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How This Startup Captured 92% of Its Customers from Social Media

Northeast Ohio

Beth Potratz owns an eharmony.com of sorts for truckers. Not for love, but for matching truck drivers with jobs they will love. The human resource expert was working on driver recruitment solutions for a trucking industry client when she spotted a two-way challenge: employers couldn’t find the best-fitting drivers and drivers couldn’t find the best-fitting jobs.

So she launched Drive My Way, an online recruiting service that matches CDL truck drivers with available jobs based on their qualifications and personal preferences. The patent-pending technology lets both the driver and the employer know how well they match to each job posting before entering the hiring process.

Drive My Way officially launched last summer and built an audience of truck drivers and trucking company executives through content marketing and social media. By writing about trucking-related issues and pushing stories out over social media, Drive My Way started seeing real results. In its early stages, more than 92% of the drivers that registered on DriveMyWay.com came from Drive My Way’s social media and email marketing campaigns.

Months later, Drive My Way’s content marketing strategy has continued to serve the company well. And social media remains one of the many successful marketing tactics Drive My Way uses to attract drivers and employers.

Here’s what Beth had to say about her startup and the role social media has played in its success.

How are you disrupting the trucking industry?

The trucking industry is vital to the economy and is faced with a shortage of truck drivers that is growing at an alarming rate. It’s the drivers who get the job done! We get it, not everyone wants the same thing. We are passionate about personalizing the recruitment experience for both drivers and employers. On the one hand, we match drivers with jobs that will allow them to live the life they want. On the other, we match employers with talent that is both qualified and engaged.

Our technology matches CDL drivers to jobs based on their qualifications and 23 personal preferences, like benefits and schedule. The technology presents employers with an actual matching score that shows exactly how well a candidate matches their job’s requirements and presents the driver with a score for how well each job matches his or her needs. For us, it’s all about the right fit. We’re redefining the way drivers are hired and shifting the focus from quantity and volume to quality and best fit. We’re also focused on adding value beyond matchmaking.

A big part of your added value is content. What is the goal of your content marketing strategy?

We want to provide information related to the trucking industry that is meaningful to both drivers and employers. We want to build relationships, and even more, a community. We want to be a trusted resource for drivers throughout their careers and a partner to help employers focus on quality of hire, increased engagement and retention.

How did you get started?

We listened to what drivers were talking about, their interests and concerns, and developed content that would be informative and educational. We also saw a need to celebrate the American truck driver. We wanted to highlight the great things they do while building a meaningful community at the same time.

Why do you think you’ve had such success?

We have somehow been able to connect with our audience on a personal level, and that has helped us a lot. In an industry where drivers are slow to trust people, we were able to forge a bond with drivers and build trust with them. The way we have treated people—with respect—has helped us on social media most of all.  Drivers stay connected with their family and friends via social channels, particularly Facebook and we are honored that so many have included us in their network.

How are you monitoring the campaign?

That’s where the Innovation Fund award came in. With the money, we were able to further invest in digital marketing campaigns that allowed us to learn, monitor and adjust our approach before we scaled. To monitor our social media specifically, we use a program called CoSchedule, which keeps track of all of our shares, likes and comments on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It helps us gauge our most popular stories. As a result, we can establish best practices over the long term, capitalize on successes and learn from our mistakes. You can’t know what your audience is going to go for until you put it out there and see where it takes you. The discovery process is part of the fun. It’s also vital to our commitment to personalization.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about marketing on social media?

Social media is a great way to connect, get your message out and engage with your audience. We learn what is important to them, and since we want to maintain our relationship as a trusted partner we try to deliver the information they are looking for. We are also learning more and more about the channels our audience connects with the most and how to reach them where they are. 

Leigh Keeton manages Lorain County Community College's economic development messaging with a particular focus on its startup support programs, including GLIDE, the college's on-campus technology incubator, and Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio.