FEMA gets a Facebook
Finding a way for your organization, company or brand to successfully enter the world of social media can be tricky. I have known many organizations to deliberate for months before starting a Facebook or Twitter page in their name. And, to be honest, thinking it through before taking the plunge isn’t a bad idea. As community managers for a number of brands, we always encourage our clients to “know their audience” before starting a page. Too often, information is blasted out with the hope that someone will find it interesting and/or relevant – but if the content doesn’t match up with an audience’s interests, it will more than likely fall on deaf ears.
I recently came across an interesting article from the Herald-Tribune about how the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is using Facebook and Twitter to reach coastal residents in a non-traditional way – and, so far, it seems to be working really well. As of June 1 (the start of hurricane season), FEMA is using its social media platforms to update followers on tropical weather conditions in an effort to better prepare them for severe weather.
In my opinion, this quote from FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate shows great insight from FEMA’s team: “Rather than trying to convince the public to adjust to the way we at FEMA communicate, we must adapt to the way the public communicates by leveraging the tools that people use on a daily basis.”
What do you think – is FEMA on the right track? Have you seen any other companies start to use social media channels in more non-traditional ways?