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Social Media Roundup Social Media Response to March 11 Earthquake How the Army used social media to provide updates
Social Media Roundup Agenda This week’s Social Media Roundup examines the steps taken by multiple Army organizations to update and inform the public about the March 11 earthquake and tsunami using social media.
At 2:46 p.m. JST on March 11, an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.9, hit about 80 miles off the eastern coast of Japan.
The earthquake – the largest in Japan's history – unleashed a 23-foot tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours, many of them of more than magnitude 6.0.
In the hours after the initial earthquake, waves from the tsunami started making their way to Hawaii, Alaska and a dozen other countries.
Military officials quickly took to social media platforms to prepare Soldiers and their families as the tsunami approached.
Social Media Roundup After the Earthquake
At 9 p.m. in Hawaii (2 a.m. EST) U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii started posting information on Facebook and tweeting updates on Twitter. They continued to post through the night.
As sirens rang throughout Hawaii and people were pulled from their sleep, Army social media sites were providing valuable information.
Soldiers and their families were quickly able to find evacuation information on U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s social media presences in addition to updates found on social media sites managed by 25th ID and Pacific Command.
Social Media Roundup Military Response
To supplement the efforts made by U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, 25th ID and PACCOM, the Army used its official social media accounts to join the conversation.
By posting and Tweeting information, the Army was able to drive its substantial following to the resources providing updated information.
Social Media Roundup Military Response Before tsunami
As the tsunami moved closer to Hawaii, more and more information was made available on social media sites.
Once the waves began hitting Hawaii, social media organizations were quick to report details and additional information.
After the initial impact of the tsunami, Hawaii Army social media sites posted more information about school closures and safety procedures.
Other military organizations also used social media to reach out to their audiences.
Not only did military organizations use social media to provide updates, but they used their social media presences to post news updates and additional coverage.
Each branch of the military caters to large social media followings. Social media resources helped spread military-related earthquake and tsunami news to millions of people.
Social Media Roundup Leader Response
As the country became more aware of the power of the approaching tsunami, leaders also reached out via Twitter.
Leaders continued to provide updates and resources to their substantial followers throughout the day.
Social Media Roundup Public Response
The tsunami scare brought thousands of people seeking information to social media sites, but it also gave people a place to comment and send messages to those in Hawaii.
The community aspect is often overlooked during a time of crisis, but this illustrates that a substantial number of people use social media to reach out and connect during disasters.
Social Media Roundup Backlash
During times of crisis, certain
organizations should lead the way when it comes to distributing information. If the organization has a Twitter account or a Facebook page, updates are expected.
The Tweet above is from a
Twitter user with over 1,300 followers who was clearly disappointed that the U.S. Geological Survey had not yet used its Twitter resources to provide information to the public following the earthquake.
When something happens in your area of expertise, you need to be prepared to respond. Failing to do so could damage your organization’s reputation.
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, 25th ID and PACCOM were proactive in their response to the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. With the assistance of social media, these organizations helped thousands of people find the information they needed.
While 1,300 followers may not seem like a lot, the individuals who follow this account also have a following. A retweet by the right person and this Tweet can be viewed by millions of people.
Social Media Roundup Planning for a crisis Checklist
Being prepared is key in crisis communications. By taking into consideration the items of the checklist to the right, it’s possible for a social media manager to be prepared to post at a moments notice.
An organization needs to be prepared for anything. They should also listen to the conversation online, respond to rumors and provide updates when they become available.
For more information on crisis planning, check out this social media roundup: http://slidesha.re/e0ZHAF
Before crisis Coordinate with Public Affairs Office Designate who has posting authority Designate who has release authority Keep list of logins and passwords on hand 24/7 During and after crisis Provide valuable information and resources to followers Monitor conversations and comments on social media platforms Identify what information to distribute on each social media platform Draft posts and submit for approval Respond to questions, provide links and correct misinformation
Social Media Roundup Additional online efforts
The internet is a powerful means of communication and after the earthquake and tsunami, dozens of resources popped up across the internet designed to help people affected by the disaster.
Social Media Roundup Additional online efforts
The All Partners Access Network (APAN) is an unclassified, non-dot-mil network providing interoperability and connectivity among partners over a common platform.
APAN fosters information exchange and collaboration between the United States Department of Defense and any external country, organization, agency or individual that does not have ready access to traditional DOD systems and networks.
The Online and Social Media Division will discuss APAN in greater detail in a future Social Media Roundup.
Social Media Roundup Conclusion
During the March 11 Japan earthquake and tsunami, social media moved information in a timely and effective manner.
By owning the space and taking the lead, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, 25th ID and PACCOM were able to keep people informed during the crisis. These organizations demonstrated how to effectively use social media during a time of crisis.
Conversely, the U.S. Geological Survey didn’t respond quick enough, and the backlash demonstrated how much people rely on social media resources for pertinent and almost instant updates during a crisis.
Social Media Quote “USGS is held up as one of the more advanced social media teams…People were giving them the business for a while because all those accounts were dormant until the East Coast woke up…Even though you can have a really good program in place, there’s always something that is going to happen that you may not have thought of.” -Gov 2.0 Radio
Social Media Roundup Contact information Have questions? Please feel free to reach out to us at the Online and Social Media Division Email: Ocpa.firstname.lastname@example.org To review and download past editions of the Social Media Roundup, visit our Slideshare site at: http://www.slideshare.net/usarmysocialmedia. All Social Media Roundups are authorized to be distributed to a broader audience. 3/16/2011 OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS PENTAGON