Friends, Fans, and Followers: Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation

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This presentation summarizes the findings from TCRP Synthesis 99: Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation.

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Friends, Fans, and Followers: Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation

  1. 1. Friends, Fans, and Followers: Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation SUMMARY OF FINDINGS FROM TCRP SYNTHESIS REPORT 99 SUSAN BREGMAN OAK SQUARE RESOURCES, LLC Wake Up to the Social Media Challenge Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting 13 January 2013
  2. 2. Introduction RESEARCH OVERVIEW HOW AGENCIES USE SOCIAL MEDIA COMMON BARRIERS AND OBSTACLES LESSONS LEARNED WHERE ARE WE NOW?Oak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  3. 3. Research OverviewOak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  4. 4. Research approach Research conducted between November 2010 and September 2011 Literature review Online survey  Conducted in February 2011  Convenience sample of agencies known to use social media  34 agencies responded (90% response rate) Six follow-up casesOak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  5. 5. Survey respondents o 18 US states o District of Columbia o 5 Canadian provinces Case examples o Bay Area Rapid Transit (CA) o Dallas Area Rapid Transit (TX) o Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (PA) o Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NY) o Mountain Line (WV) Respondents and case example o TransLink (BC) locationsOak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  6. 6. Survey: How transit agencies use social mediaOak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  7. 7. Item Twitter Facebook Blog YouTube LinkedIn Most matched platform to type Agency news 86% 80% 37% 23% 3% of information Service alerts (real- time) 77% 49% 9% 3% 0% 75%-100% Contests and promotions 69% 77% 23% 17% 0% 50%-74% Meeting and event notices 66% 71% 31% 3% 3% 25%-49% Service info (static) 63% 69% 29% 20% 9% 0%-24% Press releases and statements 63% 60% 23% 9% 3% Multiple responses allowed. Other news 57% 63% 31% 14% 3% Responses Feature stories 31% 57% 40% 29% 0% expressed as percentage of total Job listings 20% 23% 3% 0% 14% responding agencies Public hearing (N=35). comments 11% 26% 20% 9% 0%Oak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  8. 8. Communicate with riders 4.0 3.5 Agency goals 3.8 Improve customer satisfaction for using 2.9 social media: Improve agency image 3.1 3.7 Importance v. Reach potential riders 3.6 effectiveness 2.7 3.5 Strengthen community support 2.8 Distribute real-time service information 3.5 Importance 3.2 Effectiveness Distribute general information (static) 3.3 3.3 3.3 Increase ridership 2.4 Obtain feedback on projects 3.2 2.9 Compare average 2.6 Save money ratings of 3.0 importance of goals 1.9 Recruit and keep staff and effectiveness in 2.2 meeting goals. 0 1 2 3 4Oak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  9. 9. Item Twitter Facebook Blog YouTube LinkedIn Target markets for Everyday riders 91% 85% 52% 33% 3% social media Young adults 75%-100% 85% 88% 48% 36% 3% Students 50%-74% 79% 88% 45% 27% 3% 25%-49% External stakeholders 67% 79% 48% 39% 9% 0%-24% Minorities 67% 64% 30% 30% 3% Low- income Multiple responses communities 64% 64% 33% 27% 3% allowed. Seniors / Older Responses Americans 61% 61% 33% 36% 3% expressed as People with percentage of total disabilities 61% 58% 33% 30% 3% responding agencies (N=33). Agency employees 24% 45% 21% 18% 12%Oak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  10. 10. Effectiveness Everyday riders 3.3 in reaching Students 3.2 target markets Young adults 3.2 External stakeholders 3.0 Agency employees 2.9 Minorities 2.7 Average rating by People with disabilities 2.6 effectiveness (1-4), where 1=”Not effective at all” and Low-income communities 2.5 4=”Very effective.” N/A responses were Seniors / Older Americans 2.2 excluded 0 1 2 3 4Oak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  11. 11. Common barriers and obstacles to using social mediaOak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  12. 12. No staff available 2.8 Barriers to Open to criticism 2.7 using social Takes too much time 2.3 media Riders dont have tech 2.2 Prefer traditional approach 2.1 People with disabilities cant access 2.1 Requires IT support 2.0 Managers dont see benefits 2.0 User privacy 1.9 Average rating by Cant archive posts 1.8 importance (1-4), where 1= “Not Staff will waste time 1.8 important at all” Cybersecurity 1.7 and 4=“Very Seniors dont use 1.7 important.” Minorities dont use 1.6 N/A responses were excluded. 0 1 2 3Oak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  13. 13.  “We don’t have the resources to Three top concerns run a social media campaign.”  “We won’t be able to control the conversation.”  “Our riders don’t use social media.”Oak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  14. 14. “We don’t have the resources.” Agency staff investment in Social media is free…like social media a puppy. 81+ hours 41-80 hours Large Urban Small 21-40 hours Hours per month by Urban/Rural agency size. Large urban N = 22 1-20 hours Small urban/Rural N=7 0% 20% 40% 60%Oak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  15. 15. Limit hours for live responses Use automated tools to manage posts  Write once – post everywhere  Schedule updates Delegate responsibilities How agencies manage resourcesOak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  16. 16. “We won’t be able to control the conversation” You won’t. Social media is not for It’s appropriate to manage control freaks. illegal or offensive behavior, but… Engaging your critics can defuse a tense situation. Thick-skinned agencies can use social media to learn about their riders and their service. And people are talking about you anyway. You might as well join the conversation.Oak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  17. 17. “Our riders don’t use social media.” Think again…They Half of U.S. adults now use probably do. social media. About half of U.S. social networkers are under 35. About 58 million Americans access social networks several times a day. Social networking use shows little variation by income, race, ethnicity, education, or location. One in four Twitter users is 45 or older.Oak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  18. 18. 25% Percent of 22% Americans 20% who use social 18% networking sites several 15% 15% times a day, 2008-2012 10% 7% 5% 5% 0% 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012Oak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  19. 19. 2009 2010 2011 2012 Percent of 90% people with a 80% profile on a social 70% networking 60% site by age group, 50% 2009-2012 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 12-17 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+Oak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  20. 20. US Population Social Networkers Age 35% distribution of social 32% 30% 31% networkers compared to 25% U.S. population, 20% 21% 20% 2012 17% 17% 15% 16% 16% 15% 15% 10% 5% 0% 12-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55+Oak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  21. 21. Lessons learnedOak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  22. 22. What advice did practitioners offer? Keep social media in perspective Consider the organizational impacts Find the right voice Listen, listen, listen Have fun Just get started And keep movingOak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  23. 23. Where are we now? Widespread adoption of social media New social networks since synthesis research  Pinterest  Google+  Storify Transition from pushing out information to two-way conversations More interest in policies, protocols, and metricsOak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013
  24. 24. Contact me Susan Bregman Oak Square Resources , LLC www.oaksquareresources.com www.thetransitwire.com @TheTransitWireOak Square Resources, LLC 13 January 2013

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