How the Indian Railways is leveraging Twitter to reach out to the millions who ride on its trains

By Shantanu Nandan Sharma, ET Bureau

A ‘Twitter Room’ is not what you’d expect to stumble upon in a government office but, at Rail Bhawan in the Capital, the headquarters of Indian Railways (IR), that space has become a beehive of activity ahead of the rail Budget.

Backed by a software that can differentiate tweets on the basis of sentiments — positive, negative and neutral — the IR’s Twitter room handles 4,500 to 5,000 tweets a day, with action being taken on about 70 of them, according to the officer heading IR’s Twitter venture.

On the coming Thursday, when railway minister Suresh Prabhu will read out his second rail Budget, the IR’s Twitter team is expecting a flurry of tweets, mainly short commentaries on the Budget. The back-end software has been updated so as to segregate all Budget-related tweets, helping the IR gauge sentiment. More info

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