14 January 2010

Twitter and Facebook Growth for buses

It has been a difficult time for everyone however it has shown the usefulness of this page and Twitter. Please keep in touch and tell all your friends to sign up.

At last it seems we are getting back to normal in Plymouth as the weather settles down. In the city at least it seems that most of the snow and ice has now melted away and the buses are now running to normal service.

The one major theme that has been running through my posts, and indeed, the news reporting of bus companies coping with the weather, has been the use of social media tools Facebook and Twitter. I have been including the tweets on each daily posting as a reminder of how each day turned out. You can follow the story of each day as both First and Citybus kept the passengers up to date with what buses were running, and where they were going. As Citybus themselves put it on Facebook yesterday:

It has been a difficult time for everyone however it has shown the usefulness of this page and Twitter. Please keep in touch and tell all your friends to sign up

To start with there were not that many people following the companies but both have seen amazing growth in followers over the weeks:
  First     Citybus    
Date Tweets Followers Facebook Fans Tweets Followers Facebook Fans
19 Dec 24 36   32 50  
21 Dec 31 38   41 53  
5 Jan 172 125   116 121  
6 Jan 312 287   145 342  
12 Jan 746 552 60 188 486 1392
13 Jan 765 561 99 199 495 1437

Plymouth Citybus introduced Facebook and Twitter services shortly before Christmas to keep customers informed about to keep customers informed of problems and delays. Marketing manager Sylvia Bird said: "Twitter has seen an increase from just under 200 followers a week ago to 1,333. "Twitter has been invaluable in keeping our customers up to date with travel information and we are thrilled with the response." Citybus' Facebook page had a following of 467 yesterday. (Actually its the other way round Twitter had 467 and Facebook had 1333)
First Devon and Cornwall had planned to officially launched its Twitter service this week, but circumstances meant that the fledgling service went from about 50 followers to more than 500 in a week without any publicity.

This is Plymouth
Further Reading

Omnibuses: Most admired bus group? (guess who!)
A Transport of Delight: Portillo and Settle to Carlisle Line

First on Twitter 13 Jan 2010
07:48 PLYMOUTH: Service 7 can only get as far as Bickleigh Down roundabout (by school) and cannot serve Pick Pie Drive at the moment

13:20 Service 93 has had an emergency diversion put in place due to a drain collapsing in Strete. Devon County Council have closed the road & are assessing the situation. A diversion is now in place via the top road around Strete. Therefore as well as not being able to serve Strete service 93 is not able to serve villages between Dartmouth & Kingsbridge including Stoke Flemming, Blackpool, Slapton, Torcross, Stokenham, Chillington, Frogmore and West Charleton.

17:20 SOUTH DEVON: Due to the drain collapse in Strete Service 93 will be diverted & have temporary shuttlebus for next week http://bit.ly/8pluqA

Citybus on Twitter / Facebook 13 Jan 2010
06:13 We intend to operate all services today with the exception of the 58 and 59 which will not run We will inspect the route during the morning

06:16 Routes 122 124 127 128 and PC4 subject to revisions. Full details on Facebook and with Sparksy on Radio Devon

06:56 URGENT UPDATE - Services 334 and 336 will not operate as the buses are stuck in Liskeard and Launceston

07:21 The driver of the 121 has advised us that at the moment he cannot get the bus out of the Liskeard depot so this servic will not be operating

08:30 Following a route inspection service 58 and 59 have been reinstated.

10:21 Due to road works inthe area the Cumberland Gardens bus stop outbound has been suspended until further notice. A temporary bus stop has been placed just after the junction with George Street. The inbound bus stop is still in normal use.

12:03 Thankfully due to the thaw and rise in temperatures Plymouth Citybus will operate ALL services, including Grammar school, school, and College buses this afternoon over the full route. Thank you all for your patience and understanding during the last few days. It has been a difficult time for everyone however it has shown the usefulness of this page and Twitter. Please keep in touch and tell all your friends to sign up.

18:52 Plymouth Citybus would like to wish Plymouth Argyle every success in their FA cup match against Newcastle tonight. GREEN ARMY!!

PlymTransit on Twitter

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