The T’s chief tweeter
Lisa Battiston works with the agency’s 138,000 followers
When did you start at the T and where did you come from? I started in November 2011. I came from outside the authority. I had just gotten my masters in fine arts from Emerson in creative writing.
Are you a whiz at social media? As adept as most 20-somethings are at social media. I didn’t take any classes in it. But they needed a communications person, so here I am.
What do you do? They needed someone who was dedicated to delivering information to customers via the website, in-station announcements, or whatever. Twitter was something we had a presence on, but we weren’t really engaging with people. After a while, I started realizing that I knew the answer to a lot of the questions people were asking. So I got permission from my bosses to start talking back to people. I figured that if I give them information, I could really affect their commute. Once I got approval to go ahead and start doing that, it became the bulk of what I do.
Do you ever see tweets that could be perceived as threats and have to alert the police? We haven’t gotten anything too crazy, thank God. But that’s one of the reasons we’ve got the Twitter account. It’s also one of the reasons we never block or mute any account. If we block their account and don’t see [an ominous tweet], that would be bad.
What do you do with the guy who tweeted recently that “your regular service sucks balls?” We don’t have a policy that we have to respond to everybody, so if something is just blatantly negative we don’t necessarily need to respond to that. But if they’ve got something specific, we’re happy to look into that.
Why does the T do it? This is a small way we can affect things for the better by taking something negative and turning it into a positive. We’re trying to show people that we’re paying attention.
What social media is the T on? Primarily Twitter. We don’t have a Facebook presence right now, but we have an up and coming Instagram account. Our Twitter following is always rising. It just keeps getting busier and busier. And it seems like older folks are starting to use Twitter, too. In some cases, we are the only thing they follow. It’s definitely where our customers are.Are you still pursuing writing? I’ve written a couple of nonfiction things that always get rejected by agents. Some day, we’ll see.
Any plots that revolve around the T? No, when I leave here I leave it here.