Japan’s Earthquake and the Beauty of Social Media in Times of Crisis

  

When we think about the power of social media, we automatically think of its advertising and marketing advantages.  However, when natural catastrophes arise, such as tsunamis and earthquakes, the benefits of social media are just simply amazing.
Nowadays, people get real time access to events not from television but from social media channels such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Take for example the recent disaster in Japan, where social media was not limited to calls to action, but was ultimately a source of information. People rely more on tweets and blogs to share the latest updates, react to the situation and rally support. Facebook was one of the first channels where people learned about the situation and not from mainstream media.

Mobile lines were down for most of Japan that made getting hold of loved ones a difficult task to undertake. Google was quick to launch its extremely valuable Person Finder application to help people find each other in the wake of the devastating tsunami and earthquake.

Twitter, an online communication site, played an especially large role as it quickly filled with Japan-related information and ways to offer aid. Even the US State Department resorted to using Twitter to publish emergency numbers.

The American National Red Cross launched a campaign on Facebook to help the effected people of Japan Crisis.

Apple made it easy to donate with just a few clicks by providing a donation page on its iTunes tool.

The Japanese television broadcaster was streaming footage via iPhone applications to viewers on the other side of the world.

Truly, the world has changed forever with the birth of internet. Social media has become more than just a marketing tool and is instrumental in connecting people from around the world with Japan.

Because social media is cost effective and attracts huge attention from internet users, it has undeniably become a powerful venue for marketers and advertisers to create interest and profit. But at the same time, social media continue to pave way for people to reach out to another, send messages of goodwill and offer online donations. What a beautiful display of humanity!

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