Social media has become an integral part of people’s lives and many expect to find the latest information on social channels after a disaster happens. Red Cross and Red Crescent societies from around the world have found unique ways to use these tools to fulfill their mission. From rallying followers to donate blood to providing critical information after an earthquake, see how social media is being used for good around the globe.
Kenya Red Cross – Monitoring to Provide Lifesaving Blood
The Kenya Red Cross actively monitors social media to find out about road accidents and send ambulances to those locations. As Kenyans quickly learned that the Red Cross could be relied on to respond quickly on social media, they’ve started to actively inform them through Facebook and Twitter about incidents. Red Cross teams found that following up on questions and updating the public about evolving situations were some of their most important activities because their responses could help reduce anxiety, stop misinformation and solicit support from the public when needed. Follow the Kenya Red Cross on Facebook and Twitter.
— Kenya Red Cross (@KenyaRedCross) August 2, 2017
Using Facebook Live to Give Practical Advice and Respond to Questions in New Zealand
After an earthquake damaged water and sewage pipes in New Zealand, the Red Cross used Facebook Live to show how water can easily be made potable, how to do the dishes without pouring water down the drain and how to take a bucket bath. Facebook users were able to ask questions during the broadcast and the videos could also be viewed after the Facebook Live event ended.
Philippine Red Cross – #ALDUBRedCross
Philippine Red Cross is one of the leaders in using social media to fulfill their humanitarian mission. In October 2015, the hashtag #ALDUBRedCross was used almost half a million times to spread the word about their blood donation campaign on Twitter. The Red Cross used online influencers (including bloggers, fans and celebrities) to spread their message far and wide. The blood drive resulted in enough blood for 195 patients. Follow the Philippine Red Cross on Facebook and Twitter.
Frequently Asked Questions After the Ecuador Earthquake
When an earthquake hit Ecuador in April 2016, many people turned to the Ecuadorian Red Cross for help. Immediately following the earthquake, the Red Cross saw up to 200 messages per hour via their social media accounts. While many of the questions were identical—like how the Red Cross can help find relatives or where blood can be donated—they created a page on their website and a micro-site with the most frequently asked questions. Together, the website and micro-site were visited more than 200,000 times. In addition, team members shared proactive information on their platforms following aftershocks, providing disaster preparedness information and tips on what to do in case of an emergency. Follow the Ecuadorian Red Cross on Facebook and Twitter.
Instagram Takeover by Staff in the Field: International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has given the keys to its Instagram account to staff members around the world. Teams are posting photos and stories about life in places like Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Gaza, Myanmar, and more. They’re sharing glimpses of everyday life, including humanitarian needs, beautiful landscapes, and even tips on local food. Follow ICRC on Instagram