Social Media And Websites Survive The #abflood

Social media and websites survive the #abflood and every other disaster that comes their way.

The pictures on Facebook and the tweets on Twitter remain, the history of the hashtag created for the event is still there five years later. The websites, the YouTube videos, the shares on Google+, the blogs, and the posts on LinkedIn are there. A couple years ago after fires ravaged Slave Lake a client wanted to know about how they could contact people in the area to start offering aid when all the phone lines were down. Simple. The websites are still up after the disaster. The social media sites are all still intact. The same is true for downtown Calgary right now as well as High River and US states devastated by last years hurricanes and tornadoes.

Businesses that did volume from sales online may still be making sales after a great catastrophe depending on where they are sending their product from. Websites and social media sites as well as records kept on the cloud are still safe. Today this is a method of diversification that was not available to the common man in times past.

This last week lives were saved during abflood because of social media.

People saw the postings coming in from Canmore, Turner Valley, Black Diamond and Bragg Creek and they got out of the way! News feeds from the CBC and CTV and many others kept people up-to-date minute by minute. Hashtags #abflood and #yycflood had thousands of individuals following the progression of the water and the crisis coming. Calgary responded in record time and there was very little loss of life. Isn’t it amazing? What a world we live in today!

Social media assists in abflood recovery.

Now after the flood the enormous work of cleanup is going on. Once again social media is sending out the messages and coordinating the efforts. Every few minutes I am seeing messages go across Facebook and people are answering our tweets and messages are landing in our email and LinkedIn inboxes. Our client the CIBN has been using social media to put volunteers together with the downtown businesses that need them and has added pages to their website offering tax write offs to those that help out. None of this speed and access would have been possible a few years ago. People talk about how these things have invaded our lives and to a large extent they have, but they do offer benefits for fast response and crisis interaction that we never had before.

If this #abflood disaster had happened even ten years ago the Calgary Stampede would have been immediately cancelled. There would have been no way to coordinate the huge effort of people to get things done in time. Today the feat seams possible because people can be brought together quickly. Resources can be pooled and experts can be found at lightning speed. Mayor Nenshi is no stranger to using Twitter and other online tools so the Calgary Stampede 101 Come Hell Or High Water initiative was born and moved forward quickly. He was able to draw upon the websites, the Twitter following, the hashtags and more to accomplish a miraculous project in a legendary time table because of the work that was done before the #abflood. What if he had no website? What if he had no Twitter following? What if there was no Facebook page?

An old proverb tells us not to put our wealth into things that depreciate but to store it up where moths can’t destroy it. Websites and social media don’t float away and they don’t burn up! Moths and plague won’t get them either. Invest in these things because it not only defines who you are as a person and a company, it also lasts in a place that is outside of the natural disaster zone.

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5 Responses to “Social Media And Websites Survive The #abflood”
  1. Ruth Wright says:

    The ability for the organizers to use Social Media has helped so much to get the word out about the up to the minute state of affairs and also to enable those who looked for those messages to respond to specific instructions, (such as do not travel the the downtown core) or to take action to help with specific needs with clean up to help in recovery efforts. Sometimes an individual may have been unable to help in a physical way, however knowing specific needs of others could enable those who believe in God to pray for those specific needs therby bringing supernatural help to aid in the recovery efforts too. I for one am very glad the Stampede did go ahead despite the high water, the Stampede is so crucial to so many Calgray and area businesses, and the opportunity to celebrate with each other at BBQs and pancake breakfasts, too.

    • admin says:

      I agree Ruth, it was amazing to see volunteers quickly put together for projects downtown and at the Stampede Grounds. The Greatest Show On Earth could not have gone on if it were not for Twitter and Facebook. Besides all of the volunteers that were brought in for the work it also got the word out to the public that everything was safe and that things were being done. We could watch YouTube videos about the progress and see stage by stage on Twitter what was happening. It really was miraculous! 10 years ago before the popularity of websites and social media they would have had no choice but to cancel.

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  3. I slag Facebook all the time. I have a difficult time justifying the marketing expense in business to hire staff to manage online social medial campaigns. It’s got a bad ROI…

    BUT!!!! It’s amazing how Calgary banded together in support of their neighbors. I’m absolutely certain that Facebook and Twitter had lot’s to do with this. A true hats-of to the sense of community catalyzed through social media.

    Great article and well timed highlight of the true benefits of social media. I’m still not sure, however, how well that Facebook stock will hold up, long term.

    Cheers! Kersten – Calgary marketing web strategist

    • admin says:

      Thanks for the comments Kersten. I didn’t used to like Facebook either but a few weeks back I did a simple campaign and got some amazing results. 40,000 impressions and almost half from Calgary, but the most impressive part was that the phone rang 8 times. That is where the rubber meets the road. How many times did the phone ring? Can you convert it into a sale?

      In the past we only promoted Facebook as a place to get an extra page of credibility. We used it to be sure that all social media real estate was properly occupied. Lately though the search engine got better and that has helped us target some specific markets for clients. Still we do use one on one conversation over adds 10 to 1 in all campaigns. Conversation is better engagement than advertising any day of the week.

      Twitter though is an interesting animal. Tonight I posted a need for a specific client on behalf of one of my clients and within an hour we had a private message on Twitter asking us for an appointment. Nice…

      It obviously doesn’t work like that all the time though. Numbers of followers needs to be higher than 1000 and they need to be in the right target market and location. Those things take some skill to acquire organically.

      I appreciate your answer. Have a great week!

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