For the business-minded, social media can seem like a giant waste of time. It’s hard to understand how websites that were developed specifically for “keeping in touch” can participate in the marketing world in a meaningful way. Facebook and Twitter are actually banned in many workplaces, so why would they be important for business?
At Emphasize Design, Facebook and Twitter are mandatory. Social media is an essential piece of the inbound marketing puzzle due to its ability to reach more people faster than any other medium. By taking the time to include social media marketing strategies in your ever day duties you create opportunity for conversation, and interaction on the Internet is always a good thing. Increase your presence on social media and you will increase your chance for leads.
Social Media and the Calgary Floods
By far the most applicable example recently of the power of social media came as a side effect of the terrible floods in Calgary and Alberta in June 2013. A great infographic detailing the Impact of Social Media on the Calgary Flood does an exceptional job pointing out how effective social media is at spreading information.
The June floods in Alberta began because of record levels of rain in the Rocky Mountains that ran down to fill Calgary’s largest river – the Bow – to more than three times its capacity. The Bow’s tributaries such as the Elbow and the Highwood Rivers also flooded at tremendous levels. The infographic follows the progress of the flood on Facebook and Twitter, and the depth of social media’s penetration into every single aspect of the events is remarkable.
Some facts and figures from social media and the Calgary floods as presented by Inbound Interactive:
- On Twitter, six main hashtags were used to identify flood information, and from June 18 to July 3, 2013 those hashtags were used in 857,000 tweets.
- The City of Calgary was retweeted 30,893 times.
- Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s post on his Facebook account asking residents of the communities of Mission, Elbow Park, Stanley Park, Roxboro, Rideau and Discovery Ridge was shared 4,906 times.
- When too many volunteers showed up at McMahon Stadium on the first day of clean-up, Mayor Nenshi’s Facebook shout-out to the people of Calgary earned 9,990 likes, 608 comments and 5,954 shares.
As Calgary’s regular media outlets struggled to keep up – one major radio station’s transmissions were diverted to Edmonton while they dealt with flooding in their building and power outages kept television reporters scrambling – social media trucked on. It was the quickest, most reliable way to get important details out to the public during a major emergency. When people wanted to know what was happening in their communities, they turned to Facebook and Twitter first.
Tune Up Your Social Media
The most backlash Facebook and Twitter ever receives is from managers tired of watching their employees procrastinate while snickering at their friend’s latest post or checking out what’s trending. Instead of taking away social media privileges, why not put those people to work? Have them assist you in your social media strategy!