Return on Investment: How much did it cost to implement these activities? How do your results above compare to this investment?:
Once the initial set up was complete on our social accounts, time was, and is, the only cost. Several times a day, feeds are checked, looking for timely, seasonal content to share, tweak, or re-tweet. Once a post is uploaded, the text and photo can quickly be copied to the blog. We also use newspaper, radio, and speaking engagements, to share our social media platforms.
When a disaster hits, larger counties have an established EOC with computers, laptops, white boards, and phones. Emergency managers are dependent on those items to communicate with the State, incident command, rescue crews, and the citizens who depend on us. We are a small rural county looking to expand our communication systems, in order to have a stronger impact on our community in times of crisis.
This is an ongoing process and the results are measurable every day. New subscribers we attain through shares, re-tweets, and word of mouth are increasing. The investment we have in social media is an investment in our county’s future. Posting content each day, keeps us familiar, like a neighbor. It brings them into the fold, so if a disaster hits, the relationships are there.
What are the main factors needed to successfully replicate this solution elsewhere?:
One main factor is an audience, and they already exist. Sixty-seven percent of Americans use social media, and the average internet user has two or more social accounts. Eighty percent of internet users own a smartphone and an estimated 75 million check their social networks up to 14 times a day. In 2014, Facebook had 1.35 billion monthly active users, Instagram 300 million, Twitter 232 million, and Pinterest had 2.5 billion monthly pageviews. http://www.pinterest.com/nortoncountyem/ Nextdoor, which was launched in 2010, had over 45,000 neighborhoods signed up, along with 350 agencies in 250 cities.
Emergency management personnel have the other tools necessary, such as a desktop or laptop computer, tablet or smart phone. Building a social media strategy is key to the success. Once the goals and objectives are established, the next step is choosing which social media outlets will fit the audience. Basic social media knowledge is helpful, such as learning the ins and outs of the sites used. Larger organizations can share in the postings and tweetings of messages, photos, and videos by delegating the job to several employees. Smaller organizations, even a one-person office, can easily keep the social conversation going. It is just a matter of time.