In turn, the community, business and government organizations we partner with cross-promote The T’s activities by using their own social media channels to encourage their fans to use public transportation to area happenings. These range from annual events, such as the Chesapeake Energy Fort Worth Parade of Lights, the MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival, and Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo; to historic and cultural activities at Sundance Square, the Cultural District or the Fort Worth Stockyards; and to regional sports and entertainment events held at state-of-the art stadiums/arenas, including the new Cowboys Stadium, the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the American Airlines Center (home of the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars) and Texas Motor Speedway.
Using social media as a means to promote these attractions — and at the same time transport our residents and visitors to them — is by far the greatest success story resulting from The T’s use of social media. We also use social media to talk about the advantages of using transit, such as avoiding traffic congestion, saving gas money and improving air quality.
This year, our social media fans attended a variety of community events that were either hosted or promoted by The T’s Facebook page. Among our community success stories this year was a contest to win four Dallas Stars game tickets and four passes on the Trinity Railway Express (TRE), co-owned with Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), to transport the winners to a major Dallas Stars game at American Airlines Center (AAC). Angela, a mom of three, won the tickets and free rides to the game. Neither she nor her children had ever attended a Dallas Stars game or experienced riding on a train. This Facebook contest provided an unforgettable, enjoyable experience for the family, an experience that was documented in pictures and posts on our Facebook page. This, in turn, encouraged many other fans to take the TRE to the AAC to attend Dallas Stars or Dallas Mavericks games, concerts and other AAC-hosted events.
There were a variety of other community partnership events successfully co-hosted by and promoted on The T’s Facebook page this year.
The T’s popular annual Holiday Lights Tour of Homes held jointly with Fort Worth’s Stockyards Station for festive pre-boarding family and kids activities. Afterward, all photos from the event were posted to The T’s Facebook page for participants to view and/or download as keepsakes.
The T hosted the 2011 Lights On! Afterschool Sidewalk Art celebration, where afternoon commuters using The T’s Intermodal Transportation Center were entertained by the chalk art creations of participating children. Pictures of approximately 40 students representing 30 different schools working on the sidewalk art were posted on The T’s Facebook page.
The T helped spread awareness about the decline in donations to the Tarrant Area Food Bank and offered free rides in return for canned food donations. This promotion created near-record donations for The T’s annual “Ride for a Can Day.”
The T’s social media is undeniably a success. In the past year, The T’s Facebook page has had a 156 percent increase in New Likes, a 118 percent increase in Monthly Active Users, a 1,563 percent increase in Post Views and a 131 percent increase in Post Feedbacks.
We know our fans are interested in bus and train schedules, new and improved transit services, company news and long-range planning milestones. While these are referenced on our Facebook page with links to our website and news sources, our Facebook page has a different purpose — to positively promote and encourage residents and visitors to participate in, and spread goodwill to local organizations and events, much like The T has since its founding nearly 30 years ago.