The Use Of Social Media In A Crisis Situation Com105 Assignment

1660 words - 7 pages

Today, globalization and technological advances have strong influences on the development of the community, especially in the communication process. The explosion of the social media in recent years have affected the way how people communicate with others on many levels; between people and people, business and customer, government and citizen. The term “social media” can be referred to Internet-based applications where users can create, share and interact with the online content and make online relationships with other users (Osterrieder 2013). With the numerous members using social network sites every day, it is likely that the social media now is an essential part of daily communication. And demand for exchanging information during crises by using this online platform is even higher than usual (Jin et al. 2014). Depend on the purposes of users; social media could be used in positive or negative ways in a crisis situation. In the perspective of informing the information, social media is an effective communication tool that let the public know the real-time status of crises. Besides that, getting the supports and contribution from the online communities is a good way to deal with the unexpected scenario. However, misinformation could happen where there is a lack of authorization and control over the sources of information on social media. The aim of this essay is to critically analyze the use of social media in different contexts to see whether or not social media should be a part of business communication plan
With the huge online communities, social media help people receive and track information about an incident worldwide in seconds. When compares to the traditional media likes newspaper, TV, the online platforms of communication such as Youtube, Facebook tend to update the information about a crisis situation more quickly. The development of social network sites enables people to interact with others within the shortest possible time (Baruah 2012). By using smartphones, eyewitnesses who involve in a crisis can instantly post the content, and they can even live stream the scene of the incident so that a person from far away can also know exactly what just happened a few seconds ago. For instance during the cyclone Yasi in Queensland in January 2011, millions of people logged on to Facebook just in a few days to post messages and to check out updates about the cyclone (Taylor at el. 2012). When an emergency situation take places on a large scale; it may consist of many incidents, the significant amount of crisis-related information is posted on social network sites in short period makes it possible to the community not only receive real-time information but also get enough sources of data to get the big picture of the crisis (Pohl at el. 2015).

Besides enabling people to interact and get the information quickly, social platforms could be utilized as a tool to raise the contributions and supports from the crowd toward a crisis situation. As...

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