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Sending out an S.O.S.

2 min read

Marketing Strategy

It’s often said that crisis brings out the best in people — I certainly think it brings out the best in Twitter. Users in Haiti are responding to a 7.0 earthquake by sharing first-hand accounts of the event and photos of the devastation.

It’s true that a journalist could have filed a report over the wire almost as quickly. But there are two distinct advantages here. First, the news coming in via Twitter is raw and uncensored. There are distinct advantages to having a seasoned reporter dig deep into a story, but for a large-scale event such as this, immediate, unvarnished reports really deepen the story’s impact.

Second, social news breaks the cycle of news paralysis. You know the feeling: You’re watching the news on TV and you see something terrible. You’d love to help, but you don’t know how. You feel powerless. With social news, users can find ways to reach out and respond to one another almost instantly. Suddenly the news doesn’t have to leave you feeling isolated and worried. It can be empowering. Better still, it can actually lead to some good.

I think from now on, when someone asks me what the point of Twitter is, I’ll point to this.

Has social media changed the way you respond to world events? How often do you turn to social networks to get breaking news?

Image credit, Tjanze, via iStock