But in the transportation world, Twitter has spawned a few unlikely creations that could teach us something about how to better engage with our audiences.
In Washington state, the State Route 520 floating bridge crosses Lake Washington, connecting the cities Seattle and Bellevue. It is one of a growing list of bridges and roadways that boast their own Twitter persona.
The SR 520 bridge and its parallel floating bridge cousin, the westbound I-90 bridge, used to tweet to each other. Unfortunately, the I-90 bridge has gone silent since May 2011. That hasn’t slowed down the Seattle bridge talk.
On Monday morning, @DIYMediaService posted “Shout out to the @520_bridge here in Seattle… Because we enjoying using you to get to work!” @520_bridge responded, “I enjoy getting used!” and then re-tweeted the message.
In California, the San Francisco Bay Bridge describes itself as “a big gray bridge! I keep you company as you drive between San Francisco and Oakland! You know you love me.” There are other bridges in California, too (@MsMateoBridge, @GGBridge ). Like the SR 520 bridge, these are not official voices of the state DOT.
That’s not the case in Louisiana, where “@hueypbridge” is the official Twitter persona for the Huey P. Long Bridge replacement project owned by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.
What do all these bridge accounts have in common? Three things:
- They talk to their customers in plain language.
- They empathize with the plight of the poor driver stuck in traffic or braving the elements.
- They use humor.
The next time you wonder what you should say on your transportation Twitter feed, ask yourself, “What would @520_bridge say?” The answer is, surprisingly, quite a bit.