Running a taxi business in the digital age means you have to be switched on to online promotional tactics which will extend the reach of your firm and elevate your reputation.
Social media is a great tool for communicating with your customers and staying on their radar – so, when they need to call a taxi, your business is the first name that pops into their head. And what’s more, you don’t need to pay for the privilege of getting your name out there; it just requires a bit of time and know-how.
But before you commit to social media, you want to be sure that it’s going to be worth your time and energy. There are never any guarantees with marketing, but here are some of the benefits – if done well – of posting on social media, which we’ll follow up with some ideas of the sort of things you could post about.
More people now use social media than don’t. According to Statista research, there are 45 million social media users in the UK, which translates to 66% of the population.
So, in theory, social media has the power to get your business known to lots of new customers in your locality. However, for that to happen, you need to get people to follow you on your chosen platform – be it Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
If you can make yourself known to customers on social media, you create a direct connection with them. This makes it easier for your customers to contact you should they want to use your service. People now often prefer to contact business over social media than they do on the telephone.
So, if you offer some sort of customer service via social media, you instantly have an advantage over your competitors that still require customers to call when they need a ride. The downsides to this are that you need to constantly man your social media accounts to ensure you don’t miss any messages, so just bear that in mind.
If you have an online booking system on your company website, social media is a great way of funnelling customers to it. All it takes is the odd social media post to raise people’s awareness of the system.
It doesn’t have to be an online booking system that you’re directing customers to – perhaps you’ve got a tool that can calculate fares or you want people to visit your website so that you’re not getting service requests that fall outside your locality.
As much as anything else, social media offers you a chance to impress customers by showing them that you’re switched on to what’s going on in the local area (see the post idea below).
Just being present on social media proves that you take the running of your taxi business seriously; people like to see that.
Over time, you might start accumulating some reviews from customers – as long as they’re positive, they will do your business no harm at all and give potential new customers the assurance they crave when searching for a reliable taxi service.
A less obvious benefit of having a presence on social media is what it can do for your ranking position on the most popular search engines. All taxi firms want to be on the front page of Google when somebody searches for “taxi firms near me” and being active on social media has been shown to elevate a business up the rankings.
That’s because, in the eyes of search engines, a social media presence is an indicator that you know your stuff and are a business that customers can trust.
There are more benefits of posting on social media, too, such as the ability to better manage your reputation as a business and being able to learn more about your customers. But the main one for taxi firms is the idea that your business will stay top of mind with customers.
Keep your social posts entertaining and informative and your followers will gladly consume your new content in their feeds, and they will – sometimes only subconsciously – think of your business the next time they require the kind of services that you offer.
So, what do “entertaining and informative” social media posts look like for a taxi business? The great thing about social media is that you can be as creative as the platform allows in order to capture the attention of your customers; just be careful not to take too many risks.
With that in mind, here are seven social media posts ideas to get you going on social media. As you read them, bear in mind that you should ward against creating too many posts advertising your service. Who wants to read those kind of posts all the time?
If you hear about an event going on in the area that your taxi company operates, let your followers know about it. This will show your business to be well informed, and, if people come away from the event you highlighted having had a good day out, it won’t go unnoticed who alerted them to it in the first place.
Instead of just posting about a single event on social media, it might be more worth your while to create a blog post, compiling a list of all the things that are happening in the area over the course of a weekend.
Then, when local people go to search for things to do near them, there’s a chance you’ll catch some of the keywords they enter into the search engines and attract them to your website.
Taxi drivers have some great stories to tell. And there’s no better platform for telling them than social media.
Perhaps you or one of your drivers has recently carried a celebrity or a passenger told you a hilarious anecdote that demands to be retold? Posting it to your social media could result in your followers liking and retweeting the post, extending your reach to customers who weren’t aware of your business beforehand.
It goes without saying that you should get permission before posting any pictures online or post anything that might identify someone without their knowledge.
Every now and again, a piece of industry news will come out that affects everyone.
For example, in the news lately there has been a spate of taxi drivers who have declined to take a blind customer because they didn’t want to have the guide dog in their car. Clearly this is wrong.
In fact, under the Equality Act 2010, guide dogs and other assistance dog owners are legally allowed access to businesses and premises. The law even has a section directed specifically at taxi and private hire vehicles, stating that a driver must carry a disabled person and their dog also without any extra charge for the animal.
This is an example of emotive piece of taxi-related news that will inspire debate – and the more engagement your social media posts get, the better (within reason – you don’t want negative comments, obviously).
As you go about commenting on industry news, try to present yourself as the voice of reason.
People naturally trust businesses more when they make an effort to present their more human and personable side. So, become the friendliest taxi company in town by showing the people who make your business tick alongside a few words that give an insight into what they’re like a person.
For example, you could show your customers who they’re speaking to when they call up to make a booking. It’s all about letting your customers peek behind the curtain of your business and see what they wouldn’t see otherwise, which can yield a deeper connection.
Behind-the-scenes content feels more genuine compared to salesy messages, so it often goes a long way in establishing trust with your audience. The greater the trust, the smoother the journey ultimately.
Now, most people won’t really care about when the taxi meter was invented (1891 by the German Friedrich Wilhelm Gustav Bruhn, if you were wondering) or when the first motorised taxi was used in the UK (1897) but these kind of facts won’t do any harm in building a healthy reputation.
You never know, the odd person might find one of the facts interesting and share it. But that’s a bonus rather than a reason to post.
Facts are good to have up your sleeve when not a lot else is happening, keeping you in people’s newsfeeds and timelines with unobtrusive content that won’t offend anyone.
If you have the ability to man your social media accounts throughout the day, it’s a great idea to keep followers up to date on the situation on the roads.
Not only does it provide a good reason for people to follow you, it shows that you’ve got your ear to the ground and diligently assessing the roads for your drivers to help them avoid any congestion which could delay a journey.
When people come to book a taxi with you, they know that you will be informed as to any traffic that lies ahead and be prepared with an alternative route. Just make sure you’re passing any updates onto your drivers!
It’s never a bad thing to show that you care about your customers. And as a taxi business, you’re well positioned to offer up some safety tips considering that drivers are operating at night when people are at their most vulnerable.
Perhaps you could run a series of posts on how to walk safely at night, including tips such as ‘keep your head up’, ‘plan your route’ and ‘use busy, well-lit paths’. While you should avoid coming across as scaremongering at all times, these kind of helpful tips can do no harm at all.
While we’re talking safety, let’s touch on taxi insurance. It’s nice to think that your regular car insurance will cover you if you want to operate your vehicle as a taxi, but the policy will have clear exclusions detailed, making it very clear that it won’t.
There are good reasons why it won’t cover you. You’re likely to be doing far more miles than you would ordinarily, so the risk to the insurer is greater, which is reflected in the insurance premiums. Also, you’ll be carrying passengers in your vehicle, who will also need to be accounted for in your insurance policy.
Getting caught without the correct cover can mean you lose your licence and have to pay a heavy fine as you will be deemed to be uninsured. Ultimately, this will affect your livelihood, as it could mean a period out of work.
Speak to an insurance specialist who can find you specific vehicle insurance for commercial use and, in particular, insurance that covers you when carrying passengers.
Our team at Taxi Insurer can arrange cover for a range of taxis and vehicles including black cabs, saloons and MPVs, for both private and public hire.
At Taxi Insurer, we do our best to get you a fair deal – we will search our panel of insurers to get you our best price for your taxi requirements.
Alongside taxi insurance we offer interest free payment plans to make your taxi insurance manageable. With protected no claims bonus available, why not see if we can save you money today?
From single vehicles to entire fleets, we do the leg work so you don’t have to.
To arrange a no-obligation taxi insurance quote, please call our team on 0121 506 2391 today.