Best Use of Social Media for Marketing

Facebook page, new commuter line feed off one another in Colorado promotion

The Denver Regional Transportation District West Rail Line marketing team’s campaign set up a powerful reciprocal effect between its Facebook site and its new commuter line.

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Denver’s Regional Transportation District is the co-winner of the Best Use of Social Media for Marketing category in PR Daily’s 2013 Social Media Awards.

The RTD’s marketers wanted to promote the opening of the new West Rail Line, build excitement on Facebook for the opening of the new line, communicate big changes in bus service and the new light rail, and promote the April inaugural “free ride” giveaway on its Facebook page.

The team’s goal: Reach the 1.6 million Facebook users in West Denver, Lakewood, and Golden who had not already liked the Regional Transportation District’s Facebook page.

Their strategy relied on the improved demographic marketing capabilities of Facebook’s advertising platform to target residents of selected Denver metro-area ZIP codes.

Team members used a mix of page ads, promoted posts, and sponsored stories on Facebook, managing these ads closely day by day to get the utmost for their ad dollars. The results were eye-opening:

  • 1,042 Facebook likes in one day—a record
  • Almost 9,000 new Facebook likes in April, a 250 percent gain in total Facebook likes
  • 2.3 million page impressions in April, a 1,066 percent gain over March
  • A 30,000 increase in average weekly page reach, a 475 percent gain over March

These huge gains in reach, audience, and engagement turned Facebook into a valuable communication and customer service medium. Vital notices about service changes and disruption, detours, and Fastrack project updates now get much greater reach, engagement, and viral spread.

West Rail Line marketing team members include Tiffany Angell, project lead; Steve Szczecina, Web content; Georgann Van Gemert, marketing strategist; and Christian Atencio, Web design.

Congratulations on an ingenious, low-budget push that showed the power of digital media!

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