Consider these disasters:
- natural - floods, earthquakes, and snowstorms
- man made - oil spills, or employee goes "postal" in the workplace
- health related - terminal/chronic illness, death, and pandemics
In a recent blog post, social media expert Jeff Bulla, cited a major Red Cross study that assessed the role and importance of social media in disasters. They asked “what is the general level of use of social media in the community?” and found:
- Nearly 3 in 4 participate in at least one online community or social network.
- The majority (82 percent) participates in social media at least once a week.
- About half would sign up for emails, text alerts, etc. to receive information.
- About half would mention emergencies on their social media channels.
- Facebook was the most commonly used channel.
- Nearly half would use social media to let loved ones know they are safe.
- More than two-thirds agree that responders should monitor and respond to postings on their websites.
- Younger people are more likely to request help through social media or text messaging.
- You need to proactively plan your use of social media during a potential crisis.
- You need to establish policies/best practices for your use of social media.
- If you don’t - others will do it for you - and you will have lost control of the message.
- The younger your employee population - the more important this planning becomes.
- Probably nothing is faster than using an existing Twitter account. Another option is to create an account that remains dormant except in the event of an emergency.
- Post info on the wall of your Facebook.
- Post info on your website (this can be very slow).
- For a more ongoing response, consider creating a dedicated blog to provide information, tips, etc.
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