But on Tues., Jan 28, Hotlanta became Snow Jam 2014, with commuters stranded for hours, people sleeping in CVS stores and children stuck on school buses across the city.
Coming to the rescue was Michelle Sollicito, a Marietta, Ga. mom and technology contractor, who was trying to help a friend’s husband get in touch with others in the area for help. Minutes later, SnowedOut Atlanta had thousands of members and was used to help people with food, shelter and safety.
“Wow! Is this a dream?” Sollicito posted on her personal Facebook page, along with a link to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution story about how her SnowedOut Atlanta page snowballed into 50,000 members and a social media phenomenon.
In a previous story, a guy being interviewed said her Facebook page did more to help people stranded than all the government officials. “She has done more for our city than any official,” Scott Wise of Marietta said.
Which shows the power of social media in a crisis.
While the jury is still out on how Facebook can benefit business, it is clear it is an important vehicle to connect people to each other. Posted one reader: “Michelle your post saved me! I found generous ladies that took me in..i was on road for 8 hours and finally had to give up after getting no where in that amount of time….THANK YOU and God Blessings are surely coming your way for your quick thinking and linking people together……”
A few lessons learned here:
- Anyone can create a Facebook page and it can lead to great things.
- Facebook is all about connecting people and can be used as a great crisis communications tool for disasters, accidents, snowstorms, etc.
- Facebook can actually be used for a good cause, rather than just a vehicle to promote a product.
- Connection is everything. We are still people and our desire to connect and help each other is stronger than anything else.
Tags: #Snowjam2014, crisis communications, Facebook