do a major fail in communication. A perfect example came across Twitter this morning: FreeCDLJobs.com @FreeCDLJobscom @trkrsvoice Thanks for the MT! We are a Free #Trucking #Job Search! We can help #Truckers find a better Driving Job @suetandt @trkmatters. Now, most of the time, when a company thanks you for a mention, they don't feel the need to spam you again. This is annoying. It's like the people who think they need to retweet every tweet ever sent to them to try to fake an essence of importance. We aren't in school anymore, you don't have to prove your importance to all of us. Some that I must say have celebrated the Twitter and Facebook scene well are Big Truck Driving Jobs, Hiring Truck Drivers, Cale of Central Oregon Trucking Company, and Joyce Brenny of Brenny Transport. They give the human feel to the companies they represent. All four are sweet, goofy, and talkative. You see, truckers want to be able to freely discuss things; whether it be sports, shopping, driving, the idiot that cut them off, their health, or anything in between. If all they see is how you "can help #truckers find a better driving job," you'll be the last one they speak to. They want to speak to a human being, not a robot. If all you do is post glorifications of yourself, they will run, or sit there and watch, waiting for you to fail. I've seen people representing themselves being called the King/Queen of Spam, for all you saw was events, fan pages, etc. I've seen on another profile, a driver asking to be taken off the mailing list, for the Facebook profile looked more like a cold call mailing list that you would do to generate support, not someone's Facebook page. These are critical errors. They'd rather see how Lou was screaming that there was a demon in his mouth after biting into a Wasabi, what irks me with the load while planning it or ordering the permits. That lets them see the human feel. Come see me here, I just got signed to represent them, this place just published me, listen to me on the radio, look what I wrote, and nothing but posts related to this give them a robot feel. Mix it up. There's no harm in being robo-man or woman. Be half human, half robot if you must.
Basically, if you want truckers to follow you on social media, get involved in social media, but get involved in a human aspect. Let them get to know you, and when it comes to their money and their time, it will be you they pick.