Zeus of Marketing


Irene: The Hurricane that Wasn’t, Using Social Media to Dominate the “Airwaves”

August 28th, 2011

Not Gone with the Wind

Major social networks like Facebook  and Twitter  may have lost a big opportunity to position themselves as a truly unbiased and local source of information media network. Google + had no chance at this time due to its lack of critical mass activity. Facebook still fared well as the de facto leader. But, since neither network created a special application,  any company with a strong Facebook page fan following could have generated strong awareness and loyalty wins this weekend.  Let me explain, first by a schedule of what happened this weekend from a Manhattanite perspective:

Saturday, August 27, 2011:

Regular Media: 5:00 AM- 12:00PM Every broadcast and cable news network reporting about strict evacuation rules in the north east, particularly, NYC.

Social Media: 5:00 AM-12:00PM: Every Facebook (FB) friend posting on my wall, either telling me that things were not as bad as they appeared on tv, or asking me if I was still alive or having to evacuate my pre-war building in Manhattan Upper West Side (you should see some of my funny responses).

Regular Media 12:01PM-6:00PM: Every broadcast and cable news network reporting about how danger was still imminent in the north east.

Social Media 12:01PM-6:ooPM: Yours truly, spending an inordinate amount of time explaining to friends and family that everything was OK and that it was not even raining in NYC, also posting and in-boxing friends in North Carolina,  Long Island and Connecticut to ensure that they were all OK.

6:01PM-12:01AM IBID – More of the same, regular media being sensationalist, Social Media friends and acquaintances assuring each other that everything was OK and that media reports were greatly exaggerated. Even jokes started being cracked in statuses (unfortunately not appropriate for reproduction in this post)

Sunday August 28, 2011

Regular Media- All Day:  Every broadcast and cable news network trying to explain how important preparedness was and how every politician (including President Obama) was about to have a live press conference to pat themselves and their constituents in the back for a “crisis averted.”

Social Media- All Day: Sample of friends’ posts:

  • Elizabeth from Colorado: “I just love Facebook. It actually provided a more realistic update from my peeps in the east coast about Irene over any network, CNN or Weather Channel. Glad to know my peeps have survived. I know not to count full victory; since Boston and north are still dealing with it. Best to all!”
  • Linda from Long Island: “love facebook. As someone who was alone during the hurricane, it helped me feel as if my friends and family were right there with me… No kidding. This social networking thing is greater than just the socializing.”
  • Steven from Connecticut: “Everything OK in CT, intermittent power losses and some rain but family OK”
  • V from Fort Lee, NJ: “UPDATE: power is on, no broken trees, light drizzle, a little windy…..LIFE GOES ON !!!
  • J.R. from Manhattan: “Dear Mr/Ms [insert favorite politician here] stop using the Hurricane that wasn’t as a diversionary tactic and focus on solving the real issues”

Here’s the opportunity:
Now imagine if a national brand like Coca Cola or arch rival Pepsi, or maybe your own brand or existing regular media network, would have created a special application on their page with a map of the eastern seaboard where “fans” could click to find out the general sentiment of that part of the US regarding Irene’s effects. Tell me who would have scored MAJOR customer goodwill points?

I´ll end it here this week, I am sure you can use your creativity and imagination from here and take this suggestion to the next level. In the meantime, please remember that you can still help me with my “Mad” Social Media experiment (http://jrgrana.com/blog/?p=707)

Stay tuned for my next blog.  In the meantime, please share your thoughts below; I appreciate each and every one of your insightful comments, and I promise to pay extra attention to any opposing point of view. You can also contact me via email: zeus@jrgrana.com, Twitter: @zeusofmarketing and Facebook: Zeus of Marketing. You can also find additional contact information via LinkedIn:http://www.linkedin.com/in/jrgrana

 

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Entry Filed under: Case Studies,Social Media

  • Zeus

    Additional Social Media “coverage” of Irene http://tinyurl.com/3oy6vxz
    Who Was Behind @Irene? An Agency, Of Course.How a Staffer at Brooklyn-Based Shop Huge Became the Voice of a Hurricane


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