How to Use Twitter During a Weather Emergency

Snow is usually a foreign concept down South; however, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi got a taste of a true winter when Storm Kronos recently blew through. For our friends in the North, a few inches of snow may seem like no big deal, but in these warm states, it can be deadly. Southerners have little experience with driving in icy conditions, which tends to cause a lot of accidents on major roadways.

Since the storm made its appearance, many business have closed or delayed their openings, and some have taken to Twitter to give their employees and customers instant updates. While Twitter is a fast and easy way to notify and respond to your staff about weather emergencies, there are a few tips you should follow.

Provide Constant Updates

Local news stations will fervently update and respond to tweets about school districts, highways and other roadways, but your employees will need to know specific details about delays/closures at your business. If you say your company will make Twitter updates and doesn't follow through, you're leaving your staff in the dark. Decide ahead of time who will update the Twitter account and prepare a backup tweeter if the main social media guru can't access the Internet.

Reply in a Timely Manner

When your employees take to Twitter to find weather updates, it's likely because the weather channel and radio are not updating quickly enough or are not mentioning your company. If your employees have questions about delays or closures, a response from the company is going to be their most reliable source of information. It's inefficient to have everyone updated through the phone tree, so having someone on Twitter to answer questions is imperative. Try to reply to tweets quickly so your employees have time to make special arrangements for traveling, childcare, etc. on the day of a weather emergency.

Provide a Link With More Information If Possible

After the Moore, OK tornado, the Red Cross social media team was constantly providing updates and replying to tweets about the situation. They also provided links to websites where people could donate, receive updates and get more information about safe shelter.

Since Twitter is limited to 140 characters, it's best to provide a link with more information. It doesn't have to be a company-specific link, just one that is more in-depth than your tweet. Providing additional details will give your employees a better idea of how serious the situation is and provide them with peace of mind as well.

For more information about what to do during weather emergencies, check out our "What to do When..." blog posts.

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