As Hurricane Sandy approached the US in October last year hundreds of thousands of people used social media networks like Facebook and Twitter to keep abreast of the storm. When the dust settled, people turned to those networks again to follow recovery efforts and find out transport information.
At the second day of social media week in New York on Wednesday representatives from Con Edison, MTA and JetBlue gathered to discuss their interactions with people through the storm and how that had changed their practices after Sandy moved on.
Michael Clendenin, director of media relations at Con Edison, said the @ConEdison Twitter handle that the company had only set up in June gained an extra 16,000 followers over the storm. Clendenin said the 25 videos Con Ed posted during the few days before and after the storm were viewed more than 100,000 times, while the images it posted to Flickr got 140,000 hits.
Aaron Donovan, media liaison at the MTA, said the agency had focussed on Twitter, Flickr and YouTube in its Sandy response, but noted that “Twitter had the broadest pick up in a very immediate way”.
Thursday is the last day of Social Media Week, which is taking place in cities around the globe. The New York event is supported by the Guardian.