State and local governments are increasingly leveraging social media to engage with their citizens. Why? Because it’s free, and huge numbers of citizens already have accounts. Governments can have transparent interactions with their citizens as a way to build trust, relay important information quickly and promote events. In the event of a disaster, social media can be the best, or only, way to communicate.
During Hurricane Sandy, the world got a glimpse of just how powerful social media can be during a crisis. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey used Twitter to warn residents in high-risk areas to evacuate. Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York let people know about recovery efforts. Governors from Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania also used social media to keep their residents informed.