London 2012 was proclaimed to be the first ever ‘Social Media Olympics’, with athletes, broadcasters and spectators all using social networks to get their message across and opinions heard.
What this highlights, albeit through a major global event, is the growing impact of Twitter as a means to communicate directly with individuals and audiences, bypassing traditional media altogether.
It struck me that there have been a few instances in recent months of this in action locally too.
Likewise, when there was a gas explosion in Jersey in July, Jersey Gas were quick to create a Twitter account for the sole purpose of keeping its broad range of stakeholders up to date of what was going on. It turned out to be an excellent way to quickly keep the media and the general public informed of a constantly changing, and potentially dangerous, situation, where public information such as evacuation zones and school evacuations were important.
These broad examples of the use of social media all demonstrate the use of Twitter as a means for individuals, organisations and businesses to directly and successfully engage with audiences that are of most interest to them – and quickly. Whether in a crisis, to address a situation quickly or to engage in live events, Twitter can be an extremely useful tool.
If they haven’t already, businesses would do well to consider how they might use Twitter to their advantage if the situation arose. The chances are, when that situation does arise out of the blue, the rest of Twitter might well be talking about you already, and by then it might be too late to keep it under control.
For more about Twitter, see the latest results from the Crystal PR IFC Media Tweet-dex.