Report Your Small Town’s Weather Using Social Media

by Joanne Steele on January 11, 2011


snowplow in heavy snowSeveral weeks ago my husband and I went out to dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants. It was dead on a Thursday night when things are usually hopping.

“Why!?!” I asked Nancy, the owner.

“Because,” she reported, “The Weather Channel reported that a big storm was coming in tonight that they say will be around all weekend! The storm is going north of us, but people are canceling plans based on what The Weather Channel says!”

Take control of local weather reporting for your small town with up-to-the-minute social media reporting.

If you add regular local weather reporting to your social media posting, you can make certain that your customers are making informed decisions about whether it is safe to come to your small town and business or not.

You can report when the weather is especially good as well as when travel might be dangerous. In our area in Northern California, we were able to use social media several years ago to update people about smoke-free areas during our worst fire season on record.

In a recent post on weather on her blog, Just a Small Town Girl, Leslie McLellan demonstrates how she reports weather for her resort near Lake Arrowhead in southern California. She reports the good with the bad, giving people the facts and alternatives for later travel to her area.

How and where to report local weather:

If you have a WordPress website, you can add your local weather report yourself, with pictures, dates and times . Consider a separate, regularly updated page. Don’t rely on a Weather Channel link. Be your own reporter for exactly what is happening locally.

Use your Facebook  Page to report your local weather. This is a great service that is easy to update and keep current when weather is changing often.  Lumberton, North Carolina reported their winter weather conditions Monday. Updates would also be helpful after this first report.

Still wondering if Twitter has any use for your business? Here’s a place where it can be extremely useful. When your area is in the midst of any kind of a weather situation, you can provide up to the minute reporting.

Multnomah County, OR used a great combination of local weather reporting with referral to the National Weather Service on Twitter this morning. Hurry! It’ll be gone within hours – that’s the nature and value of Twitter.

Be accurate, show pictures, don’t recommend any course of action.

Don’t paint a rosy picture to try to offset the consequences of bad weather. Smartphone technology means that others will report the truth and you’ll be caught.

Show the pictures, report what you see in your own town or region and let people make their own determination about whether it is safe to travel. Don’t make travel recommendations. You don’t know the situation between where your reader lives and your town.

If you report bad weather, be sure to report when the situation has improved to encourage people to reschedule a trip to your area.

If you want people to get in the habit of check with you for local weather info, report regularly and consistently. Remember, if they come to you to check weather, they’ll probably stick around on your site and look at other information and options as well.

Still trying to figure out how to use Twitter? Here are several other posts to help:

Use Twitter To Answer Visitor Questions Just Like the Big Urban Destinations

How to Use Twitter to Generate Press Coverage for you Rural Tourism Town

Photo on Flickr by Jan Tik

1 Jennifer Brooks January 12, 2011 at 10:36 am

Hi Joanne – great tips … especially for those of us prone to winter weather!

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