How Social Are State DOTs? The evolution of state DOT social media usage
Lloyd D. Brown Director of Communications American Association of State Highway and Transportation OfficialsHow Social Are State DOTs?The evolution of state DOT social media usageTransportation Research Board Annual MeetingWashington, DCJanuary 13, 2013
What we’ll cover• Overview of the survey• New tools, old tools• Changing approach to usage• Challenges ahead
Social media toolsWhat’s so social about today’s media?• Facebook• Twitter• YouTubeIt’s all about the conversation!
History of the survey• AASHTO’s first social media survey of state DOTs published in 2010.• 26 states were using Twitter – primarily relaying road/traffic information• 14 states used Facebook.• 7 states had a blog• 10 states used podcasting
It was 1-way outreach in 2010• Survey respondents said social media was effective way of reaching an audience• Every state relied on news releases to reach media.• Only two states said they had reduced or cut other activities to manage social media.
In 2012, the world changesGood bye old tools, Hello new tools• 7 states use Pinterest, 4 states use Storify• Linkedin use cut in half, just 16% use podcasts• 1/4th of states have staff dedicated to social media full time• 11 states give their employees access to social media sites at work.
Most usedSocial Media Tool Usage social media tools
2012 = Engagement“We used to be very rigid and formal in all our responses.Now, were trying to humanize the feed. We post pictures ofourselves and answer the feed as people (saying I and we)instead of an agency (DOT says...). It has helpedtremendously and weve received really good publicfeedback!”“Were seeing a slow and steady gain in Twitter and Facebookfollowers. Were seeing more and more people asking questions,sharing comments or airing concerns via these two medium.”
Challenges AheadToo many tools, not enough time“Already we are spread kind of thin, so Ianticipate we will have to make a choice atsome point: either we shrink our socialmedia presence and focus on the mostsuccessful/useful tools, or we hire someoneto manage all of them full time.”
Challenges AheadEmployee access Does the policy allow employeesDoes your organization have a agency wide to access socialsocial media policy? media sites and tools? 4.8% 2.4% 7.1% 26.2%28.6% 66.7% 64.3% Yes No Not Sure Yes No Not Sure No Response
Putting social media to work2011 focus groups & interviews reportedstate DOTs barriers to implementation:• Organizational culture• Budgets• Legal concerns
Looking ahead at 2013• Social media emerging as public involvement tool.• A social media is standard tool. Focus now is on best practices, staffing, access to tools.• And …
In 2013 it’s all about MOBILE! • 85% of U.S. adults own a cell phone. • At least 25% own tablets (pre-holiday season) This leads to: "Just in Time" information searches Massive downloads of data/apps
Where are the eyeballs?‘Consumers downloaded arecord 1.76 billion appsbetween Christmas and NewYear’s Eve 2012.’ http://gigaom.com/mobile/app-downloads-hit-record-1-76-billion-over-holiday-week/
Conclusion• State DOTs are actively using social media tools• The way in which those tools are used is evolving• There are challenges ahead• Mobile media is significant influence on the choice of tools and their application
How Social Are State DOTs? The evolution of state DOT social media usage Contact: Lloyd D. Brown, Director of Communications American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (202) 624-5802 office (202) 677-5811 cell email@example.com/26/2012 18