#Twittercane #Sandy: Closing Businesses or Opening Doors

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for last couple of days and weeks, you’ve probably heard about hurricane Sandy slamming the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.  Besides taking over all major news headlines, this twister is getting some serious coverage on all major social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (for great coverage on the buzz of #Sandy see my colleague’s post). It’s even been coined the first ‘Twittercane’ in history.

Here are some good, and one not so good, examples on how #Frankenstorm is affecting the country.


Online Business Controversy

Here’s a good example how NOT to use social media during a crisis.

I seem to remember a saying that goes something like “when life gets tough, go shopping.” With Sandy all but washing out the pre-Halloween shopping experience, some retail brands attempted to capitalize on Sandy. It’s not often that consumers are so captivated in their homes, with almost nothing to do. Right? Wrong!

(thanks Scott Stratten @unmarketing for picking up on this)

A few retailer ads during Hurricane Sandy


Apparently companies pushed the envelope a bit too far by trying to capitalize on the natural disaster.

This was a poor effort to enjoy an early version of Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) pre-holiday season sales event.


Campaigning Time Out

At a time of natural disaster, politicians are supposed to put aside their differences, right? But with one week to Election Day, this is critical campaigning time. So what are President Obama and Mitt Romney to do? Both candidates decided to use the relief effort as a means to highlight their sensitive side and crisis management skills.

President Obama and Mitt Romney during Hurricane Sandy

With all of the pre-Election Day hype, I think Sandy may have buffered some voters from the last minute storm of last minute campaign efforts.




Thank you, Sandy!


Couch Surfing Creativity

Sandy has given employees two free vacation days. With all this free time on their hands, people have let their creative juices flow. On Monday, a wave of doctored Hurricane Sandy photos flooded the internet. Unique to these faux photos are their humor and creative use of famous sites, landmarks and movie scenes with a bit of a Sandy twist.


Lady Liberty Photo Credit to @jgpmolloy

In addition to playing with photos, some have decided to add some humor to the presidential campaign.

Followers of @mittstormtips has boosted since #Sandy started and visits to Mitt-Flip Flops has seen a rush of visitors.



Apparently, a little light humor is just what the doctor ordered during these harrowing times.


The Real Social Power

With residents all over the region localized and power outages on the rise, one major outcome from this hurricane has been the increase of real, live interactions. My Twitter and Facebook feed have been overwhelmed with Sandy soirées and gatherings organized to help bring friends and family together during the storm.



So while #twittercane #sandy and has created a social media frenzy online, and without minimizing the physical damage,  it seems that #frankenstorm may have also yielded some positive human interactions as well as online ones.

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