Here are 8 tips for businesses who are dealing with the aftermath of a disaster or ensuring that they are prepared for them:
1) Plan and test your social media strategy — Know how you will utilize social media if a disaster was to impact your organization and make a plan for it’s monitoring and it’s use.
2) Keep information up to date — It is essential that information is regularly updated and updated quickly in disaster situations. Ensure that you have plans in place to get content up quickly and smoothly.
3) Monitor your social media — Set up your means for monitoring social media. If you are working in a disaster area, set up searches to monitor discussion on the disaster. If the disaster is impacting a specific region, location based monitoring of a geographic area can be extremely useful in seeing the online chatter coming out of that area.
4) Respond to issues, not matter how small they may seem — People who are not directly affected by a disaster versus those going through the trauma of a crisis are going to have different needs that have to be met. It is up to you to understand who your audience is and how you can help deliver their needs before the time arises.
5) Be vigilant about the accuracy of information and correct mistakes — Mistakes in disaster situations can often be the meaning between life and death, make sure that mistakes are quickly corrected.
6) Don’t assume that just because something is online, that everyone has seen it and understood it — Don’t just rely on social media, your communications plan must try to reach people using a number of different tools and tactics. In many cases, choosing to use just one social media platform is not enough.
7) Remember that sometimes the best way to help someone is offline not online — Although this post has a focus on the importance of social media, we cannot forget that human contact is one of the best ways of helping someone. Taking things offline wherever possible will sometimes be necessary.