Staying social in emergency events

Article image - Staying social in emergency events Examples of the Shire’s Instagrm posts.

The Shire of Esperance in Western Australia is strengthening community relationships and providing safety information through the use of social media.

During the recent flooding in Esperance, Facebook became a primary source of safety information and was easily accessible by people from different devices.

The Facebook page gained more than 250 likes during this time.
Page views were up more than 1000 per cent and posts were reaching between 16,000 and 24,000 people a day over the week Esperance was affected by flooding.

This activity was similar to the social media activity during the bushfires experienced in the Shire in 2015.

“The ability to be able to use a platform to quickly get information out to the public in a time of need is vital.

“It has been good to hear feedback from the community in this way, and see our posts shared to raise awareness,” said Shire of Esperance President Victoria Brown.

Currently the Shire has more than 5000 page likes on Facebook with posts reaching on average four thousand people.

The Shire’s Twitter has nearly 400 followers, and both accounts average about two posts a day.

The greatest single post reach was more than 24,000, which included images of flooding over roads and advising the public of road closures.

Recently the Shire launched an Instagram account as another stream to connect with the community.

Currently the Instagram account has more than 150 followers and this account reaches a different type of audience to Facebook and Twitter, providing another way to get information out to as many people as possible.

The Instagram account was launched with the Edge of the Bay event in early December 2016, which opened The Shire of Esperance’s new skate park.

After this event the Shire launched a competition inviting the public to share their photos including the hashtags #EdgeoftheBay #EsperanceWA and @shireofesperance in the caption.

“It has been fantastic to see a positive response from the Esperance community on social media.

“While we recognise not everyone uses social media it has proven to be yet another point of contact and a way to quickly get out information that people can share,” Cr Brown said.