Using social media to inform and engage transportation customers

A new report from the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation recommends social media strategies for transportation providers that want to inform, motivate, and engage their customers. To reach their customers, transportation providers should ensure that their social media campaigns have the following elements:

  • Accessible – Make sure that users can easily discover the agency’s social media platforms and, if possible, tailor content for specific audiences. Author Sarah Kaufman, research associate at the Rudin Center, also emphasizes the importance of providing content in multiple formats. “In cities as diverse as New York,” she writes, “it is absolutely essential to provide information in multiple languages, as well as ensuring that websites meet the requirements of tools to assist the vision and hearing impaired.”
  • Informative – Provide time-sensitive information about service delays and disruptions on real-time networks like Twitter and Facebook. Use sites like YouTube and agency blogs for more detailed and less urgent information.
  • Engaging – Build a social community by having conversations with customers and marketing agency services and accomplishments.┬áRespond to customer questions during rush hour as soon as possible. Take responsibility for mishaps and apologize when appropriate. Kaufman adds, “Throughout customer engagement practices, the tone should be casual and warm, even though customers may be hostile, particularly during delays.”
  • Responsive – Listen to riders and use the information to improve service. “This information cannot stop with the public affairs officers who manage the social media account; it should be quantified, evaluated, and passed on to appropriate organization members,” Kaufman writes. “Frequent complaints can pinpoint a reckless train conductor, an especially friendly bus driver, or bring to light an incident that has not yet been reported by management.”

Download How Social Media Moves New York here [PDF].

Photo credit: Susan Mara Bregman

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2 Responses to Using social media to inform and engage transportation customers

  1. Ron G December 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    Social media is going to become a bigger part of the transportation world. We can let customers know of deals, delays, and local events in real time.

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