Using Social Media During and After Disasters.
Understand that someone will talk to the media. Posts will be made on social media. Be ready to respond, even if just to make a general statement, followed by a time when you will be giving more comments.
Your image on social media is always important. The social media platform may be your customer’s first impression of your business. This is especially important during times of emergencies. Make sure your business is prepared to use your social media platforms during these stressful times.
- Make sure your business profile is fully developed; use familiar corporate logos and other images that indicate this is your business’s official site.
- Make sure your platform is mobile friendly. Your designated administrator may need to access the site from several different types of devices.
- Use your emergency planning team and develop a social media plan for emergencies. Remember, your business media site should become the official source for information. Your social media platform should have a more “newsroom” feel during emergency situations. This will develop confidence in the site as an accurate and reliable source for information.
During a disaster, it is important that your business speaks with one voice. Designate one person to be the administrator during times of emergency. All information must go through this person before it is posted. However, as you set up procedures remember, if the designated social media administrator is needed to assist with the emergency, post after the emergency has been handled. It is more important to handle guests on the farm during an emergency.
The farm needs to ensure that the social media administrator is adequately trained and has access to all social media platforms. The training should include:
- Familiarity with goals, objectives and mission statement of the business.
- In-depth knowledge of required social media platforms.
- Knowledge of available tools helped designed to manage several social media sites such as HootSuite or TweetDeck.
- Knowledge of liability issues that may arise certain posts.
Considerations for your social media campaign
- Set up a social media alert system to monitor all Internet sources. During an emergency, it is important to know what is being said about your business. When monitoring for emergency responses, set up a social media alert using the name of your farm and the type of emergency. If it is a natural occurring emergency also use the area in which you are located.
- Only provide first-hand information. When possible, upload images to verify information or counter rumors.
- Use hashtags to allow information to be easily followed. These can be prepared during emergency management preparation or graded during the emergency, by monitoring conversations and identifying popular themes as they develop.
- Make sure information is provided in a timely and accurate manner.
- Don’t over share, only address known issues.
- Post information regularly. Keep all post positive but accurate.
- Respond to every post; be sure to correct all rumors and misinformation.
- Only offer thoughts and prayers to possibly injured persons. Unfortunately, even these situations we have to be aware of liability and litigation. Do not post anything discussing facts or blame that may be connected with the situation.
- If volunteers are needed, use social media to bring together and organize people willing to help.
- After natural disaster, be sure to update people on the farm’s situation.
- Keep customers updated as the farm prepares to reopen.
- After farm reopens, be sure to thank your customers for their support.
Get ideas from some experts, i.e. DHS and Red Cross