Facebook To The Rescue

Social media for DR communications?

In an earlier article I addressed that one of the most crucial aspects of a disaster recovery plan is communications.  Communications as a whole is so vital most any solder can tell you the lack of effective communications can mean losing a battle.  Granted we are not at war within the borders of the United States but in a disaster the effect can be the same when it comes to safety.

Today a lot of people use some form of smart phone like the i-Phone or one of the Androids.    These phones can not only provide telephone communications, but email, text messages and have the ability to surf the web.  You see them everywhere you go.  All of which can play an important part in disaster recovery or DR.

Social media can play an important part in your DR communications

Facebook to the rescue in DR
Facebook to the rescue in DR

efforts.  On the web exists possibly the most popular social media website known and is growing like a weed.  If you haven’t guessed, it is Facebook.

One of the problems with Facebook is that people can and do post photos and sayings that are from questionable to borderline pornographic.  If an employee in your company is viewing something like that at work, you could stand a good chance of having a sexual harassment complaint and law suit filed against your company.

At the same time Facebook can be a great marketing and communications tool as well.  As for marketing on Facebook, that will remain as another matter for a later article.  We are going to address Facebook as a communications tool in DR.

To use Facebook as such is really child’s play.  You need to create an account with a “person’s name”.  In this case we will use Paula Personnel and for our purposes it will be the human resources department who handles the page.

Paula has all the employees added as friends so only they and no one else can see what is written on the timeline.  Personnel, or whoever is in charge of posting logs in as Paula using her email address and password and posts everything for the employees, errr ‘friends’ only.  All the public would see is the profile picture and top banner.  For added security those pictures can be of say a cute puppy and appear to have nothing to do with your business, if you desire.

In the event of a disaster or major storm the employees are instructed to routinely check the Facebook page for any updates.  And like I mentioned in the beginning with today’s smart phones that would not be much of a problem, provided they can access the internet.

I need to caution you that you make sure whatever you post is set for your “friends” list only.  Potential criminals could use that for their own advantage.  Or worse yet, the media.  So be very careful before you hit the ‘post’ button.

Twitter can also play a role in DR
Twitter can also play a role in DR

Twitter can have a minor role in DR communications as well.  But the big problem here is that when you send out a Tweet, everyone and I mean everyone can read it.  So what needs to be done is use that in conjunction with Facebook.

First Paula Personnel sets up a Twitter account.  Now all of the employees will have Twitter accounts and be followers of Paula.  In the event of a disaster or storm, Paula Tweets a cryptic message something like, “My Peeps come home”.  That could signify the employees to go to the Facebook page for any information.  But whatever is Tweeted must be very, very carefully written before it is sent out.

Social media can play an important role in DR communications if used properly and should be another tool in your arsenal.