FleetBoss GPS Newsletter June 2010

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Dear Customers and Friends,

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No Phone Zone Initiative

We know that FleetBoss clients are focused on productive and safe fleet vehicle operations. Today's technology makes many things possible, but it also creates new challenges that require us to reevaluate how we can get the most out of the new capabilities without jeopardizing employee safety or creating new risks and liabilities for our businesses. Mobile devices are helpful for staying in touch, but used at the wrong time they can be a major distraction. FleetBoss is making an effort to strike the right balance between best uses of technology and best practices in safe fleet operations.


To that end, FleetBoss has joined with Oprah and the US Department of Transportation to promote the "No Phone Zone" initiative and the national campaign against distracted driving. The statistics related to distracted driving are startling, and the first step in addressing these risks is awareness.


FleetBoss is offering its clients a "Safe Driver Kit" that includes a brochure outlining the risks, a sticker for the vehicle dashboard or window reminding drivers not to text and drive, and links to additional resources that help companies to address this issue.


FleetBoss is offering this Safe Driver Kit as a public service, and to help you talk to your employees and make certain that they are aware of the risks involved. We are also including a pledge to certify their commitment to stay focused on the road and the job at hand. No text message is worth losing control of a vehicle, causing a crash or worse. Together, we can make a difference and put the brakes on the national trend of distracted driving!

To get your Safe Driver Kits, visit the FleetBoss Facebook fan page, click on the "Like" button, and post a note letting us know how many kits you would like for your business. Here is the shortcut to the  FleetBoss Facebook page:  http://su.pr/AO6Mx7

10 Ways To Market Your Business Using Social Media

Social media is big. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and others are changing the we we use the internet and interact with other people in good ol' meatspace. That means it is changing the way business works as well. So, if you're a business owner (or an aspiring one) you can't ignore these trends. In fact, use them to your benefit. Here are 10 ways to get the word out using little to no dinero:

1. Search for Customers

You want customers? Go search them out. Using Twitter's Search capabilities, you can search a vast amount of information to find out who is tweeting for what you provide. At search.twitter.com you can type in some keywords (along with some very useful parameters- if you wish) and see real-time results. Or if you prefer, use a Twitter Client to keep tabs on certain keywords for you automatically. When you see a relevant tweet, you can respond within minutes and (possibly) gain a new client. Google has even begun to include real-time social updates in their search results.

Say you're an auto repair shop. Rather, let's say you run an auto repair shop. Keeping tabs on a search such as "car broke down near:YourZip within:50mi" would fetch any poor traveler who happens to roadside tweet their mechanical mishap. I know it sounds far-fetched, but it's not. Or try something like "need auto body repair", "fix squealing brakes", or "car won't start". Using search parameters like "near:YourZip" and "within:##mi" will narrow the results to your geographic area.

2. Monitor Your Brand

Now you know you can search for new customers. While you're at it, use these same tools to keep tabs on your brand. Use the same powerful search tools to see who is talking about you. What do people really think about your service/product? What do they like about you? What do they hate? Customer feedback is ultra important to growing your business. Searching for what your customers are saying about you provides unsolicited, real, transparent feedback which can help you succeed. Which brings us to my next point.

3. Provide Customer Support

While monitoring your brand, you notice one tweet which is not-so-positive in its tone. The client has had a bad experience with your company and has proceeded to tell the twitter-verse how bad you are. Good thing you're monitoring your brand! Think of the effect it would have on the client herself (not to mention onlookers) if you responded graciously and made good on the bad experience. Ka-pow! You've just succeeded in turning bad press into good press!

Now, there are things which you may not be able to handle 'publicly' for all to see. You certainly don't want this to backfire, making you look like you not only screwed up the deal but you can't even make good on your mistake. In some cases, it may be best to ask the person to continue discussing with you via Direct Message, IM, email or phone.

4. Network with Colleagues

I have learned so much by following others in similar business. Who are those in your industry whom you really admire? Do they have a Facebook page? Twitter account? Podcast? Blog? Tap into their network to gain wisdom from the best. You can then follow who they follow; learning more and expanding your network in your area of expertise. This applies not only to industry leaders. Who are your peers in your industry? These may be valuable connections. People who are sharing the same struggles and triumphs. Friending them can provide some great professional relationships. Not to mention peers may actually friend you back.

5. Keep Tabs on Your Competition

Since we're so good at searching social networks now, we might as well keep an eye out for out competitors. If you can find customers, and you can find what they're saying about you, chances are your competition can find the same thing. If they can't yet, now is your chance to take the advantage! Also, this means you can keep tabs on them.

Select a few close competitors and search for mentions of their brand. Listen to what their customers are saying about them. Can you offer something they're not? What are their customers unsatisfied about? Can you provide a better service? Listen to what your competitors say about themselves. Are they expanding into a new area? Are they offering a special deal this month?

Listening to a few of my respected competitors has helped me do everything from determine what type of services to offer to adjusting prices to finding new clients. I'm not saying sabotage their online presence, just learn from it.

6. Create a Grass-Roots Movement

Recently I read an eBook about "Creating Customer Evangelists". While it isn't specifically concerned with using social media as a marketing tool, it transfers well. Since most social media is, well, "social" (based on communal relationships), it is a perfect place to create a grass-roots movement around your business. I think the biggest take-away from Testify (the eBook) is that satisfied customers make great natural evangelists for your business.

How do you do this? Offer special deals to your Facebook fans, or special perks for those checked in at your establishment on Foursquare. Ask for customer feedback and use it. Offer a discount for referrals through your social network from your friends' networks. A happy customer can't help but spread the word.

7. Professional Networks

Social networking isn't just about fun and 'friends'. Lest we forget about the more 'professional' networks, sites like LinkedIn and Brazen Careerist help professionals connect with other professionals within (or across) your industry. Job searching in the Social Network age isn't just blindly searching for and responding to the random Craigslist or Monster ad (though I still do it!). Professional Networking sites allow our natural networks of friends and coworkers to link us up with new opportunities.

8. Traditional Ads

We all know about banner ads, Google AdWords, and all of that. I know what you're thinking: it's not free, and it's not really 'social media.' You're right. Most of the advice in this article costs you nothing. Most traditional web advertisements aren't very social. However, I do want to highlight what I believe is an exception. Namely, Facebook Ads.

Facebook and privacy have been together a source of contention as we let more and more personal information out for others to see. This very struggle is what makes Facebook Ads different. Because Facebook knows so much about you- name, age, gender, location, occupation, friends, interests, which pages you're a fan of, which games you play- it offers advertisers unmatched granularity when it comes to demographic targeting.

For instance, if I'm starting a microbrewery in the midwest somewhere, I can target who I want to see my ad down to some pretty specific criteria. Using what Facebook knows about you, I can advertise only to residents within a certain radius of my microbrewery who like beer, who are (or aren't yet) fans of my shop, who are friends of current fans, and (if I'm so inclined) are missional church planters. (sorry, maybe a bit of an inside joke there...he he.)

To get that kind of specificity when targeting my ad assures I'm reaching my intended audience. Which means I'm getting better quality click-throughs, which I (Facebook knows) am willing to pay more for.

9. Local Social Media

Social Media is great for spreading your company's fame around the globe quickly and cheaply. But along with its global significance, I believe social media are causing a resurgence in our value of local business. We want to know if there is someone who provides the good or service we need...in our own community. Someone we can meet. Spending our money where it supports our local economy. Reducing our environmental footprint.

Google Places now offers free local business listings on Google Maps. You can list your business address, hours of operation, services, even offer coupons through Google Places. When someone searches Google for something, your business might just pop up in the results. Showing them that you are right there in their backyard.

Other sites and mobile apps such as Foursquare and Brightkite allow these connections to happen on a hyper-local basis. You can see how the surge in the use of the mobile web and GPS has brought a whole new dimension to social media. Is your business taking advantage of these local opportunities. Just like the others, they're free and you can get started by listing your company and paying attention to who is visiting you.

10. Make a Friend

Last but not least, remember that at the source of social media are people. We need contact with real people! So while you're becoming a social ninja remember to talk to people like they're people. There are certainly times for mass emails and shameless self-promotion. But too much of it will turn off your fans to your business. Let them know you're a person from time to time. Rejoice with everyone in appreciation of a beautiful sunny day. When a customer tweets about you negatively or positively, respond to them and talk.

People want quality and value, but I believe they also want it from someone (or a corporation) who is genuine. So don't forget that social media is about people...and go make a friend.

In This Issue
No Phone Zone Initiative
10 Ways to Market Your Business Using Social Media
Using Technology to Warn Technology
Tech Tips
GPS In The News
FleetBoss Survey
10 Ways to Keep Your Blog Full of Content
Fleet Group Small

Article Headline



Minimizing risk and liability has always been a top priority for fleet owners. "It's no secret that driver text messaging and other technology devices compete for driver attention at times..." states FleetBoss University trainer Daniel Lee, "...Series 6000 users can take advantage of  a unique set of tracking features measuring driver behavior based on harsh braking, "jack-rabbit" starts and erratic driving. Lee adds, "...when a driver is harsh braking several times, that's a big red flag that either use of an electronic device (cell or texting) or other unsafe habits may be going on. By catching these signs early, risk for an accident is greatly reduced.

Tech Tips

It's All About You!


FleetBoss is working on a concept for a new client portal, a place on the web that would help you to manage your fleet operational data, reports and other information in one place and tap into a wealth of resources that will help you get the most of your investment. We are conducting a survey of all FleetBoss clients right now, and this is your opportunity to help shape the future with your "wish list" and ideas as to what that portal could look like and what you would like it to do, such as dashboards, service status, scheduling, links to customer information, or other potential features; it's important that you let us know.


Please be on the look-out for a FleetBoss client survey (a reminder will go out later this week, with a link to the Zoomerang online questionnaire) and be sure to fill it out so that your voice is heard. And of course, if you have other ideas that you would like to share with us, or questions about how to get the most out of your FleetBoss services and solutions, you can contact me (Floyd) or anyone on the FleetBoss team at 877-265-9559 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              877-265-9559      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or by sending an email to service@fleetboss.com ...

Thanks for being a FleetBoss client, and thanks in advance for helping to shape the communication tools and resources that will make your FleetBoss investment even better.   

GPS In The News

Curbing Distracted Driving Will Save Lives
As more and more of the population uses portable high-tech gadgets, an increasing number of people are injured or killed as a result of the distractions these devices cause.

Soon, traffic lights to control cars for better fuel management
In the future, you might not have to worry about wasting fuel while waiting at traffic lights. A new technology will equip traffic lights to control your vehicle's engine and improve its fuel efficiency..

2 City Workers Tracked with GPS Units
MyFox Atlanta
Police officers placed GPS tracking devices on the workers' city vehicles and tracked their movements for a month and a half. ...


FleetBoss is conducting a survey and is also looking for clients willing to participate in case studies, interviews and referrals as part of a summer "FleetBoss Challenge" promotion.

FleetBoss is now on the social media sites Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (and YouTube,).  We are doing a summer promotion that will include giveaways to FleetBoss clients who sign up as fans on the FleetBoss Facebook page where they will also be able to stay up to date on new developments at FleetBoss and in the industry.

Follow us on TwitterFind us on FacebookView our profile on LinkedIn

10 Ways to Keep Your Blog Full of Content

Are you sick of business blogging? Do you feel like you brain is empty and out of ideas for blog posts? This is a common feeling.  The reality is that the web is full of too many great ideas and different types of content, that you should never run out of things to blog about, regardless of your industry. When it comes to blogging well and often, it usually comes down to how you see ideas and how well you explain them in a way that matters to your audience. It doesn't matter if you are blogging about manufacturing or swimming pools or any other industry for that matter, the basic process for coming up with great blog content can be applied to any business.

1. Answer Customer Questions -- After spending years in an industry, it is easy to use jargon and lose sight of how customers see the industry. A good way to solve this problem to create valuable blog content is by looking through your email or checking with your sales and support teams to generate a list of common customer questions. Take each question and write blog posts that clearly answer them without using industry jargon.

2. Aggregate Industry Information

Everyone has good ideas. As a blogger, a great way to put together a powerful blog post is to compile popular industry statistics, images, videos, etc. into one article that makes it easily accessible for your readers. This saves them time spent researching and eliminates the need to visit dozens of sights. When aggregating content, be sure to give credit and link to the original source of information.

3. Think Beyond Text
-- Text is great, but it doesn't have to be the only type of blog content you offer. Think about other types of content. For example, you could publish video or audio interviews of industry experts. You could create a blog post with pictures taken at an industry trade show. For a day, remove text as a possible form of blog post content and think about other content types that can be valuable to your readers.

4. Seek Out Guest Authors -- Let other people think of ideas for you. Think about other experts and leaders in your industry and approach them about contributing a guest article to your blog. You'll find that many people are willing to this for free in order to gain exposure to a new audience and generate a link or two back to their own blogs or websites. By securing a few good guest authors, you can outsource blog ideas and save some time in your schedule for other types of content.

5. Make Lists
-- Coming up with new blog posts is often a function of framing ideas in the correct way. Think of common industry issues and situations in the form of lists. Lists can be how-to, best-of, etc., but often serve as a catalyst for coming up with a fresh angle for an common topic.

6. Make Charts -- People love data. Most businesses have data about their industry and use it to make important business decisions. While some data may need to be kept confidential, other data can be made into charts that can become a blog post, providing readers with valuable industry insight.

7. Think Like an OpEd Writer -- Take a stance. OpEd writers argue one side of an issue. No industry is without controversial topics. Pick a couple of hot-button topics and write an opinion article about the issue.  Polarizing blog posts like this often attract more traffic and comments than traditional posts.

8. Look at Analytics -- Take a look at your website analytics.  Website analytics provide a lot of information about your readers. For example, you can see where they are geographically, what type of computer or smart phone they use, as well as other valuable data. If you notice that you have a large portion of visitors from an unexpected location, it might make sense to write a few blog posts related to industry issues in that geographic area.

9. Review Industry Books -- Provide your own twist on what others have to say about your industry. Read some recent industry books and then write or produce video reviews that point out the good and bad in each of those books as well as indicate which segments of your audience may enjoy reading them.

10. Break News
-- Think like a reporter. Has an announcement recently happened that has an impact on your industry? Take a few minutes to summarize the news announcement and then explain what it means for your industry. Beyond helping your readers, breaking news regularly will help to improve organic search traffic, because search engines place value on the first sites to discuss a particular subject.

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