The Power of Social Media

Today’s blog is brought to you by Mackenzie Spencer, Public Safety Marketing Manager.

We live in a “now” environment with everything so easily at our finger tips. You can get updates on news stories that are happening at that very moment, sent directly to the watch on your wrist. We are always connected anywhere we go. Social media is a big driving force behind this new “Now Nation” as it is the outlet to happenings all over the world and how we stay connected.

People typically use social media to stay connected with friends or people you have not seen in years, receive updates on the latest news, get the latest happenings around the community, get ideas for DIY projects or simply get recipe ideas.

As a Marketing professional, I understand the importance of using social media to engage with consumers through relevant content. Ideally, each of my followers will crave every post as if it were the best thing they have read all day.

As I am doing research to ensure I provide the best content within the Public Safety industry, many stories have pulled me back to the idea of how powerful social media is. Police departments are using social media in innovative ways to continue to protect and serve our community.

The Good

Fund raising for a cause has recently been flooding social media timelines to promote charities by reaching more people with every share, like or retweet. One story that recently caught my eye was a young boy that needed a kidney transplant; a Police Officer saw the post and is now the donor to help save the 8-year-old. Creating awareness is easier with social media.

The “Bad”

Catching the bad guys is made a little simpler when they are bragging on social media. Many incidences have been avoided by police monitoring gang affiliated social pages or receiving notifications of threats. Drug dealers have also been known to sell via social media using code words, which are easily identifiable and investigators can look into who a criminal is affiliated with to identify known associates.

The [not so] Ugly

Which brings me to the “not so ugly/ugly” side of social media. Social platforms give media outlets transparency to post stories as they are happing and subsequently allows viewers to receive that news instantaneously. When it comes to up to date traffic reports on an app to reroute your commute home, this is not so ugly. However, when a cellphone video is shared on social media of an active shooter in the first 10 minutes of a bank robbery, the full story may not have unraveled. Police Officers have frequently been in the media spotlight the moment something happens, without the entire story, this is so ugly.

Social media has the power to keep the entire globe connected, updated and in the know. I leave you with this: get connected to the right media sources, share the stories that could help someone and don’t believe every retweet.


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