Friday, April 16, 2010

The Thoroughbred “goes social”

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Norfolk Southern has joined a growing number of corporations that have added highly popular “social media” websites—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr—to how it communicates, distributing information, video, and photos to online audiences.

ns-new-logo-vertical.jpg“A 180-year-old company that traces its roots to the earliest days of railroading in America now connects with digital-age audiences who get their news through online networking,” says Frank Brown, AVP corporate communications. “Our expanded presence on the Internet serves the growing number of people who receive information about Norfolk Southern through new media channels and allows us to deliver it in the formats they prefer. News media, customers, shareholders, bloggers, and other opinion leaders now can keep up to date on Norfolk Southern news and information” through these websites.

NS has placed icons on its main website, www.nscorp.com, that link to company sites on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr. RSS feeds also are available on the NS website, “making it simple to get information about the company in real time.” All these online communications links are an initiative of NS’s New Media Team.

“Norfolk Southern has nearly 7,000 fans on Facebook,” Brown notes. “We went live on Twitter in February, and some 300 people now follow our 140-character ‘tweets’ through their cell phones, PDAs, and on line.” NS has posted 13 videos on YouTube about the company’s operations and business, including the 2,500-mile Crescent Corridor public-private partnership to improve freight rail transportation in the East. On Flickr, 49 photos depict the company’s transportation operations and facilities, and a gallery documents last winter’s record snowfall through photos taken by employees. Additionally, some 19,000 people visit Norfolk Southern’s website daily.