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  • Social Media : A Powerful Mass Notification Tool

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    Social Media is considered as the ultimate Mass Notification Tool. With changing times, methods and modes of notification and communication have also changed. Today, you will find the qwerty wolves lurking everywhere. RTs, shebang, RSS feeds, hashbang and emojis are the preferred weapons of choice. Social Media is making us aware of the impingement of thought, opinions and words.

    Each and every one of us has become a powerful observer of life. We have become more of a multi-national media agency, where the world demands our opinion. How did you rate a hotel, a restaurant, t-shirt that you just purchased online, a politician, even the travel guide who chatted you up or cracked some jokes on your hitch hiking, makes a difference. Go ahead, tweet, post a picture on Instagram, blog on Tumblr, update your status on Facebook, gossip over Whatsapp and share those thoughts on LinkedIn.

     

                      Popular Social Media Icons                        Image Courtesy - skapa.se

     

    With the advent of social media avenues, people have become more and more dependent on the ability to consume and share information as soon as the real-time events unfold. Both the businesses and the daily lives are affected by this incredible development. The challenging opportunity is to effectively harness the contiguity of a enterprise secured social medium to create a safer environment. Many enterprises are utilizing Emergency Notification System to utilize mass notification, emergency notification and everyday messaging. Undoubtedly, Social Media has emerged as a vital tool for data gathering, reporting, security planning, timely delivery of situational information across the globe via multiple sources. Social Media platforms makes it easier for the businesses, government organizations or individuals to share meaningful and useful information with huge audiences and have a prominent effect on the society and the environment.

     

    So what exactly the organizations are doing when they have to send their notifications across a large number of audience? They are increasingly using social media channels, in conjunction with the traditional modes of mass communication. They use it for everything, be it promotion, updation or even to mass notify their audiences about a severe security threat.

     

    Social Media Platforms Vs traditional Mass Notification Systems

    While majority of the mass notification system are only engrossed with pushing one unified message, social media enables the sender to efficiently and immediately monitor each and every conversation of the message or announcement. It also enables the listener or the receiver to cross question or reply to the announcement. Also, while utilizing some traditional emergency notification systems some questions are left unanswered as it doesn’t propagate any conversation. Many a times, when a traditional mass notification software or a technology is used, the receivers are bound to take the discussions further to the platforms like Facebook or twitter.

     

    Social Media quickly overtaking traditional Mass Notification System

    Twitter and Facebook integration into police investigations can be termed as the perfect example of social media, slowly but gradually becoming the most endorsed platform of communication. Almost all Police departments across US have a dedicated Twitter or Facebook page. These pages act like a notification system and are effectively used during emergency and for public engagements. Police Executive Research Forum, popularly known as PERF has released a 54 page long document “Social Media and Tactical Considerations for Law Enforcement” which showcase the multiple ways by which police is using social media.

     

                  

                       Senior Sergeant Michelle Plumpton checks the Tasmania Police Facebook page

                              (Picture: KIM EISZELE Image Courtesy: www.themercury.com.au)

     

    In case of emergencies, breaking news or outbreak of any natural calamity, the first reaction is not to turn on a TV; it is to check the Facebook or Twitter handle. Live example to this is the Facebook’s new “Safety Check” feature. Mark Zuckerberg himself announced Safety Check Notification service in the wake of devastating Nepal Earthquake.

     

    Perhaps the biggest catch of using the social media platforms as emergency notification systems is that it is capable to work to-and-fro. Not only can a police department or an organization use social media as a notification tool to alert the people but also the people can alert and transfer information to the police as well.

     

    Like a well-planned and executed social media promotion, emergency notification or mass emergency notification also requires collective team efforts. You must have seen a number of examples police, social security company, governments, NGOs using social media as an emergency notification system. How do you feel about it? Do you think that mass notification systems should streamline the prominent social media platforms into their programs?

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