I was building the audience for the twitter account of a website that’s dedicated to providing resource for infrastructure asset management.
Aware that the resource website desires to share infrastructure management knowledge to towns and cities in the US, I started following 200 towns and cities.
I was surprised to discover how these local governments are engaging actively on their twitter accounts and other social media as well.
They share a whole lot of stuffs on Twitter. They share news, general information, weather warnings and matters concerning infrastructure, utilities and anything that may affect the lifestyle of their constituents.
I’m quite amazed how local governments have been using social media to their benefit.
So what are the advantages of using Twitter in infrastructure asset management? I identified four advantages these towns and cities have for using Twitter.
1. Creates a broad communication platform
The advent of mobile technology has widened the scope of communication for town officials and folks. Through the town’s official Twitter account, the person-in-charge sends information and generate responses from the broader community.
2. Communicates in real time
Accidents, road blocks, severe weather warning are communicated in real time via Twitter. With the city or town’s Twitter account acting as anchor, information are facilitated in real time. Interruption of infrastructure assets services such as electrical lines and posts, water main pipes are best announced via Twitter.
Responsible citizens tweeting events and observation from their particular location. Twitter’s hash tagging creates easy reference and classification of information.
3. Develops relationship and builds trust
When cities and town leaders are communicating regularly and consistently with their constituents, relationships are enhanced and trust is built.
For example, flooding that severe weather caused is posing imminent threat to integrity of an old city bridge. As one of the hundreds or thousands of motorist who would be passing through that old city bridge, you searched on Twitter for the latest status.
The city’s Twitter account stands as one reliable source of information as they have men on the ground assessing the situation and providing real time feedback.
4. Enhances transparency
I’m amazed to discover that city and town councils tweet the agenda of council meetings and infrastructure projects up for bidding.
Mayors and town leaders tweet about what they have discussed and their plans for the day. They also interact with denizens and do crowd-sourcing on some important issues.
Towns and cities that are using Twitter in their infrastructure management have harnessed the potential of social media in supporting or sustaining the level of service they are giving their community of clients.