There proven to be useful in a crisis

There has been an increasing interest in the application of social media in crisis communications. In 2006, an all-hazard alerting system was created that uses multiple technologies to better reach the public. The Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) has reached larger effected populations in a crisis when using social networks like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. In all areas of society, people turn to social media for communication support, collaboration, and information collection. This type of communication has proven to be useful in a crisis when delivering warnings or alerts to the public.The Red Cross states that what is unique about social media is its ability to play a role in emergency situations. “Disaster preparedness in crisis situations has attracted leaders and experts in government, emergency response teams, and nonprofit sectors. They feel that social media can save lives during a disaster, as well as empower the public to be part of the response,” says Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross.Crisis Response on Facebook is where you can find updated information about certain crises. Facebook users connect with friends and loved ones to give or find help for each other. Through this button, users can also donate or create fundraiser sites to support recovery efforts.This research sample consisted of two interview participants (one male, one female) and 18 survey participants (5 male, 13 females). All participants were effected in some way by the hurricane Irma disaster in South Florida. Participants were Florida residents and lived between Jacksonville and Orlando Florida. If they were not directly impacted, their immediate family or friends were. The survey was up only 24-hours and of the 25 people that were asked to participate, only 18 submitted answers. The face-to-face interview was conducted to obtain descriptions of the event, the issues of the crisis, and the use of social media in crisis their communications. The analysis of the interview reveals that during hurricane Irma, the participants felt that because of social media (Facebook) they were able to: stay connected, share and receive vital information, and cope with the situation. The participants had a feeling of closeness and felt more informed. Not to mention the ability to share the experience with others instantly was a comfort. One participant commented how they valued social media as an alternative way in which information is obtained, specifically as it compares to mainstream media. In a sense, the use of social media during hurricane Irma filled in the gaps with vital community information. Likewise, the effective aspect of people’s information experiences is in agreement with research that has also revealed citizens use of social media during disaster situations for obtaining emotional support (Qu, et al., 2011) and to make them feel less worried (Taylor, Wells, Howell, and Raphael, 2012).When you look at this in an advertising perspective, Facebook excels way above Instagram and Twitter with 2 billion monthly users. “Facebook hosts over a quarter of the world’s population, providing advertisers with an unparalleled opportunity to reach virtually anyone and everyone,” says Warren JollyLike in advertising, using Facebook in a crisis allows users to focus their attention to a certain location or event, follow current activities of their family and friends, and stay engaged as family and friends post during the crisis or as it unfolds.We can keep in touch with people all over the globe at any time of day while switching seamlessly between communication platforms. Social media is becoming to pose a significant impact on crisis communications. For instance, news and information travel much faster, however, there is much more misleading and false information to track and consider, some of which could be deliberate. Online opinion tends to be very volatile and polarized during a crisis, making it difficult to know when and how to try to manage perceptions. The lifecycle of crises has become much more unpredictable with so much information constantly swirling online. The nature of social participation means people nowadays expect the US government to be open and responsive during a crisis – which may have profound implications for crisis strategy. Especially when the facts are unclear when a crisis first breaks. For example, a survey by the American Red Cross revealed that 69% of adults believe that emergency responders should be monitoring social media sites to quickly send help, and 74% expect response agencies to answer social media calls for help within an hour. The study also shows that active social media users become more active during crisis and assign a higher level of credibility to social media coverage than to traditional mass media crisis. From a 2011 American Red Cross study in which approximately 2,000 people were interviewed. Nearly 50 percent of those interviewed reported that they visited one or more social media sites almost every day. For those in metropolitan areas, this percentage was higher. Although one in six subjects reported that they had used social media to find information about an emergency, television continues to be their primary source of information during these events. However, in cases where people did not have access to a television, Facebook became their primary information source. Furthermore, more than 80 percent of those interviewed indicated that they were willing to post information about a disaster on social media sites, including images or video clips. More than a third of the regular social media users interviewed in the Red Cross study indicated that they would request help via social sites, and of those who would post requests for help, 80 percent expected a response within an hour. However, only 15 percent believed that emergency management agencies were actively following social media during emergencies (National Research Council, 2013). Although many believed that emergency officials should be following their feeds, few believed that they actually were. One social media platform has provided emotional support after crises—Facebook provides a place where you can virtually band together, share information, and demand resolution (Jin, Fisher Liu, Austin, 2014).