Drivers ‘like’ honesty, consistency on social media

Leo Barros

Be honest and consistent, highlight your culture, focus on the positive and have fun when using social media, experts advised at a webinar on recruiting and retaining drivers.

“Facebook is the most important tool for driver recruiting,” says Sean LeBlanc, marketing and social media specialist, Kriska Transportation Group, adding that the company uses the platform celebrate driver wins.

Social media is a very efficient way to spend money on recruiting, experts agreed. (Photo: iStock)

“It’s not just the drivers we engage with, it is also their families and friends. By celebrating their accomplishments, it reinforces our pride in them and the pride they have in their jobs within their communities,” LeBlanc says.

“YouTube is the underdog of social media,” says Tricia Sloan, director of corporate development, Veriha Trucking, at the online event organized by Truckload Carriers Association. She said management team members got in front of the camera before asking the drivers to do so. Videos were made that answered drivers’ questions and that helped engagement, she says.

“We get most engagement on Facebook job postings,” says Laura Duryea, recruiting and retention manager, Boyle Transportation. The company has a public and private page on the platform.

Moderator Dirk Kupar, co-owner and CEO, TruckRight says the better you are at social media, the lesser your recruiting expense.

LeBlanc agrees, saying social media is an efficient way to spend money on recruiting and establish connections.

“Recruiting teams provide a human approach, answering questions and comments from drivers in real time. It is an invaluable tool,” he says.

The company answers the questions it receives on social media honestly, which helps build the trust factor.

“It is important to respond even to negative comments.”

Laura Duryea, Boyle Transportation

Duryea, who manages all social media for the company, says she spends about an hour a day, not all in one block, monitoring the feed and responding to comments and questions. “It is important to respond even to negative comments,” she says.

The Boyle official says the response should be we are sorry you had this experience, and can we do anything to change your opinion. If you give a good, positive answer, it demonstrates your culture and tempers down the negativity, she adds.

If there is an issue that is hard to address, for example if your company pays less than another, highlight your benefits, Duryea says. “Due to what we haul, our place is slower, it offers a better quality of life. There is more time to exercise and rest,” she says.

Duryea adds that ratings and reviews are important. Drivers are researching your company and looking at social media posts, finding out about your culture.

Kupar says it is important to engage drivers on the platform they had their initial conversation on as it lets them stay where they are comfortable.

“Just start,” is the advice Duryea has for those interested in using social media for the first time. Shoot basic videos and get content out, and make sure it is authentic and consistent. See what your peers are doing and check if their ideas will work for you. “You don’t need fancy equipment, use a cellphone.”

Seek partnerships

“Check for potential partners, like trucking and logistics groups,” LeBlanc says, because they can help carry and deliver your message.

“You are controlling your narrative when you use social media,” Kupar says. Drivers want you to sell why they should work for you and want to see it on social media.

LeBlanc says drivers like to send photos of trucks and other drivers like seeing that, resulting in lots of likes on social media. Duryea says her company runs a contest where drivers send in pictures and the winner gets $100.

Use social media to recognize the good in your company and listen to your audience to know who they are and what they care about, the experts concluded.

Leo Barros

Leo Barros is the associate editor of Today’s Trucking. He has been a journalist for more than two decades, holds a CDL and has worked as a longhaul truck driver. Reach him at leo@newcom.ca

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