Everyone is aware of the disaster that shocked the world on 25th April 2015, when a massive earthquake hit Nepal and ruined everything.
Rescue work started on 26th April 2015, and social media platforms were used to locate people.
Various NGOs, Politicians, Brands and Citizens have joined hands to help victims of Nepal tragedy on 27th April 2015, as one integrated entity.
Many social media industry experts have joined hands and started a social media panel for disaster management on 29th April 2015. It is considered as India’s first social media panel and was created to spread awareness among citizens that they can help the victims through social media and the results were beyond belief. Here is a brief description as how social media experts have collaborated and started this social media panel.
On the very first day we were quite shocked to see how various brands are using this disastrous situation as an opportunity. They were using this condition which was not better than hell for marketing of their brands. The social media panel has decided to put their foot forward and make brand managers realize how insensitive they are?
Social media experts are well aware of the power of social media platforms therefore they have started using social media platforms for helping people in finding their loved ones and along with that they have also spread awareness by alerts and warnings to save lives of people. This shows that India’s social media panel had played a very important role in relief efforts and disaster management for those who are affected by this natural calamity.
When I studied deeply about it then, I came to know that how various social media platforms are being used to locate loved ones and also to find out which areas have got damaged due to the earthquake. Various social media platforms like Twitter, Google and Facebook have launched helpful services. People can use these helpful services to stay alert. The experts from every field are a part of this social media panel.
Experts from technology companies, digital department, brands, listening tools and NGOs were included in this panel. Few names of panel members are Apurva Chamaria (Head of Global Branding & Digital Marketing at HCL technologies), Kritarth Chhabra (Marketing Manager at Uber India), Rohan Vyavaharkar (Head of Communications at Twitter India), Bhupendra Khanal (CEO at Simplify 360) etc.
In order to reach maximum number of people the campaign started through the Facebook page, Twitter and mailers. They have donated INR 10 to Goonj India for each questions asked. And 20% of the day’s budget is sent for the help of earthquake victims.
The chat started at 4pm and some great questions were asked during the conversation. Brand Managers, IT professionals, Global Department heads and Citizens have given tremendously beautiful and thoughtful answers to the questions asked. Topics like channel funds, how to locate loved ones, brands participation were thoroughly discussed and panel had given all the answers to questions related to these topics. This question answer session proved very helpful in guiding people regarding Do’s and Don’ts at the time of social media disaster.
- Technology like ‘Facebook’s Mark Safe’ or ‘Google’s person finder’ should be used wisely.
- If you are a victim then, you must use social media to tell about your needs.
- Groups like @InCrisisRelief should be followed in order to help victims of disaster.
- Spread awareness in affected citizens about the areas which should be avoided.
- Social media platforms should be used to warn citizens regarding natural disaster if government fined any clue of those.
- Rumors should not be spread about disaster on social media platforms.
- Tragedies should not be treated as an opportunity to enhance sales.
- Unnecessary panic should not be created via social media.
Results of the efforts
The conversation for #SocialMediaRelief ended up at 5pm IST and was very successful and informatory. The panel answered all the relevant questions. The social media panel has spread awareness in about 1 million citizens regarding the steps which should be taken during any natural disaster. More than 169 people have participated in the chat and which results in 510 posts on social media and 3.5 million impressions.
This campaign had not only spread awareness in India or Nepal but also covered UK, Australia and America. Now all the countries are aware of the steps which should be taken to help victims in Nepal via social media.