SnapDragon Consultants: Social Media & Travel Information
I-95 Corridor Coalition Social
January 28, 2010!
• What social media can be used for in
terms of travel!
• How to implement it!
• Some issues & concerns!
• Looking forward—whatʼs next in social
• Closing thoughts!
What social media can be used for in
terms of travel
Marketing! Information Distribution!
• Conversation analysis! • Deliver existing
• Strategy! information resources on
• Content creation!
• Leverage social
• Inﬂuencer outreach!
technology to deliver
• Campaign monitoring and more relevant content in
adjustment! more appropriate ways!
• Metrics! • Complement marketing
How to Implement it:
• Evaluate existing content resources!
• Analyze relevant online conversation (local
bloggers and online community leaders)!
• Develop a plan that links deployments across
• Identify and reach out to key online inﬂuencers!
• Track campaign performance, adjust
deployment to adapt to user response!
Engage Through Multiple Services
How to Implement it:
• Structure data, set up automated updaters, decide
on degree of channel monitoring, promote as part
of marketing effort!
• There are lots of potential channels to consider
—its not just about Twitter!
• Make discovery and sharing as easy as possible!
• Sometimes people will want to contribute or get
personal responses, so setting expectation is
511NY Twitter Feed
• Visually integrated with
the existing 511NY site!
• Includes sharing buttons
to facilitate exposure!
• Also has a disclaimer in
footer that feeds are
automated and not
• Provides a single point of
reference for the initiative!
• The nature of the service
allows this to be simple
—no signing-up or
511NY Automated Twitter Updater
• Subway line(s) identiﬁed!
• Text shortened using
• Checked for redundancy!
• Link to listing page
added if truncation
doesnʼt reduce report to
under 140 characters!
1) Information posted to
511NY incident Twitter account!
reports page !
Leveraging Open APIs and Web
• API = “Application Platform Interface”!
• Open APIs allow developers to link Web
applications and available data resources to
each other in order to create new functions!
• Doesnʼt require direct integration with agency
native IT environment!
o Good reasons for that: security, modularity,
• Weʼll get to why this is so important when we
discuss future directions for social technology!
Lessons from 511NY!
• Marketing: Social media is an effective
complement to traditional marketing and
• Information distribution: Users appreciate
appropriate, relevant uses of social media!
o Blog comment about 511NY feeds: “I think this
is the ﬁrst non-stupid use of Twitter I've heard
SOME ISSUES & CONCERNS!
• Opt-in nature of social media means itʼs
largely the responsibility of the user!
• The important thing is not to take
advantage of relationships—selling or
exploiting contact information would be a
• Just because someone is participating on
one channel doesnʼt mean they want to
be spammed on another!
Getting management to buy in!
Not enough info
Not sure it Not sure how to
would be start!
Reasons for not using Social Media!
Getting management to buy in!
• Share success stories!
• Demonstrate measurability!
• Itʼs not all-or-nothing!
• Getting on peopleʼs radar, standing out
from the crowd will only get more difﬁcult!
• Participation on the social Web can
improve an agencyʼs image!
Growing the user base!
• Engage key inﬂuencers and community
• Track behaviors to ﬁnd openings for
targeting promotional/marketing efforts!
• Ask your users what they want!
• Find ways to reward advocates who
spread the word!
How to measure effectiveness
• Basic site analytics!
• Can easily document followers, fans, etc.!
• Track the conversation to see how people
• Like traditional marketing, there are some
LOOKING FORWARD—WHATʼS NEXT
IN SOCIAL MEDIA!
• “Push” techniques will mean that information gets to
devices and applications immediately (rather than when
the client queries the server)!
• XMPP, WebSocket, Firehosers, lots of new technology
being explored by industry leaders!
• Will increase pressure to accommodate user-contributed
information—ways to deal with that will be developed for
travel as well as in other contexts!
• Makes necessary new means of information delivery for
drivers—Ford SYNC uses Bluetooth to have text read
through car audio system!
• Location-aware, data-enabled mobile devices allow
social media to be embedded in “the real world” in new
• Distinct from positioning used for navigation systems in
cars—attached to individuals and their online proﬁles!
• Foursquare, Twitterʼs Geolocation API, Googleʼs Near
Me Now, Yelp, Outside.in, more on the way…!
• The conﬂuence of location-aware and real-time services
creates new opportunities to provide highly
contextualized information !
• On mobile devices for now, but potentially
expanding in new directions!
• Thereʼs going to be the ﬁrst commercially
sponsored industry conference over the
• Will be driven in new directions as technology
improves and it links up with location-aware and
New York Subway App
• Displays information about
nearby subway lines as a
real-time video overlay of
• Versions for several cities!
• A new means of delivering
accessible by adoption of
• The iPhone initially didnʼt
support these sort of apps,
Apple into allowing
developers to build them!
Open, Open, Open
• More mash-ups, more open data, more open
platforms (whatever they might turn out to be)!
• This is why it is critical to make data available and
• Android device platform is a highly relevant example
o On phones, navigation devices, cars themselves,
all sorts of sensors!
• TriMet App Center is a great example in the travel
Social Applications of New Technology
Drive Adoption and Innovation!
• Follow the “alpha-geeks”—their record is
• New communication tools have their best
consumer applications worked out over time!
• It took Twitter years to become visible to a
wide audience, but once it did it was
• Changes happen quickly, but if you pay
attention to early adopters you can remain
ahead of the curve!
At this moment there is a key cultural as well
as technological opportunity to be seized!
• Concern about environment (both built and
natural), public space, green technology, new
ways to organize cities, and a host of other
issues mean that state transportation
agencies are naturally at the center of a
vibrant and “hip” discussion!
• IBMʼs Smarter Planet campaign
demonstrates how easy and rewarding it can
be to participate!
For more thoughts, visit our blog at: