Social Media Webinar: A few thoughts on value of online, mobile communications

Every so often I am asked to share some thoughts on social media, transportation communications, public involvement and other topics that we tend to tackle here at Talking Transportation. Wednesday was one of those days and it was a delightful 90 minutes or so of hearing about powerful social media tools and ongoing transportation-focused social media research that is underway.

“Social Media and ITS,” sponsored by Thinking Highways included presentations by several experts in research and transportation issues including Larry Ehl, publisher of Transportation Issues Daily, and Andy Palisanamy, well-known among social media folks as @TranspoGooru. I won’t rehash too much here, but I encourage you to check out a recording of the webinar. You will need to register your name and email address, but I think the content is worth it.

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State DOTs Expand Use of Social Media but Implementation Challenges Remain

Social Media ReportWhile most state departments of transportation now actively use social media in their regular communication programs, further adoption of the online tools is being hampered by some familiar age-old challenges, according to the fourth annual State DOT Social Media Survey by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

The survey, which is conducted each spring, asks state departments of transportation about their use of social media tools and issues related to deployment of social media tools as a way to measure the adoption, implementation and best practices for the industry. (Editor’s note: Full disclosure time. I annually help write the survey and help analyze the results of this report for AASHTO, which is my employer).

This year’s report found that nearly 90 percent of respondents are using both Facebook and Twitter accounts to communicate with the public, by far the most popular social media tools for state DOTs. By comparison, “In 2010, less than half of state DOTs used Facebook and only 26 states had Twitter accounts.” Continue reading

Internet trends clearly show more mobile

The 2013 Internet Trends report from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a Silicone Valley venture capital firm, was released last week. The report does a good job of showing what many of the people working in social media and communications have known instinctively for some time. There has been huge growth in mobile usage in just a few short years and that transition should be changing the way in which we think about our communication tools.  Continue reading