How you use social media during a crisis will be different than how you use it on a day-to-day basis.
For example, right now, I am packed and ready to evacuate due to the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County in Northern California.
What do you do at a time like this with your online marketing?
Put it on hold.
Every time I go on Facebook or Twitter right now and I am bombarded with advertisements about fitness, hair products, or image apps, I want to scream.
At the moment, my main concern is keeping my hair washed before the power goes off and our well stops working.
In Sonoma County, we are living in a life and death situation. The last thing I’m thinking about right now is shades of lipstick and filters to make my images look professional.
Facebook Suddenly Shines for Me
The beauty of Facebook comes through during times like this.
I often jest about how I love Instagram and put up with Facebook.
Yeah, I’m not a huge Facebook fan even though I use it daily. Why? It can be so narcissistic.
But during crises, there’s nothing better. Really.
Facebook becomes a place to connect with friends, colleagues, and family members.
It’s a place to report updates for those who are without power. And for those who are living in evacuation centers.
It’s a place to express anxiety, fears, and gratitude.
How To Use Social Media During a Crisis
- Suspend your social media advertising. Too many areas of California are on fire right now. Respect the situation.
- Use your channels to communicate news updates that people without power won’t have access to. Letitia Hanke of ARS Roofing Gutters and Solar has been doing this and it’s an effective and necessary way to use social media now.
- Keep your posts relevant to your region.
- Your friends and family will want to know how you are doing. Tell them in your updates.
- Communicate safety tips.
- Reach out to others. You may be able to assist others or their animals.
- Avoid canned responses. Every disaster is local and different.
- Don’t post anything that looks overly speculative. Use hashtags. It enables people to get involved in the conversation.
- Refer to authorities and share their information when it’s timely.
- Let people know how they can connect with reliable news sources.
- And do what Letitia has done. She opened her corporate office as an evacuation center for her employees.
Keep calm, help others if you can, and try not to panic.
I am an author and social media consultant. My focus is on helping businesses surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online and building their platform. I also do content writing and offer email marketing services.
Online Marketing Strategies