Insider Exclusive: How to Hit a Home Run with Social Media

Insider Exclusive: How to Hit a Home Run with Social Media

The six foundations of Arrow Stage Lines’ online strategy

By George Spencer

What’s the best place to see Tom Brady, Salvador Perez, or LeBron James? It’s not ESPN. Visit the Facebook page of Arrow Stage Lines, and you just might see those stars of football, baseball, and basketball. No, not winning big games in clutch moments, but getting on or off a gleaming Arrow Stage Lines motorcoach chartered by their teams.

Showing such videos on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube is all part of the smart media strategy put in place by Luke Busskohl, the chief operating officer of this Omaha, Neb.-based, ABA member. The Insider recently spoke with Busskohl, the fourth generation of his family to lead his company. (His father, Steve, is president and CEO.) Here’s his six-part advice for other ABA members who want to improve their internet presence:

1. Brand each type of social media differently. Arrow uses four social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Each is specifically tailored to different audiences. “We use Facebook for messages that are more ‘fun’ and use emojis and hashtags and tag people,” says Busskohl who has a degree in communications from the University of Nebraska. “Twitter is for short messages while Instagram is for fun messages, and we use hashtags and emojis for both. Our LinkedIn posts use more business-like terminology.”

2. Remember, it’s essential to use pictures and videos. “Most of the business market in social media is controlled by pictures and video,” says Busskohl. “People want to see what’s going on, not just read about things. Be sure your images and videos portray the right message, and always write captions that explain what people are seeing.”

3. Choose which platforms best fit your business and fly with them. “Test the waters with different platforms. Then, work really hard to promote whichever ones do best,” says Busskohl. “Facebook does a great job helping show you what your insights are, so be sure to track those. If people fail to respond well to some of the things you write about, then don’t write about those things. Give people what they want on social media.”

4. ‘Organic’ followers and ‘organic’ likes are best. Home-grown fans are best. “Some people think it’s best to pay for a bunch of ads and followers to make their Facebook or Instagram page super popular,” Busskohl says. “We’ve figured out it’s best to target the people who actually want to see your material. Organic followers are people who want to see your posts.” When you pay for followers, your page may seem more robust, but you may also find that those followers have little, if any, interest in seeing your posts, and they'll quickly stop visiting you. Instead, create a strong base of followers and give them what they want, Busskohl advises.

5. Make every post high quality. “Sometimes it’s okay to post twice a day. Sometimes it’s okay to post every other day,” says Busskohl. “Either way, make sure all your posts are high quality and are what people want to see.” If your company has a policy of posting daily, you may publish “junk” no one wants to see. When you do that, your customers may lose interest in your posts and stop following you.

6. Use social media to promote your website and to get bookings. Always remember that promotion is your primary goal. “Get people excited about your brand,” says Busskohl. “Use those sites to show people what their experience will be like if they charter with you! People will see what your culture is like, and they'll want to be part of it.”

“Not everyone needs to charter a large bus every day, but when they do, you want to be the one they think of first, and social media is a great place to put your company first in their minds,” Busskohl adds.

George Spencer is a frequent contributor to ABA media.

About the American Bus Association

The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.

Contact

Melanie Hinton, Director of Communications & Media Relations, ABA
Office: (202) 218-7220
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)