COMM-0015: Blog Post 2: Strong and Weak Organizations

In today’s age, social media is an essential mix of a companies marketing strategy.  This post will look at two different organizations. One which does it well, and another, well which could use a social media makeover.



Winnipeg Transit Bus by NellieBly by Wikipedia Some Rights Reserved

One organization which does social media very well is Winnipeg Transit. The organization, which oversees public transportation in the City of Winnipeg is on Twitter and has over 7,000 followers. Although Winnipeg Transit is not on Facebook, nor does not utilize other social media outlets, They are excellent at maximizing Twitter’s full value. They are in constant contact with its constituents. They are always notifying when they are available or signing off. What I especially appreciate about Winnipeg’s Transit savvy use of Twitter is their rapid response to when someone mentions a complaint using the @Winnipegtransit Twitter handle. Those operating The Winnipeg Transit account will reply back to the follower, then request them to direct message them with more info. Winnipeg Transit is taking a page of good social media etiquette: listening to its riders needs while responding back quickly. Sprout Social suggest by listening to customers, companies and organization can get great insight from their clients. Personally, I was impressed one time, right after I posted an incident on a Winnipeg Transit bus on Periscope live, and posted it to Twitter. Winnipeg Transit responded to me by direct message very quickly. This situation proved Winnipeg Transit was serious on capitalizing on social media’s capabilities to provide improved customer service, as Social Media Examiner said this is one way to use listening.

One organization which could have been a bit more responsive was the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks. In 2015 the day after they beat the Green Bay Packers in the National Football Conference (NFC) final  to play in that year’s Super Bowl (in which they eventually lost to the New England Patriots), they posted a Martin Luther King Quote “We Shall Overcome- #MLKDay”. This was to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. However, this caused a firestorm of criticism on social media, as Martin Luther King day is a very sensitive issue down south. There were many vicious tweets afterward, including those who wanted the social media coordinator of the Seahawks fired. However, the post was eventually taken down.

The Seattle Seahawks situation was an example of an organization not being prepared. By not listening to its audience, and not understanding the sensitivity of the issue, the Seattle Seahawks deserved the criticism. By understanding the cultural importance further of Martin Luther King Day, listening more to its audience, and not posting anything on Martin Luther King Day, 2015 this would have been avoided.

What do you think of these two opposite situations? What would keep with Winnipeg Transits effective Twitter use? What would you improve? How would you have avoided the Seattle Seahawks MLK tweet debacle?