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How to Reach Your Riders Using Social Media

Do you find the idea of using social media to reach your riders daunting? You’re not the only one. 

With the rapid increase in social media use over the last decade, coupled with new platforms and shifting algorithms, the idea of finding the best approach can feel overwhelming — especially when you don’t have a big marketing team to help.

That’s why we’ve broken down the process to help guide you through taking the first small steps towards marketing to an online audience. 

Why Social Media?

Twitter, Instagram, TikTok — social media has something for everyone, which is why it’s consistently growing across every single key demographic (and why we wrote a playbook about it). Social media connects you directly to current or prospective riders. As a bonus, social media as an advertising platform generally has a much, much lower cost associated with it compared to most other traditional methods of marketing — you may even find the only incurred cost is your time and effort.

Percentage of US Adults Who Use At Least One Social Media Site by Age

How to Create a Great Social Media Strategy

You know you want to use social media to advertise a new service or communicate a route change to your riders, but where do you even begin?

  • Start Small: There is no specific guide which tells you exactly what platform(s) to start on. Play around and find the platforms that work best for you and your mission. Don’t spread yourself too thin working on networks which aren’t yielding results. Get comfortable with what you’re doing, and grow from there. 
  • Establish Agency Alignment: Ensure you’re aligned with other teams in your agency who have an investment in how you present yourself to your community. 
  • Be Consistent: Keep a dependable presence across social media. Keep your posts or ads consistent to your brand, and commit to posting with regularity (consider starting with just 1-2 posts a week). Repurpose meaningful content to make the task of filling up your content calendar less daunting. 
  • Gather Metrics: Once you’ve been running a campaign for at least two to four weeks, analyze your performance metrics such as number of shares, new followers, and/or comments. Make adjustments to your posting schedule or type of content based on the data.  

Content Tactics for Reaching New and Recurring Riders

How do you use social media content to inform and engage with your riders? There is a lot of content vying for their attention, and the different tactics at your disposal seem endless. Below are some creative ideas for content that will resonate with your riders: 

  • Outreach & Engagement: Interact in real time! Listen to your riders and engage with your audience. Host a virtual “Lunch & Learn” about your services. Tag universities or community groups in posts about your services, so they can share with their followers. Host an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) or post a poll. Riders want to be heard, so give them a platform to share their thoughts.
  • Social Media Takeover: Let your riders become brand ambassadors! Catapult your brand by recruiting frequent riders who can “takeover” your social media accounts and post content about how they use your service. Use this as a way to showcase rider and/or driver stories. This drives authenticity, which means your audience is more likely to engage with the content.
  • Themed Days: Join the conversation in established themed days (e.g., #TransitTuesday) or create your own! Themed days are often playful and fun ways to connect with your riders. For example, a #SchoolsOut campaign could encourage families to show how they use your service for family activities when kids are on summer break.
  • Giveaways: Giveaways are a low-effort, high-impact way to drive engagement with your social media platforms. Who doesn’t love free stuff?!

Content Creation and Management Tools

While this is far from an exhaustive list, we’ve found these tools helpful for agencies that want to produce quality content in a short amount of time:

  • Sprout Social: Sprout Social makes content management a breeze by allowing users to schedule posts in advance, as well as tracking engagement (e.g., likes, shares, etc.) 
  • Canva: Canva is a free tool for content creation featuring thousands of templates for users to create posters, graphics, and ads without needing years of design experience or expensive software.
  • Promo: Recent studies have determined viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when they read it in text form. Promo is similar to Canva, but specifically helps you create video content for a number of platforms.

Now that you have some social media tips, tactics, and tools under your belt, you’re ready to take the plunge — but you don’t have to do it alone! Our Marketing Services will help you refine your social media strategy and develop customized marketing solutions to keep your riders informed.