Long gone are times where travelers couldn’t access the world because of limited technology and mobile service. Now, a smartphone is a gateway to better experiences using public transit or on-demand car service. Mobility companies are embracing the opportunity through social media to engage users in several ways.
Here are stories of six such companies:
King County Metro Transit
The Seattle area’s public transportation has been applauded for offering forward-thinking solutions to transportation needs. This transit hub also excels at offering customer service via social media. Their Twitter feed boasts 124K followers and gives real-time transit updates such as delays and diversions. They also capitalize on Facebook’s messaging feature to quickly address riders’ questions and problems. The transit’s social media sites are embedded within a larger customer service strategy for King County. Residents can access government services along with public transit through several mobile apps, websites and social media platforms.
Known as “The Tube,” the London Underground is the world’s oldest rapid transit system. However, their branding and social media presence is modern, which appeals to their large ridership. The transportation giant offers a mix of playful, informative and forward-thinking posts on Facebook and Instagram. Their informative content is most useful during travel such as traffic news, rail/Tube advice and travel alerts. The system addresses customer concerns through different social media profiles. To assist further, they have also partnered with Facebook to offer Travelbot, where users can input their specific questions about bus, rail or Underground service.
Uber, which offers taxi, ride sharing and food delivery (among other services) is the largest company of its kind. Uber has a major presence in the U.S. as well as in South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Uber is also king of social media in terms of sheer numbers of followers and volume of posts. Boasting a Facebook page of 21 million followers, Uber’s frequent posts get hundreds of comments. If you dig into their social media, you’ll see they have a high frequency of customers and drivers with questions to or concerns. What sets Uber apart is their social media liaisons post custom responses to virtually every complaint. The message Uber sends is clear: just message us and we’ll give you the personal attention you deserve.
The ride sharing company, Lyft, positions itself as an alternative to its rival, Uber. When Uber received negative press, Lyft branded itself as a more ethical alternative. Lyft’s compassionate face is evident in its social media campaigns. Facebook posts promote free rides given to victims of recent natural disasters. They also have a campaign to give rides to help voters get to the polls. Outside of messaging, they maintain strong brand standards throughout using similar branding as the colorful pink and magenta Lyft logo. Social media posts often use brightly color graphic design and images. In addition, social media is also a conduit for customer service. Facebook comments are largely from unhappy drivers and riders who use social media to get rapid respond to complaints. Like Uber, Lyft seems to have dedicated staff to fast-track these complaints to resolution.
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority
In a city famed for its car culture, Los Angeles’ public transportation is on the rise with large capital projects and growing public support. The public agency is trying to connect with Angelenos now to make way for the future. They make great use of Instagram by posting colorful images of LA transit and destinations. Los Angeles MTA sends the message that art, food and culture can be explored using available (and future) transit options. The transit agency maintains several social media feeds. The entire metro system as well as segments of public transit are accessible by Facebook, Twitter and sometimes through Instagram, blogs and online apps. One Twitter feed, @metrolalalerts, offers real-time updates about delays among the various transit lines. Metro LA offers messages about public transportation expansion projects and environmentally friendly programs.
Via is a ride sharing app that is making headway with its larger competitors Uber and Lyft. The company operates shuttles in dense areas and applies a shared rather than individual ride model. That brings the prices down for passengers, but increases pay for drivers. Via’s Facebook page showcases stories about drivers and riders. Similarly, Via’s Instagram highlights driver and community stories along with special and special discounts. Via also has been tagged in dozens of Instagram posts, largely of riders and their destinations. Unlike the national on demand taxi companies, Via is limited to New York City, Chicago and Washington, DC. Therefore, Via offers stories tailored to their geographic reach.