Yesterday I lectured to group of young want-to-be entrepreneurs and small business owners, Digital Marketing 101. Out of 24 participants only 4 use Twitter, maybe another 10 know what it is and the rest, don’t get it, don’t want to get it and still believe that all people tweet about is “what they are eating” and refuse to believe that Twitter or any of the social media networks can actually be used as a marketing tool, but even more than that, as a life saving tool.
As of now – Monday September 29th 3:43 EST Hurricane Sandy is not only controlling the sea, but she is also controlling our screens, 3-7 inch on your phone , 8-24 inch on your tablet, laptop and desktop and the 42 inch screen in your living room.
Just flip the channels on the TV and no matter where you are in the world, you will see live reports from New York Harbor and the Jersey Shore (without Snooki). Bloomberg speaking to the press, Obama to the “Nation”, and Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are speaking to the people.
(Just a side note: I wonder how many little girls born in the next 24-48 hours will be named Sandy? Maybe, #Sandy, much more 2012. )
If you haven’t tried out Twitter yet, now is the time. Twitter is an amazing tool, it is wonderful to use during good times, to spread your business/personal mantra sunshine, build relationships and have conversations. However, it is during times of disaster that you will quickly understand the power of 140 characters. Twitter is being used to communicate messages of disaster areas, power outages, open shelters, distress signals, water levels, preparedness instructions and more. The first time I heard about Twitter saving lives was from Jeff Pulver. He told amazing stories on how the IDF used twitter to rescue people in Haiti.
Social Media #Sandy
It is not only Twitter. Facebook, Instagram, and Google are also channels informing the masses, real-time, about Hurricane #Sandy.
Here are a few ways to follow Hurricane Sandy on Social Media Networks:
Twitter search the following hashtags and save them in a stream on Twitter.
Twitter handles delivering official updated news, situation assessment and more.
- For pet lovers follow : @ASPCA
If you are not in the storm zone but you want to see some pictures just log into Instagram and search #sandy. You will see real-time images, a lot of them!
Facebook is also full of information . I am sure that everyone has seen something in their feed about Sandy – a shared image, information, an interesting status, a cry for help.
I didn’t forget Google; you can watch the storm move on an interactive map here Google.org’s Crisis Response Map
In addition most of the municipalities and school zones, all the TV stations, and newspapers have a Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. There are hundreds of channels open and feeding real-time updates.
You will read exciting, scary, sad, and thankful statuses, statuses of prayer, of gratitude and of disaster . These citizen updates will be shared, liked, RT’d, and commented on by the community at large, by the world.
I am praying for all my friends, their families and for all of the residents living in Sandy’s path. Keep Safe.