How do social media ‘influencers’ influence the taxi industry?

Social media plays a significant role in people’s daily lives now. Like any platform which communicates with large communities, digital media also generates value and opportunity for marketers hoping to be heard in niche or large groups.

As a result, a new form of marketing has emerged from the social media revolution where individuals can become ‘influencers’ within their community.

In a growing trend, influencers are paid by firms to promote services or products on social media. This might include paid-for endorsements, product placement in images or for them to give opinion on a product in the field they are trusted in.

These third-party influencers come from varied backgrounds, from famous celebrities, industry advisers, academics and of course journalists. Although, just for the record, TaxiPoint have never accepted payment for opinion!

So how does this effect the taxi industry? What might a taxi industry influencer look like?

In November 2019, private hire ride-hailing firm Bolt launched a campaign looking for more than 500 social media influencers to take part in future marketing activities. It was called the ‘Bolt Ambassador Program’.

According to their advert, the setup is simple. People with large numbers of followers were asked to create ‘awesome’ Bolt related content for Instagram and other social media platforms, in exchange for free Bolt rides and/or money, plus ‘perks’ in exchange.

The minimum requirement that Bolt were looking for is an engaged audience of at least 5,000 people. After that it comes down to data. Bolt says it would ‘take into account things like niche, follower count, engagement rate and the quality of it, audience’s age, location and overall credibility’.

Most of those on Bolt’s Ambassador Program receive free rides as a reward for their work, however the top performing 20% of influencers also get paid extra on top in the form of a bonus.

As the taxi industry adapts to the latest technology, it must also change in the way it communicates with both new and current customers. Local and national public figures could soon play a big part in marketing your future.

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