As if to offer a new wake-up call for those who STILL doubt the power of social media, today’s earthquake on the eastern coast of the United States set the social media landscape on fire as thousands, nay-tens of thousands-of Tweets, Facebook updates and blogs poured onto the Internet within minutes of the event. People were Tweeting from Washington D.C., posting photos of themselves with pieces broken off the National Cathedral; from Canada, expressing shock that they felt the same quake the people south-of-the-border did; from Chicago where they posted Facebook updates that they hoped the rattle wouldn’t delay their train ride home from work.
Shake, Rattle and Tweet
Social media has proven itself indispensable as a communication tool, especially in times of crisis. Social media puts people in touch with each other like no other communication tool before it. Millions of conversations happening every minute of every day about topical, intimate and important life-details.
This is the same tool YOU could be using to promote your business.
Not everyone GETS the importance of social media, however. In fact, some major industry players are still dragging their feet when it comes to fully integrating social media marketing into their business plans. The print news industry is one example of this reluctance.
On the flip side of that coin are local television affiliates that have embraced social media marketing and have seen the positive results on their bottom line.
The question you need to ask yourself is: Will it take another natural disaster to convince you of the importance of social media, or has the earth moved enough?
When the ground starts shaking, the tweets pour in.
The 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck near Washington, D.C., at 1:51 p.m. caused a rumble across the East Coast and within the social media realm. Within seconds, people took to Twitter for confirmation.
“Anyone else not notice/feel anything at all? #earthquake #NYC,” user @davetisch tweeted.
Twitter streams filled with a range of #earthquake Tweets — everything from 140-character messages about rumbling buildings to shaky humor.
“I don’t remember being *this* bad at Jenga,” @bazecraze quipped.
Trending topics included “5.8” and “Earthquake in DC” and “FELT IT.” Twitter held up under the deluge — its famous Fail Whale never appeared — but its network slowed slightly. Five minutes after the quake hit, Twitter’s average response time doubled from 2.16 seconds to 4.17 seconds, according to monitoring site AlertSite.
As tweets poured in, thousands of Foursquare users checked in to an event created specifically for the earthquake called “Earthquakepocalypse,” which became the location-based social network’s fastest venue to hit 10,000 check-ins.
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