1.3 A Weather-Ready Nation Success Story in Social Media Engagement: #SafePlaceSelfie

Monday, 8 January 2018: 9:15 AM
Ballroom E (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Douglas Hilderbrand, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and T. Boucher, M. Barry, and C. Pieper

A well-known challenge with assessing the success of social media safety campaigns is confirming that the messaging resulted in tangible actions. While individual posts or tweets can be measured by how many likes or retweets they have received, these numbers do not directly correlate with the same number of people taking the suggested actions; Often the actions stop at the mouse-click.

So how do we approach a social media campaign in a way to drive the such actions? Keeping the actions simple, and most importantly, social. If we boil down severe weather preparedness down to the most fundamental action, it is to seek shelter in a safe place that is appropriate for the specific threat. So if we combine this simple action with a popular social media trend like taking selfie photos, we can create a campaign that encourages the desired preparedness action while making it fun and engaging for the public. Further, getting individuals to take one preparedness action may increase the likelihood of taking other preparedness actions as well.

Over the last two years, the National Weather Service, in collaboration with its Weather-Ready Nation Ambassadors, has seen overwhelming success with their #SafePlaceSelfie hashtag campaign on social media. In fact, many members of the public have sent posts with the hashtag while seeking shelter during active tornado warning situations. This shows actual evidence that the campaign has indeed achieved its goal of influencing actions taken by members of the public and helping build a Weather-Ready Nation for all.

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