Survey results released in August by the American Red Cross revealed some pretty high expectations for the public in terms of how quickly they expect a response during a disaster. This key finding really stood out: "For those who would post a request for help through social media, 39 percent of those polled online and 35 of those polled via telephone said they would expect help to arrive in less than one hour."
Obviously, we live in an information overload, immediate gratification environment when it comes to information, due in no small part to social media and the incredible wealth of online information we have at our disposal. More importantly, people are increasingly viewing social media as a viable means of getting emergency assistance.
At Memphis Light, Gas and Water, one thing we do is to regularly remind customers what they can and can't do through social media (i.e., reporting outages, emergencies, etc.). We also sign on and off every day on Facebook and Twitter, so that customers know when we're available to help answer questions. That helps, though more so during normal business operations than when we're in crisis mode.
How are you dealing with managing social media and meeting these lofty expectations?