In a time of crisis, like the Haitian earthquakes, social media can be very useful. A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti and left the country in ruins.  All means of communication were destroyed so they relied on others to rally for support. Within moments the news of the disaster was on every social media outlet. Social media helps organizations reach more people for support and donations than they ever could alone.  But what is social media? It’s everything from Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, MySpace, Wikis and much more.

A big supporter of the crisis was The American Red Cross. They relied heavily on social media to gain support for the people affected by the earthquakes in Haiti. By the next day, The American Red Cross had set up a donation system where people could text “HAITI” to 90999.  Each text message would donate $10 to the crisis; they ended up raising more than $3 million.  To promote the text message system they advertised on Twitter, Facebook, and television commercials.

Many other influential figures, like celebrities and athletes, also helped spread the word and gain supporters through social media. Pierre Garcon, the Colts Wide Receiver, is from Haiti and used Twitter to help get donations.  Musicians and artist also joined forces to record a remake of the song “We are the World.”  All the proceeds went to Haiti relief.

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