Link Friday: The Social Media and Disasters Edition

Posted on Friday, June 14, 2013 by Brianna

In response to recent tragedies in the U.S., society has taken to social media as one of its first sources for response information. Americans rely on social media sites for updates, as a means of contacting loved ones involved and even to donate money to relief efforts. The ability to disseminate mass disaster response information is just another example of the power social media.

  • This infographic shows how social media is at the front line of disaster response.
  • Social media response to tragedies is widespread. In response to Hurricane Sandy, users sent more than 20 million tweets. Following the Boston Marathon bombings, one quarter of Americans reportedly looked to social networking sites for information.
  • After the Haiti earthquake, 2.3 million tweets were sent, with almost 200,000 encouraging followers to text the number “90999”. Each text raised $10 for Red Cross Relief funds.
  • What’s the proper social media protocol for your business during these tragic times? Pay attention to what’s happening and react accordingly. Many businesses choose to speak up for support, but silence is almost always an acceptable response as well.