The start to this decade has been anything but perfect. Safe to say that 2020 has been a true horror story. The most surreal part of it is the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Pandemic has affected more than 90% of the countries. News channels, social media, newspapers are abuzz with news of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Many Individuals have sorted to spread awareness about the Pandemic on twitter.
As you might know, twitter is a micro-blogging site that is extensively used. There are around 350 million active users on Twitter and every day nearly 500 million tweets happening. Twitter allows its users to ‘Tweet’ on a trending topic. Also, the nature of Twitter avoids it being turned into a ‘meme sharing platform’. Due to this reason, Twitter translates into a very convenient way to communicate with the world. This core competence of Twitter is widely used by Governments, Organizations and Individuals to spread their message.
Covid-19 has been the worst humanitarian crisis of modern world. Governments have been going out of their ways to spread awareness about the disease. And unsurprisingly, Twitter has been a major contributor towards their propaganda campaigns. Let’s look at how Twitter has been a crucial tool in our fight against Covid-19.
Twitter has been traditionally used by Governments as a solid diplomatic tool. We’ve seen enough twitter feuds between major world leaders. There are extensive debates, Q&A sessions and threads on tweets from their Twitter handles. Often ‘Twitter Diplomacy’, Governments are using this reach to spread awareness and make important announcements regarding Covid-19.
Just like in this Tweet, the Italian Prime Minister is lauding American President for his support and his gesture of solidarity.
Long and friendly conversation with President @realDonaldTrump. Very grateful for the solidarity and support from American friends. Let’s keep on working together to win this hard challenge 🇮🇹🇺🇸— Giuseppe Conte (@GiuseppeConteIT) March 30, 2020
Recently, New York City has become the epicenter for Coronavirus. Nearly 50,000 Individuals have been infected in the Big Apple. It’s no secret that keeping people’s morale up is the biggest task for any Government during these grim times. Hence to boost morale, the official Twitter handle of the White House tweeted a New York Post’s article. The article talks about a healthcare worker who returned to work after recovering from COVID-19.
Thank you to the dedicated doctors, nurses, and medical professionals saving lives in New York City and across the country.— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 3, 2020
America salutes you! 🇺🇸 https://t.co/S6416kJrGp
Due to the Formal nature of Twitter, World Leaders use it to address their nations in times of crisis. We can see the French President rallying the G20 Nations to fight Covid-19 together. In his tweet sent on March 31, 2020, President Macron seems to have quite a bit of engagement already.
Réunion aujourd’hui avec les dirigeants du G20. Pour combattre l’épidémie du COVID-19 qui s’étend dans le monde entier, nous agissons avec coordination et solidarité. Nous allons lancer une initiative forte en soutien à l’Afrique face au virus.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 26, 2020
On April 1, 2020, the Indian Government announced a new dedicated Twitter handle for circulation of authentic news, updates and other announcements regarding COVID-19. The Twitter handle is jointly operated by the Ministry of Information and Ministry of Health Department. This is a crucial step to negate the spread of misinformation regarding this sensitive issue.
“A #BioSuit with seamless glue has been developed by @DRDO_India and is currently under testing, in order to support medical, paramedical and other staff.@MoHFW_INDIA briefing via @PIB_India pic.twitter.com/9056Q0K0ex— #IndiaFightsCorona (@COVIDNewsByMIB) April 3, 2020
Indian Prime Minister is known to be an avid user of the platform as well. PM Modi’s tweets have engagements in millions, and he often drives interactions with his followers. Below is a snippet of one such instance, where PM Modi interacts with a patient who just recovered from Covid-19.
Twitter for Organizations
Organizations have used Twitter in the most creative ways. But It has been extensively used for Marketing and Consumer Relations. So much so, major companies have dedicated Twitter Teams. There’s no doubt that Twitter holds more or less the same importance for companies as any other social media channel. And it’s not just Companies, many NGOs and Government organizations also use twitter to drive conversations.
Twitter tells the user which topics are trending. Organizations use these trending topics to communicate their message related to that topic. This gives them instant reach and interaction for minimal cost. Since the past two months, Companies and other organizations have been using Twitter to create viral threads and gain instant consumer attention.
Whenever an event as big as the Covd-19 outbreak happens, fake news and rumors catch fire. Some companies use Twitter to instill truth in times of chaos. For example, in the snippet below, we are debunking some fake news regarding the Financial New Year starting date.
There have been rumors about the change in the financial year. The Ministry of Finance released a late-night notification on 30th March’ 20 calling this as “fake news.”— Quicko (@HowToQuicko) March 31, 2020
Put yourself at ease…Here is everything you need to know!https://t.co/D9bdg9I8yM
The door’s of World Bank have been constantly knocked by Government’s seeking aid. To help the worst hit countries, the World Bank announced a aid of $ 14 Billion to help various countries.
In a bid to inspire people and to create awareness about COVID-19, United Nations recently tweeted a video. This video highlights the Humanitarian systems that are at work in Virus hit Countries.
Humanitarians are mobilized in solidarity with some of the world’s most vulnerable people in the face of #COVID19.— United Nations (@UN) April 3, 2020
Here are just some of the ways the humanitarian system is responding
to #coronavirus. https://t.co/dygSoVzp6Ipic.twitter.com/xHsrvJFIHb
While some organizations use Twitter for updating their customers with the latest compliance, some raise awareness about pressing issues. Zomato gained a lot of attention on social media when they raised awareness about a campaign to feed the daily wagers.
Ministry of Railway recently retweeted a tweet from UN lauding Indian Railways converting passenger coaches as Covid-19 isolation wards. More than a thousand people have already interacted with the tweet so far.
Twitter for Individuals
Apart from being an impactful medium for Governments and Organizations, the place where twitter makes the most impact is through reputed Individuals. Since Facebook is losing its shin, Instagram and Twitter are emerging as the next big thing. But the Nature of Instagram limit’s its users from making formal announcements and driving discussions. Areas in which Instagram lacks is where Twitter excels.
In the times of Covid-19 Pandemic, many reputed Individuals are using Twitter proactively for communicating diplomatic messages. Like Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s Secretary-General recently tweeted a picture of aid being sent by Turkey to fellow NATO nations.
#NATO solidarity in action: Turkey 🇹🇷 sending a cargo plane with medical supplies to Italy 🇮🇹 & Spain 🇪🇸 today to support our joint fight against #COVID19. Proud to see NATO Allies supporting each other through our disaster relief center. #StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/9f8gvHvVzs— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) April 1, 2020
Cristiano Ronaldo is probably among the most followed Individuals on the Internet. He has a total following of 83 Million. With that amount of reach, anything that he tweets becomes gospel truth. To create awareness about the importance of staying home, he tweeted a picture of him and his family. The tweet has garnered nearly quarter-million likes already.
In this difficult moment for the whole world, let’s be thankful for the things that matter – our health, our family, our loved ones. Stay home and let’s help all the health workers out there fighting to save lives.🙏🏽❤️🌈 #stayhomesavelives pic.twitter.com/lVEBu5vbqW— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) March 30, 2020
In India, thousands of Individuals are storming twitter with their opinions regarding COVID-19. Some are also sharing various measures that have been taken by local governing authorities to curb the spread. This Samaritan took to Twitter to share the innovative idea implied in Tripura. The tweet posted on April 1, 2020 seems to have garnered quite a bit of applause. Take a look.
Disinfection tunnel installed at tiruppur ,Tamilnadu . People have to enter it , before entering the local market.— Prashanth Rangaswamy (@itisprashanth) April 1, 2020
A futuristic idea by collector @Vijaykarthikeyn – Administrators like him are the assets of tamilnadu !! Well done sir !! 💐💐💐💐 #COVIDー19 pic.twitter.com/nYj336XidM
As many companies are working from home, and with whole of the country under lockdown, Twitter has become a powerful tool to share your ideas, opinions and drive debates with the world. However, one needs to stay away from fake news and encouraging rumors.
Stay safe, Stay home, Until Next time….