In recent years, social media has exploded as a category of online discourse where people create content, share it, bookmark it and network at a prodigious rate. The five key characteristics of social media: collectivity; connectedness; completeness; clarity and collaboration lend itself to be used increasingly to support crisis management functions.

Information sharing between public safety organizations and communities is critical in emergency situations, especially large-scale events such as Population displacements, war, natural disasters etc. In recent years, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), “Social media and collaborative technologies have become critical components of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery.”

Through the use of social media, members of the public who witness incidents can provide public safety organizations with timely, geographic-based information. This information can be used by decision-makers in planning response strategies, deploying resources in the field, and, in turn, providing updated and accurate information to the public. Social media can provide public safety organizations with improved abilities to:

  • Engage in ongoing collaborative communications with community members and better prepare them for emergencies; and
  • Gather, analyze, and act on real-time emergency information provided directly by social media users within the community.

Established social media networks are in widespread use and allow for the dissemination of data-rich, contextual multimedia including narrative, photos, and videos. Therefore, by incorporating social media into their communications strategies, public safety organizations can leverage the power of these popular information-sharing technologies to enhance their efforts through all phases of an emergency. The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of current and innovative social media strategies used by public safety organizations to engage interactively with the public during all phases of emergency situations.

Facebook

According to my research Facebook has more users than other social media platforms like twitter and google plus.

How to use Facebook for humanitarian aid and emergency response

  • Facebook pages can be used to provide updates, collect and respond to questions, and direct people to the division website as the primary online source for official information.
  • Subscribers can also use the platform to pass their complains, suggestions, alerts, comments among others
  • Chatbots – Chatbots present interesting new potential for NGOs to reach and engage Refugees and missions. Facebook messenger bots specifically present one of the brightest areas for easy interactions, easy reporting of crisis among others
  • Survey Bots – this acts as a surveillance application which provides simple platform for short surveys and analysis. Distribute your surveys to your respondents in Facebook with Campaigns. Create campaigns to send surveys to your subscribers over Messenger, distribute your surveys with Facebook posts that auto start your survey when someone comments on your post. And target respondents with Facebook Ads to maximise your research.

References

https://surveybot.io/

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/blog/2010/jul/22/facebook-countries-population-use

https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Social-Media-EM_0913-508_0.pdf

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