Now in its third generation, Birmingham’s Baggett Transportation is a family-owned company specializing in military transport. When Director of Recruiting Daniel Buckhannan joined Baggett in mid-2011, he knew he wanted to increase the company’s Facebook following; he just wasn’t quite sure how. That’s where his agency came in.
Where To Begin? Where Else?
“The agency had already done an exceptional job of re-establishing Baggett’s brand identity in the driver market, so their first piece of advice was: Whatever we do, it has to be true to the company brand.”
1) Your brand is, by definition, what comes into people’s minds when they think of your company. It’s the foundation on which you build loyalty, with everyone from drivers and customers to office employees.
2) Social is the place where your company should engage fans and drivers in open conversations—not tin-eared sales pitches.
3) Any conversations you initiate, or (much worse) tin-eared sales pitches you make that are inconsistent with your core brand will ultimately weaken loyalty to your brand—and, therefore, to your company.
In short, the most effective Facebook pages consistently speak with a voice that matches their company brand. Which is why (to use an extreme example) promoting a daily diet of Colt 45 and primo weed is perfectly consistent with your brand if you’re Snoop Dogg, not Justin Bieber.
Baggett’s Brand: Family Oriented, Military Pride.
“We knew we wanted a campaign that would boost our fan base and strengthen our brand identity,“ Buckhannan continues, “and our agency came-up with a perfect strategy: For every new person who Liked us, we contributed $1 to National Veterans Homeless Support for the 2011 Christmas Holidays.
“We strategically launched our campaign on Veterans Day (November 11)—with the goal of generating 2000 Likes before Christmas. The agency had already helped us build-up a significant fan base over the previous few months [from roughly 39 to 1839], but the results of this campaign were beyond anything we’d anticipated.”
Exceeding Expectations Weeks Ahead Of Schedule.
Baggett reached its goal of 3889 Fans by December 6—less than three weeks after launch, and nearly three weeks ahead of schedule. Just as importantly, during the campaign, Baggett’s “People Talking About” rate averaged nearly 19%. And, Buckhannan notes, the “talk” was overwhelmingly supportive.
To put that 19% rate in perspective, industry blog Social Media Today has said, “A decent ‘People Talking About’ number works out to be anywhere between .5% and 2% of your total fans. More than 2%, and you’re a rock star.”
Strengthening Retention With A Private Page.
Baggett’s latest Social success is a private Facebook group—established in March of 2012, and open only to existing drivers. “So far,” Buckhannan reports, “about 40% of our fleet has joined the group. Driver posts on the page range from friendly small talk to serious discussions of safety rules.”
Since Baggett doesn’t publicly promote the private page, it’s not a draw for attracting new drivers. But it’s certainly proving effective at boosting retention. While the company’s annualized turnover rate for 2012 is roughly half the industry average (47%), turnover among its private Facebook group is an almost-unheard-of 3.5%.
And that’s a number you can deposit in your bank of brand goodwill any day.