Converse with Your Customers Via Social Media


Social media is about conversations. As with any conversation, you can choose to join in or eavesdrop. Either way, you’re guaranteed to learn something new. Truckstop and travel plaza operators are already connecting with their customers and suppliers on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and it is the perfect place for all parties to connect. Industry suppliers can communicate directly with travel plazas or simply listen in and learn more about the business and its customers. 

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn alone have hundreds of millions of users. Add in sites such as Foursquare, Yelp and deal-of-the-day websites, and those numbers continue to grow. That means that businesses not involved in social media are at a competitive disadvantage. 

How truckstops and travel plazas are using social media varies. For example, Johnson’s Corner, Loveland, Colo., has over 2,000 likes on its Facebook page and uses the site as a way to poll customers and engage with its regulars. The company does the same on its Twitter account (@JohnsonsCorner).

Pilot Travel Centers uses its Twitter feed (@pilottravel) to communicate directly with drivers and responds quickly to customers who Tweet about the travel plaza chain. The company promotes its job fairs and open positions via a separate Twitter account, @pilottraveljobs.

Midway Truckstop and Travel Plaza uses its Facebook page to showcase customers that visit the location. The location also promotes specials and discounts in their restaurant. 

NATSO's Facebook page is another tool for connecting with travel plaza and truckstops. NATSO's twitter feed is a great resource for the latest industry news. 

If you haven’t already joined the social media conversation, you can start small by signing up for a personal Facebook and Twitter account. NATSO has created step-by-step directions to guide you through the process. Take a few minutes today to create your accounts and begin exploring these no-cost social media tools available to promote your business.


1. Get started by visiting Facebook.

2. On the right-hand side of the page, you will see a form to “Sign Up.” Enter your first and last name, email address twice, password of your choice, gender and birth date. Now click “Sign Up.”

3. After filling out your contact information, you will be taken to a screen that asks you to enter a two-word “phrase.” This is to verify that you are a human and not a computer. Enter the phrase exactly as it appears on the screen and click “Continue.” 

4. At this stage, you should enter your email address. This allows Facebook to search for your friends using your email contacts.

5. Next you will enter your profile information, which includes information such as where you live and your education. 

6. As the final step, add a profile picture of yourself. And also be sure to carefully examine your privacy settings.


1. Go to Twitter's homepage.

2. On the right side of the page, you will see a large gold rectangle with the words “Sign Up.” Click on the gold rectangle.

3. Next, you will go to a screen with the form to enter your profile.

4. Enter your full name along with your username, which will be your Twitter handle and will be the name displayed when you tweet.

{HBMHighway Business Matters is a brief semi-monthly newsletter created exclusively for companies that provide products or services to the truckstop and travel plaza industry. Highway Business Matters will keep you informed on trends, tactics, and tips to help you connect to the $65 billion truckstop and travel plaza industry. 

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Mindy Long's photo

Mindy Long

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
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