How Social Media Helps Indian Railways?
We all know that social media targets a wide audience around the globe, making it a valuable and active communication platform. At present, Indian Railways is getting the most out of social media and rail commuters are actively using social media to reach out to railway ministers and top railway officials. IR is getting 1000 actionable tweets and 200 grievances through Facebook every day, for which IR has announced additional social media features in Google+ and Instagram to let commuters to associate with senior railway officials, also developing an internal analytics tool to analyze grievances and suggestions on a regular basis. This post carries the details on “How social media helps Indian Railways?” for reaching out to people easily.
WHAT DOES AN ANALYTIC TOOL DO FOR Indian Railways?
• Railway ministers says that “ they have reduced the response time of the actionable social media complaints to 30 minutes and the next steps is to weave in passengers’ feedback as one of the inputs in determining performance of the railway workforce”. They also say that “the new analytics tool will help IR in figuring out problems both in terms of geography and function areas”.
• Ravinesh Kumar, executive director in charge of public grievances, confirms that “ the new back-end software could be ope-rationalized in two months, and that it will give the top railway management a fair idea of the problem areas, frequency of complaints, time to resolve problems by respective railways zoned and divisions and other similar issues”.
• The new analytics dashboard will show a sentiments-based word cloud segregated by problem types for various trains, stations, zones, divisions and the like, says a technical person in Kumars social media team. He says that “Sentiments-based Twitter and Facebook comments appear in three colors: red, if a passenger talks about, say, a dirty toilet; green if she praises a clean platform; or grey if her comment is neutral”.
• The analytic dashboard delivers data on profiles of the complainants — organization or individual; if individual, how influential that person is, depending on parameters such as total Twitter followers, frequency of Tweets and the like.
WHO IS GIVEN ACCESS TO THE ANALYTIC TOOLS IN Indian Railways?
About 100 premier users including the minister, two of his deputies, the railway board chairman and six of its members, 16 general managers (GMs) and 70 divisional railway managers (DRMs) are given right of entry to a recently developed mobile app that can separate the commuters response into grievances, short and long term actionable, policy suggestions and others.
ARE THERE ANY PITFALLS?
Railways is one of the oldest functioning department in India and there is huge burden on senior rail officers, some of whom are approaching their retirement age, to comprehend different shades of social media. All senior officials now have Twitter accounts and are obliged to check notifications all the time, as they are marked when grievances are sent. As timings including arrival time and forwarding time of a grievance gets logged in the system, not being lively on Twitter may prove expensive for senior railway officials.
TWITTER TIES UP WITH INDIAN RAILWAYS
Twitter shall remain a topper in Railways feedback mechanism, owing to the uniqueness of Twitter platform which is based on the premise of transparency and accountability. No other medium offers this advantage," says Raheel Khursheed, head of news and government partnerships, Twitter India. Khursheed says that “the ministry of home affairs and the ministry of power are already testing their Twitter Seva product at the beta stage, and talks for a Twitter tie-up are at an advanced stage with ministry of human resources, health ministry, Delhi Police, Mumbai Police, and state governments such as Karnataka, Punjab and UP” .
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