Friday, 5 October 2012

Tweeting for Chiltern Railways - Emma Gascoigne at the #BanburyTweetUp

Yesterday evening, the monthly Banbury TweetUp (#BanburyTweetUp) was fortunate to have Emma Gascoigne as the guest speaker - Emma, of course, being the 'E' on the @chilternrailway twitter account.

As part of Chiltern's press and marketing team, Emma has a specific role as Social Media Manager and can justifiably claim to be one of the driving forces behind Chiltern's very successful social media strategy. She took the Banbury gathering through the development of this strategy from the early days of 'lurking' (seeing what was being said about Chiltern Railways) through to the current policy of active engagement with a 'smiley face'...

Emma's (and the company's) Eureka moment came during the snow of 2010 when she was snowed up at home but Chiltern's services were continuing to run. She realised that the # tag #uksnow was being used by Tweeters so began to actively tweet information on Chiltern's services using that tag... the rest, as they say, is history!

Emma uses HootSuite at work, TweetDeck when on the move, and even, occasionally, Twitter on the Web... She monitors mentions of Chiltern, Chiltern Railways, etc but has a policy of NOT intruding on private conversations unless there are major factual errors which need correcting. Naturally, she and the rest of the Chiltern team do engage with those who use @chilternrailway in their tweets.

Emma is particularly proud of Chiltern's use of FourSquare. Being 'Mayor of Marylebone' can of course lead onto the honour of switching on the Christmas Tree Lights (we'll draw a veil over the image of Emma crouched under the table to actually plug in the lights as the 'switch' was thrown...).

Emma also looks after the Chiltern presence on Facebook and Google+ but she enjoys the immediacy of her work with Twitter.

Finally, as ever with Chiltern, it is 'watch this space (or Twitter feed)'. The new timetable starts in December but before then Emma was dropping discreet hints about improvements to on-board services...

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