The year 2020 has presented a number of challenges that affected large groups of people simultaneously. Some of the most notable include the West Coast fires and the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Such public health and safety emergencies highlight how important it is for official government and community agencies to integrate effective means of communication when spreading critical information with the public. In the 20th century, one communications tool that cannot be neglected during for crisis management is social media.
Why Social Media is Key for Emergency Management
Social media has become a mainstay in most types of interpersonal communication, and crisis communication is no exception. As digital platforms are used by a wide variety of demographics, they have become the ideal place to focus your agency’s interactions with individual citizens and the general public.
No matter what other forms of communication your organization uses to disseminate information internally and within the community, social media must be part of your strategy. In general, Americans are increasingly turning to social media platforms to get their news. In times of crisis, you can utilize this dependency to reach potentially affected individuals with important instructions, guidelines and updates.
Here are some of the benefits of using social media for communication as part of your emergency management strategy:
Building Off Previous Engagement
These days, most public agencies have a page or profile set up on the popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However, the effectiveness of your social network in communicating with the general public in a time of crisis depends on previous efforts to establish followers and engage them regularly. If you apply successful social media strategies on a regular basis, then community members rely on you as a the premier source for current information when an emergency strikes.
Fostering Direct Communication
Rather than sending out news releases or passing information through a third party, you can have more direct and impactful communication with citizens through social media. Additionally, this tool enables you to control the narrative and to only share the announcements, updates and information that you find to be fully accurate and relevant for the public.
Offering Two-Way Dialogue
Community members have the ability to respond and join in the conversation. Their comments may yield information that is helpful for your agency or other individuals; in some cases, they simply cultivate a sense of solidarity and community spirit in the midst of the crisis. You can also assign your public information officer (PIO) or another agency representative to monitor the comment section of each post, gather information and respond to pertinent questions in order to provide specific or clarifying information. This is a practice known as social media listening.
Increasing Your Reach
Although the information you post on social media will first reach the members of your direct network, it can be disseminated beyond that. The ability for individuals to access social media on their mobile devices makes this communication solution especially potent. No matter where they are, individuals can receive alerts and updates from your agency via your digital platform. It is also a cost-effective form of communication, which is a benefit for small organizations and government agencies looking to control their expenses and budget conservatively.
How Go2s Helps Public Agencies with Communication
As a free private social network, Go2s is the ideal tool for local first-response teams and other public agencies seeking to alert people of breaking news and provide them critical information during an emergency.
Go2s provides some unique benefits when it comes to crisis communication. First, the platform enables your agency to reach not only residents, but also visitors, tourists, commuters and other out-of-towners who may not be plugged into other local news outlets.
Secondly, with Go2s’ propagation network speed and agility, you can get your message out faster to people in your area. Digital word-of-mouth allows your organization to extend its reach to keep people in the loop for news and information.
Finally, Go2s collects real-time data, enabling your agency to track the results of your communication efforts, measure their effectiveness and make changes accordingly.
Using Go2s for Your Agency
Social media is an inevitable part of a robust and nuanced communications strategy for community and government agencies. You should make sure you’re using it effectively. Go2s provides a reliable and safe digital platform through which you can share emergency updates and critical information with the people you serve. Our advanced features and analytics enable your agency to not only use social media for crisis communication, but to make the most of it.