Social Media Being Used To Help In The Wake Of Typhoon Haiyan
On November 8th what’s being called the largest super typhoon to make landfall tore through the Philippines. The storm, however, had been hitting the area for days previous to that. Typhoon Haiyan (also known as Typhoon Yolanda) is officially the second worst disaster to hit the area. But the call for help is going out around the globe, and a lot of it through social media.
Social media has been a driver in both the sharing of information about the super typhoon and a call for help and aid. Today, about 2 weeks since the storm entered the area, we explore how Typhoon Haiyan has been talked about through social media using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software.
We started our search from November 6th, when Typhoon Haiyan is reported to have entered the area around the Philippines and ran it through yesterday (November 20th). In that time we found “Philippines,” “Haiyan” and “Yolanda” had been mentioned 5.6 million times.
When we added in the more generic term of “typhoon” the number of mentions rose to 6.1 million. There has been 102,726 blog posts, 293,648 online news articles, 52,907 forum postings and 5,723,430 tweets so far.
The aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan has gotten the whole world talking. People around the globe are trying to share information about the destruction that happened, but also about how people can help from where ever they happen to be in the world. A look at where mentions are coming from shows that so many countries around the world have been significantly talking about the super typhoon’s damage. Below is a pie chart that shows where mentions across social channels have been originating from followed by a heat map of where tweets about Typhoon Haiyan have originated from.
Once again, Twitter seems to be playing a significant roll in the sharing of the latest news and ways that people can help during a disaster. When we looked at the types of tweets going out we found that 37% of the tweets were one off tweets of people talking about the super typhoon. From there though, 59% of the tweets found were retweets of some of those one off. Almost 60% of all the tweets about Typhoon Haiyan were people trying to share information. It’s actually quite incredible at how the service can be used to spread information quickly across the globe.
Of those retweets we found, the six most retweeted tweets were all about people trying to help. Say what you will about 1 Direction and Justin Bieber, but when it comes to spreading a message these people can help to get it done. They own the four most retweeted tweets about Typhoon Haiyan and all of them are about ways people can help (at least we assume that’s The Biebs has in mind).
Popstars aren’t the only way that people are trying to spread call for help. When we pulled up the top hashtags being used around talk of the typhoon the third most used is #TyphoonAid behind #Haiyan and #Philippines.
On top of all of this, certain organizations are running some of their own campaigns to help. One that came across our radar the other day was people who were donating their selfie pics that day to helping spread awareness for aid from Unicef. It’s a cute idea that helps to spread the word as most people are dawn to looking at pictures. Using the clever hashtag #unselfie for this camaign, we were able to already find almost 2,000 instagram pics using the tag. Over on Twitter, we found that over 5,000 tweets contained the hashtag, most of which contained pictures. It’s a great easy way for people to do something they’d likely do everyday (take a selfie) and turn it into something charitable and helpful.
Are using social media to help or seen someone or group that is? Tell us about it in the comments.