A social media success story Commuter Advertising would like to share centers around trending topics on Twitter. Every day, I review the trending topics and see if I can connect a trending topic to public transit. If so, I create a tweet that includes the trending topic so it will show up in the results list. This is the easiest way to give our tweets the most exposure possible because this links us to the listed trending topics that our followers and those who do not follow us can see. For example, On December 21, 2011 @commuterads tweeted, “Happy 1st Day of Winter Commuters.”
“Happy 1st Day of Winter” was a trending topic and the company received five tweets in reply rather quickly. This opened the door for more conversation. In addition, if a trending topic is tweeted, people who do not follow our company on Twitter can view our tweet if they look at the results lists for a trending topic!
Paying attention to your @mentions is another focus point for success. In October of last year, Commuter Advertising sent out creative awards to our clients who we found to have excellent and successful campaigns using one of our many forms of media. After the awards were released, @commuterads received a tweet from a client thanking our team for going “above and beyond” in sending out our creative awards. I thanked the client for the tweet and retweeted what she had posted about our team. This was the ultimate success story because our client posted a fantastic compliment about our company that all of her followers were able to view — creating great buzz about Commuter Advertising via social media.
Veronica Barranco Marks
Vice President, Corporate Communications and Administration & Assistant Secretary
Tweet, Tweet for Transit
In early February 2011, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Business Member Board of Governors (BMBG) asked private sector members to write letters to Congress regarding the value of making long-term capital investments in U.S. public transportation. Several of my DRI Corp. colleagues and I participated in the campaign, sending letters and email messages to elected officials in Texas and North Carolina. Seeing as I was also planning to visit Capitol Hill with classmates from the Leadership APTA Class of 2011, I wondered how we as individuals might lend additional assistance to the BMBG’s Congressional effort via social media.
In February 2011 I opened a personal Twitter account. With my CEO’s support, I set about establishing a presence and enlightening fiscal conservatives on the tangible and intangible benefits stemming from federal investments in U.S. public transportation — while touting the importance of America’s continued access to affordable and accessible mobility options. As @vbmarks1, I became A Conservative Cheerleader for Public Transportation.
To date, I’ve targeted approximately 2,000 Republicans, key conservative political groups, religious organizations, corporations, media, etc. — sometimes calling them out in my mobility-, transit-, and clean energy-related messages. Although a “follow” doesn’t necessarily imply endorsement, some of my “followers” presently include various politicians and conservative political groups, Lions Clubs International, American Association of Retired Persons, Feed the Children, CFO America, Salvation Army, Catholic Relief, Easter Seals, American Cancer Society, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, media outlets like "The Veterans Journal," "The Hill" and C-SPAN Radio, U.S. National Guard, colleges and universities, organizations supporting the arts, and more.
I’ve only recently achieved 400 followers, so I wouldn’t call my Twitter efforts an overwhelming success by any means. Initially, I protected my page from the general public in a futile attempt to prevent seemingly distasteful and/or disreputable “Twitterers” from “following” me. I do regret the lock down, as I believe it impeded my ability to attract more followers early on. (If you choose to open a Twitter account, avoid hiding behind your privacy settings like I did — especially if you’re making positive statements about the U.S. public transportation industry.) Since unlocking my profile, I have been “retweeted,” “favorited” and added to a couple of lists, which only makes me want to continue “cheering” (in 140 characters or less) that Public Transportation Means Business. And with more than 900 “cheers” posted thus far, it’s a passionate start! Go transit!