Aaron Gaul, UrbanTrans North America
Effective social media is about understanding the medium and the mindset of the audience of each platform. Each social media tool yields a different experience and therefore your TDM marketing should adapt accordingly. The following are quick tips on how to integrate these platforms with RideAmigos.
You can almost hear your mother now… “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. This has double meaning in social media for RideAmigos. First, Scientific American found that social media content that aroused positive emotions was more shared than pieces that gave rise to negative emotions.
Secondly and perhaps most importantly, you need to have something valuable to say in order to effectively tie in RideAmigos to your social media. Value doesn’t mean monetary, rather it answers yes questions like the following:
- You talking to me? Sans the Robert De Niro accent, this is the first and biggest question for social media. Understanding who you are speaking to and who you are trying to attract. The first and easiest step is to analyze you audience. For Twitter accounts, your first stop has to be FollowerWonk. Free and easy to use analysis of where your audience is and other helpful hints.
- Does the content match the platform? Multiple paragraph diatribes just aren’t going to work on any of them. Short, concise, and visually stimulating is where you gotta live. For example: during the height of an employer-based challenge, try a screen capture of the leaderboard and tag the companies’ handles on Twitter to generate competition and engagement. Simple, visualize, and audience-centered.
- Did you just generate some fantastic stats with RideAmigos? The ability to talk about the positive data impacts of the RideAmigos platform is very important output. And further, a lot of important people (aka funders, stakeholders, politicians) are very active on social media. Use the culmination of a challenge or the annual trip log report data and create digestible, visual and impactful result-based content.
- Does your social media have a face? While our lives become more and more tied to technology for communication and access to information, our human desire to connect with real humans goes unfulfilled. This may help explain why putting a face to our brand’s end-user is a highly effective strategy in social media. #POTD or #photooftheday are great ways to force a more visual presence on social media. P.S. Using hashtags that are trending locally is also an obvious way to get new engagement. So why not create a mini-series of the faces behind the names on your RideAmigos leaderboard? This could be a weekly installment that only needs a semi-professional picture, a brief interview, and a few key strokes. Be sure to put effort in making these leaders shine in their image, as you want the face behind the program to be one they can relate to, look up to, and/or recognize.
- Did you time that right? The quantity of available social media platforms is so high that TDM organizations would need to sacrifice quality if they attempted to use all of them. To minimize the time and resources needed for social media success, you should start with the end in mind. Once you have answered the first question in this article, you can better choose the right social media tools for your brand. With those tools in mind you’ll need to best understand when to send your messages to your audience. Lucky for you, someone has done a lot of research on both the audience and timing already! For example, looking to reach 18-29 year olds then you better be focusing on Facebook and posting between 1pm and 3pm on Thursdays and Fridays. Use that Thursday post to encourage them to try a new commute on Friday. Friday is typically a more flexible day for an average commuter and one that they want to ensure they leave on time, thus the perceived excuse of “I need to catch my carpool” is more beneficial and less of an inconvenience.