For the past several months, DMV piloted the use of social media (primarily Twitter) as a means to distribute information, educate the public and provide customer service to the online community. The purpose of the program was to establish a business case for and assess the benefit of fully utilizing social networking sites to enhance customer service and open additional communication channels by adapting to customer needs. During the pilot, the Social Media Team engaged the public, monitored online conversation, and documented every interaction through Twitter.
Prior to the pilot, the Department used social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to distribute news and updates to the general public on DMV related matters. While the use of such sites was limited to only delivering information, DMV’s online social media presence was perceived as one way communication. Through the pilot the Department began to respond to customers on Twitter and document all activities to gauge the beneficial value of using Twitter as a means of two way communication and customer service. The pilot allowed the Department to become more transparent and receptive to the online community, removing communication barriers with social network users and broadening opportunities to change consumer sentiment towards DMV.
The increase in Twitter activity since the beginning of the pilot is summarized below:
Through interactions and delivering educational content, followers of the DMV Twitter account grew by an average of 7% each month, and increased the total following from the start of the program by 80%. This progressive growth in following is a result of users recognizing that DMV provides assistance through Twitter and there is a personal benefit from following DMV. This increase in following is also an outcome of increased retweets. As more customers are finding beneficial value in the content DMV tweets out, customers retweet those same messages to share them with their following, which spreads the word about DMV on Twitter. Since the first month of the pilot, the retweeting of DMV content grew dramatically. In December 2010, the final month of the pilot, Twitter users retweeted a DMV message 357 times which was a 351% increase compared to retweets in July.
In addition, Twitter users are mentioning California DMV more frequently than before. In July 2010, the community mentioned the DMV name 504 times and by December 2010, DMV experienced the most mentions at 1,390 mentions in one month. By searching Twitter conversations online using Twitter search tools, DMV can monitor and look for emerging problems and elevate issues to the appropriate sources for mitigation. Since July 2010, the @CA_DMV mentions also increased by 282% and have made an extremely positive impact to customers by changing their sentiment towards DMV. Finally, DMV tweet exposure has also progressively increased. DMV now reaches an average of 7,443 users per tweet sent, which is an increase of 146% since the start of the pilot.
As DMV progresses into the year, we anticipate the Twitter program will continue to grow. Reaching out to the community and being reachable through new means of communication will be a primary focus for the future. It is a pleasure to serve the community through new communication channels and we continue to look forward to your comments and inquiries. If you have any questions about this pilot project or any DMV related issues, please do not hesitate to tweet us @CA_DMV. We look forward to talking to you!
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