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How to start marketing your mobility service on social media

A beginners’ guide on how you can use social media to increase brand awareness, attract new riders and boost customer satisfaction.


Niklas Mey

A main tenet of good marketing is to go where your target audience does. And with 4.2 billion active social media users around the globe, you can bet that a large chunk of your potential ridership is regularly perusing Facebook, Instagram and other popular social media platforms.

A main tenet of good marketing is to go where your target audience does. And with 4.2 billion active social media users around the globe, you can bet that a large chunk of your potential ridership is regularly perusing Facebook, Instagram and other popular social media platforms.

Social media allows you to reach new customers, facilitates customer service and can help you grow your ridership. That’s why it’s important to meaningfully incorporate it into your digital marketing strategy, whether you’re launching a new mobility service or sustaining an existing one.

And because mobility services are ultimately about community well-being, savvy marketers will leverage the power of social media to strengthen brand awareness locally. Though social media marketing can seem confusing when you’re just starting out, this blog post will help you make sense of the different platforms. We’ll share how you can evaluate the success of your social campaigns and some general best practices.

Which social media platforms should you use?

Instead of simultaneously trying to build a presence on every social media platform under the sun, first, determine where your audience is spending most of their time and concentrate your efforts on building a community there. Having a strong foundation on one or two platforms, will help you when you decide to extend your presence to other ones.

Let’s break down the demographics of each platform and how you might go about engaging audiences on each one with an example from Nashville ride hailing company, Earth Rides.

Facebook

Despite rumors that young people have migrated away from Facebook, it continues to be an undeniable powerhouse for marketers. It has 2.7 billion daily active users around the world, 77% of which are under 44 years old. Over 60% of users visit the page of a local business weekly, which is why you should keep yours active and up-to-date. Facebook’s advertising tools are powered by massive amounts of data, allowing companies to create highly targeted ads.

Example

On Facebook, Earth Rides take the community first approach. They post stories about their impact in the community, partnerships with local businesses, as well as customer highlights. Instead of directly promoting their services, they spotlight the people who use their services. They also run campaigns intended to increase their connection with the Tennessee community, such as a weekly series called Musicians in Music city, which features local musicians and venues in Nashville.

Instagram

Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users around the world, 33.1% of which are between the ages of 25-34. It’s worth noting that 9 out of 10 users follow a business account, and Instagram posts receive the highest level of engagement—people who interact with your post either through likes, comments, or sharing—across the major social media platforms at 1.16%, compared to Facebook’s 0.27% and Twitter’s 0.07%.

Example

Instagram relies almost entirely on images to make a first impression, and on Earth Rides’ page, there are three threads that weave their way through the feed of posts: bright, fun colors (with a focus on their staple blue), electric vehicles (often with their doors open, ready to invite passengers in), and people (millennials, most prominently). It provides the sense that this is a young, lively company that’s active in their community, while the posts regarding their carbon emission offsets and customer testimonials add a sense of trust and legitimacy.

Twitter

With 187 million daily active users (68% of which identify as male and 32% as female), Twitter receives significantly less traffic than Instagram and Facebook. However, it does offer the opportunity to connect with a slightly older demographic, with 44% of users falling between the ages 30-49. Compared to Facebook and Instagram, Twitter is less catered to visuals or advertising. It revolves more around short-term interactions: service updates and customer service interactions are both at home on Twitter.

Example

Earth Rides uses Twitter to not only provide quick announcements regarding promos or events, they also use it to take part in broader conversations happening around ride hailing, such as driver safety and eco-friendly transit.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the largest network geared towards professionals. It’s used by companies to post jobs, establish their brand and reach new audiences. There are 738 million users on LinkedIn, with 303 million monthly users. The largest age demographics are 46-55-year-olds (37%) and 36-45-year-olds (35%). However, millennials are quickly establishing themselves as LinkedIn advertisements’ largest audience.

While this may not be the place to attract new riders or engage with your community, it’s a great tool for hiring drivers and other staff.

Example

Earth Rides not only actively recruits on LinkedIn, but they also keep their page fresh and up-to-date, by posting team member highlights, overviews of their diverse workforce, feedback from their riders, as well as informative articles that dive into their mission as an entirely electric ride-hailing operation. This activity not only assures visitors to the page that Earth Rides is an active company, but it also provides a sense of their values.

How to track if your social media efforts are a success

Crafting an online presence on the web and social media requires time and effort. If you’re going to give customers different ways to find and interact with your brand, you want to ensure you make a good impression. But you also want to be assured that your investment in social media is paying off. In order to demonstrate the value social media marketing brings to your company, you should establish clear key performance indicators (KPIs) — metrics that will allow you to measure success.

Generally, the most important social media KPIs fall into three main categories: awareness, engagement, and conversion. You may establish further metrics if you run specific campaigns on social media (for instance, if you run customer satisfaction surveys on Facebook), but these three are a good place to start.

For any KPI that you measure, it’s important to establish a consistent ‘reporting period,’ so you can see how your metrics change over time. In general, KPIs can be tracked using in-house dashboards such as Facebook Business Suite, Instagram Insights, Twitter Analytics or LinkedIn Analytics.

Awareness metrics

How many people are you reaching, and what is your potential reach? Social media platforms are a great place to keep your customer base informed, but ideally, you also want to use them to reach new customers. Awareness may be tracked through KPIs such as:

  • Brand awareness: how many mentions or shares your company receives.
  • Post reach: This can be measured by the number of reaches your post gets divided by your total followers, multiplied by 100.
  • Audience growth rate: divide the number of new followers over a specific period by your total followers and multiply by 100.

Engagement metrics

How do people interact with your content? Use engagement as a barometer for whether or not your content is connecting with people. If engagement levels are low, it likely means that people aren’t interested in the content you’re posting, which is a good indicator to rethink how you can better invest and involve your audience on your channel. Get a better sense of engagement levels by measuring:

  • Approval rate: total number of approvals a post receives (usually in the form of ‘likes’) divided by the total number of followers, multiplied by 100.
  • Engagement rate: the total number of interactions a post receives (including likes, shares, comments, etc) divided by the total number of followers, multiplied by 100.

Conversion metrics

Are your social media followers turning into riders? Once awareness and engagement are established, you ideally want to funnel that audience into becoming customers. If conversion levels are low, perhaps there is a gap in the funnel somewhere that’s preventing your audience from taking further steps. Get a better sense of this funnel with KPIs such as:

  • Click-through rate (CTR): measure the total number of clicks a post with a link receives, divide it by the total number of impressions, and multiply by 100.
  • Cost-per-click (CPC): if you’re running ads on social media, divide your total ad spend by the total number of clicks and multiply by 100 to see how much each click is costing you.

You can track many other conversion-related KPIs by setting up Google Analytics, Google’s free tool that allows you to track your website traffic, how people interact with your website and how they get there, which is incredibly useful in measuring the effectiveness of your social media efforts. Learn more about getting started with Google Analytics here.

How to advertise on social media

People who find your social media pages of their own accord are considered “organic traffic.” People who find your page because of a paid advertisement are called “paid traffic.” Running ads on social media is a great way to reach targeted audiences who will likely be interested and benefit from your services, but who might not simply stumble across your channels on their own.

In addition, engagement on social media takes on a snowball effect—the more likes, comments, or shares an account gets, the more their posts are prioritized by social media algorithms. So paid traffic can help boost organic traffic.

Pay-per-click (PPC) ads are a great place to start as their cost is essentially determined by how effective they are: as the name suggests, with PPC ads you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. With that in mind, you want to ensure that your social media pages are set up in a conversion-friendly manner so that the traffic you’re paying for is worth the investment.

Facebook ads have been proven to be particularly effective when it comes to getting people to take action, with a click-through rate of 3.9%, compared to Twitter at 1.64% and Instagram’s 0.82%.

If you’re considering setting up ads on social media, we recommend going to the source for a comprehensive guide on how to get started. Here are the guides for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

General social media tips

Streamline with social media management tools

While most social media platforms have built-in dashboards that allow businesses and organizations to manage content and keep track of their metrics, you may also want to use a third-party tool like Hootsuite, Buffer, HubSpot and Sprout Social. This can help you track posts, plan your social media calendar, run ads and schedule posts all from one place.

Create a content calendar

Social media marketing, just like any other marketing initiative, requires thought and planning. Planning your content calendar ahead of time allows you to ensure your account stays consistently active with unique content that prevents your page from becoming repetitive. Calendars can also help you create targeted campaigns based on your marketing goals, allowing you to track what worked and what didn’t which you can incorporate into future planning. However, it’s also important to keep calendars flexible: social media managers should be ready to interrupt or alter the calendar based on current news and trends. For instance, if a somber event occurs in your area when you have a light-hearted promotional campaign planned, you may wish to postpone or delay those posts.

Stay on top of community interaction

Whether via private messages, in the comments section of a post or by posting directly to your page, ensure you stay on top of any queries that come in and that you also get involved in any discussions that may happen on your page. If people are sharing your content, take the time to thank them. In addition, consider taking advantage of automated customer service tools, such as chatbots, that can field questions or support requests and point people in the right direction—whether that’s towards a web page that answers the question or towards a human customer service representative.

Consider social media partnerships

A great way to grow your audience and increase brand awareness in your community is to run a social media partnership with a fellow local business or organization. For instance, a ride hailing company could offer discounted rides to a local event, and both the company and event planners would benefit from promoting the discount on social media. A microtransit service might reach out to a nearby national park that’s only accessible by car and suggest a campaign offering weekend rides from the city to the park. Think of how you may be able to grow your community by establishing mutually beneficial partnerships in your area.

With its ever-changing trends and algorithms, marketing on social media can seem daunting. However, if you start small, set clearly defined goals, track your metrics and ultimately keep your target audience top of mind, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a social media presence that adds value to both your company and your riders.


Spare Labs helps power mobility services of all sizes, and our dedicated partner success team is always there whenever you need a helping hand—and that includes coming up with a social media marketing strategy! Learn more by reaching out to hello@sparelabs.com.