LastQuake social media interactions with users


EMSC implemented a system to automatically publish the five safety tips on Twitter when a potentially damaging earthquake hit. EMSC Twitter account, @LastQuake, has reached a total of over 70 000 followers in 2018. Between 15 February 2017 and 30 May 2018, 18 earthquakes triggered a Twitter publication. Data are presented in Annex 4 (see source document for full reference). Thanks to this publication, EMSC has reached 265 995 Twitter users. When posting safety tips after such earthquakes, not only affected people are advised about good behaviour to adopt, but also people who feel concerned about the disaster. On average each tweet containing the safety tips was retweeted 21 times and liked 23 times while 33 users would click on the picture to enlarge it. Data suggest that almost 5% of the users who saw the safety tips on their Twitter feed took an action (such as sharing, clicking or liking). This engagement rate varies significantly. However more conclusive data would be needed to find a cause of these variations. Indeed it appears not to be correlated with the magnitude or with the region where the earthquake occurred. However, data do not give any information on the location of the users. The engagement rate of users in the affected region would be a better indicator. All data should also be considered in light of the cultural use of Twitter in the region. Indeed, even though Twitter has proven to be helpful during disasters (Bruns et al., 2012; Cooper et al., 2015), it remains a rather confidential social media. In 2013, Twitter world penetration rate was only of 4% with significant variations between countries. As an example it was of 33% in Saudi Arabia, 14% in Spain or 11% in the United States . Results also show different use depending on social class, gender or age (Schwartz et al., 2013; Blank, 2016). This is further detailed in D3.1. However, it seems that the publication of safety tips on Twitter have been perceived as useful. For instance, after a destructive 7.1 earthquake in Mexico on September 2017, the safety tips were retweeted 102 times and liked by 82 users. This is the event with the higher number of reactions to the safety tips. It cannot be attributed to a specific use of the social network in Mexico. In 2016, 7% of the Mexicans were Twitter users. However, the damages, casualties and generated fear combined with lacks in the risk prevention could explain a higher need for safety tips.

Note: See source document for full reference.

Applicable to: