Introduction – Thanks to Dave Barger for invitation to speak Background, why and how MWN uses SM particularly in adverse weather conditions What can carry over from weather to other crisis situations
Where MWN has come from – “Public” site started in 2003 with the brand that continues today Social media aspects begun 3 years ago, peaking with biggest 2 week period in MWN history in spring 2011
Period of fastest growth after initial launch was winter weather in 2010, May 1 2010 flooding, winter weather 2011, spring storms (Feb-Apr) 2011, few storms early in 2012
Severe weather coverage by social media Compare/contrast to TV coverage – no program interruption, on-demand
Platforms employed by MWN in the SM realm Notice no Google+ (lack of integration into 3 rd party tools, lack of “different” followers than what we have on Twitter/Facebook)
How MWN meets each of these: Latest info – nowcasting Consistent message – limiting people who can post Trusted source – followership, consistency, previous engagement Call to action – “take cover now!” Ways to be involved – Woodward, OK; 4-27-11 examples (RT or provide important info to help re-build)
SM mainly thought of as “for personal use,” so how does weather factor in? SM works GREAT for distributing weather/breaking information - August 2011 east coast earthquake centered in Arlington, VA Severe weather episode in early March
Aggregation: Multiple contributors to the “story” Feedback: people telling us what’s happening in their location, ask questions about the events or your products
Community journalism – allows multiple sources to contribute Community building – “unofficial sources” can contribute to a real-time story
Weather hashtags in use (mainly in the Memphis area)
Adoption of a tag for Memphis area storm events #memstorm suggested by Rachel Smith & Aaron Prather (Ignite Memphis 2 at EmergeMemphis) – late Feb 2011 Over the past year, it’s usefulness has become watered-down in a sense – overuse
Sample #memstorm tweets show the varied info sent via this tag
#memstorm came from a PR/SM pro. The idea quickly caught on with the public. #memflood was suggested by an avid social media user (@CanesDrew – Drew Avery) and was very quickly adopted by a massive audience
The power of “social” – SM is uniquely positioned to provide info in a crisis
New program headed up by MWN in collaboration with NWS-Memphis Modeled after similar program with excellent early results in Nashville (#tSpotter) Problem with storm reports (esp. from untrained) is subjectivity - #mSpotter seeks to greatly reduce that
Story: discovered in someone’s yard after a tornadic supercell passed through Wichita, KS in March 2012. Homeowner thought it was hail. Turned out to be a prank (frozen water balloon), but corrected only after it was “reported” via SM. Hard to correct misinformation on SM after it’s gone viral.
Conventional, mobile web, mobile apps, social media
SM will only continue to grow during crisis and breaking news situations What can be applied to other crises? Latest info, consistent message, Trusted source, Call to action, Ways to be involved
Social Media & Crisis Communications: the story of #memstorm
Social Media &Crisis Communication: The story of #memstormErik Proseus - @memphisweather1
Brief History of MWN MemphisWeather.net (MWN) brand started in April ’03 Blog and mobile site started ’08 Facebook and Twitter – early ’09 (automated weather alerts on Twitter in Jan ’10) iPhone/Android apps – spring ’11 April 24-May 7, 2011: website had 18K visits & 66K page views
MWN Social Media background Adopted in 2009 using @memphisweather1 handle Started slow as social media (esp. Twitter) was just starting to gain momentum Continued use and word-of-mouth… and the snowball picked up more snow (literally) Rapid growth in 2011 → now >10,000 followers
Why MWN uses Social Media Connect to the community – build relationships Information gathering on specific topics Gather feedback on products / services Brand lift / product promotion Public: trusted & reliable information source
How MWN uses Social Media Conversation: community-building, customer service Cross-posting of blog articles, YouTube videos, etc. Link back to resources on MWN Education (weather concepts, geography) RT/share non-weather info (#memtraffic)
MWN & SM during a crisis Nowcasting: Ultra-short-term, hyper-local forecasting Used with MWN (web) to provide rapid updates during severe weather events “Wall-to-wall” coverage via internet On-demand weather Highest reach, most interactive, best feedback
What platforms MWN uses Facebook/Twitter – quick posts, weather updates/nowcasting, interesting links, cross-posts, self-promotion (web, apps) YouTube/Flickr – videos/photos Blog – forecast discussions, event recaps/ summaries, links to website & other SM
In a crisis, the public wants: Latest information Consistent message Trusted sources Call to action Ways to be involved / provide aidNot just weather crises!
Why social media for weather? Immediacy Aggregation Feedback Ground truth, instantly
Twitter hashtags (#) Keywords or search terms tagged with # Extremely important for effective sharing Best way to share info in a crisis & create unity Community journalism Community building “Virtual bulletin board” FASTER than news reports!
Twitter hashtags (#)#wxreport – NWS-initiated for storm reporting#tnwx #mswx #arwx – State-specific#memstorm – Local severe weather#memflood – Historic spring 2011 flooding#memheat – Record breaking summer heat#memsnow – Not this year!
Birth of #memstorm Proposed by local social media experts to enable single source of info Has become synonymous with severe weather in Memphis after April ’11 storms Feb 24, 2011: ~700 tweets on it’s first night of use! April 27, 2011: >2000 tweets reached 200K Twitter accounts w/ 1.4M impressions!
Future of public info gathering? Courtesy @BrennanSomers
Then, #memflood Community-driven Immediately adopted in May 2011 for expected historic MS River flooding Local & national media adoption Used by gov’t & quasi-gov’t agencies Sample of 500 #memflood tweets on 5/2/11: 1.2M views w/ an audience of 154K
The power of social7,345+ views in 1 day!Originally posted on private Facebook account with 328 friends
#mSpotter – ground truth Twitter storm spotting for the metro Reports sent via Twitter, filtered by MWN, and forwarded to NWS in realtime Contribute to public safety and “protection of life & property” Uses geo-tagging and smartphone cameras to “self-verify”
How can you participate? Share personal observations
How can you participate? Share personal observations RT, share, and promote info from “trusted sources” Don’t RT old reports and purport them as current
How can you participate? Check your sources: Don’t proliferate mis-information! HAIL???
Where to find MWN… http://www.memphisweather.net http://m.memphisweather.net http://blog.memphisweather.net http://www.facebook.com/memphisweather1 http://twitter.com/memphisweather1 iTunes or App Store & Android Market
HOW WILL SOCIAL MEDIA BE USED IN THE NEXT CRISIS?