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Four ways BC/DR professionals can use social media

SocialMedia 4In other posts in this series, we’ve explored both monitoring and managing social media risk, and we’ve taken a closer look at both social media in crisis management and emergency notification.

Throughout, it has been clear that, although social media brings with it attendant risk, there are just as many rewards for the BC/DR professional.

Here are four ways to use social media as part of a progressive program.

1. Situational awareness

More and more organizations are using social media to understand the lay of the land. Whether during Sandy-style natural disasters or in the wake of unfortunate acts of terror—such as the Boston bombing or, more recently, the Charlie Hebdo incidents in France—the value of gathering evidence from social media posts has been proven multiple times.

Keep in mind, however, that you need to approach the exercise with a healthy dose of skepticism. (Hurricane Sandy, in particular, spawned several faked photos.) Those caveats aside, verified information from the front could help you mitigate travel impacts on staff, protect employee safety, safeguard company assets, and even assess damage.

2. Community outreach

In the interest of being a good corporate citizen your organization may choose to offer resources during a crisis—for example, by offering access to a cooling center during a stifling heat wave. Social can provide an outlet for inviting those in need to take advantage of your generosity.

3. Local alerts

With the unfortunate rise of on-campus incidents, schools are starting to incorporate social media into lockdown plans. Organizations could use the same approach to quickly disseminate information across a multi-building worksite.

Even neighborhoods in crisis—or entire cities—could benefit from augmenting SMS and other channels with social.

4. Employee communications

Depending on a number of factors—for example, your organization’s policies, its size, and the C-suite’s comfort level—you might decide it’s appropriate to post certain information for employees on your social media channels. Many companies have experimented with the tactic; whether its right for you, however, is for your team to determine.

How will you use social media?

There’s no doubt that social is a double-edged sword for BC/DR professionals—immediate and enticing benefits on the one hand, and increased levels of risk on the other.

Planning and research can mean the difference between success and failure. If you’d like more reading to help you ensure the former and avoid the latter, download our free white paper, Social Media for the BC/DR Professional.

Looking for the best emergency notification system? Download the Automated Notification System RFP Template.