Educational Series kick-off highlights benefits of social media for transit

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The Missouri Public Transit Association officially kicked off its Educational Series on Nov. 1 with Making the Case for Social Media with Transit in Columbia, MO.     Social media experts Bridget Moss, Public Affairs Director for KCATA, and Cris Swaters, Social  Media Coordinator with the City Utilities of Springfield, presented the case why social media can be an integral part of any communications plan for transit agencies and stakeholders.

Moss talked about the use of multiple social media platforms that KCATA utilizes to get the message out including Twitter, Facebook,Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Why use social media?

  • 65% of adults now use social networking sites –10x jump in the past decade 
  • Young adults (18 to 29): 90% 
  • 65 and older: 35% Just 2% in 2005 
  • By gender: 68% of women 62% of all men 
  • By ethnic group: 65% of whites, 65% of Hispanics and 56% of African-Americans 
  • By location: 58% of rural residents, 68% of suburban residents and 64% of urban residents

The presenters highlighted areas of their communication plans internally where social media is a key part of the get out the message plan:  Crisis management i.e. severe weather, event promotions and building brand awareness.

Top three lessons learned from Bridget Moss:

  • Use your mobile device 
  • Have a library of images 
  • Strengthen-Soften-Separate

Top three lessons learned from Cris Swaters:

  • Use personality 
  • If you don’t want to see it, why would someone else? 
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

Resources from Nov. 1, 2016 event, “Making the Case for Social Media in Transit”: Social Media and Transit 2016.11.1

Special thanks to KCATA and City Utilities of Springfield for loaning us your experts and to the City of Columbia for hosting the event.