Tips and Tools of the Social Media Trade, by Hal Grieb

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Guest Blogger: Hal Grieb, Social Media Expert (and emergency manager) from Plano, Texas

Some call me an expert on social media and emergency management, I just call myself a heavy user. I love using new technology when it can help augment current tools in helping people stay safe especially when the tools are free! I have been asked by many how I automated emergency alerts on Twitter and Facebook Fan Pages. It’s not too hard and again, it’s free!

Here are the steps:

  1. Create a “secret” email address that only you will know. With, anything you send to the secret email will be posted to twitter, no matter what the length (it creates a link to messages longer than 140 characters), or who sent it (hence why it’s secret).
  2. Create a separate iNWS account ( for your email address, you will need to contact the iNWS team to get them to manually approve the email address.
  3. If you have a Facebook Page you will need to add the Smart Twitter Application ( to your fan page. Smart Twitter only pulls certain types of tweets leaving out @replys, or ReTweets “RT”. That’s it.
  4. Test it out. Send an email to your secret Twittermail email, it should auto post to twitter then be pulled to your Facebook without you doing anything else.
  5. Monitor to ensure the system is working.

*If you don’t like iNWS or have a different automated email alert, you still use the exact same process.  Just be sure whatever automated message service you use, when it’s posted automatically, that it still makes sense. Some email alerts may read weird and not do any good to your users.

Additional PIO Use for Twittermail

Another great way to use the email is to give it to your PIOs; they can then email any info, at any length they want or need to it, and it will be posted to Twitter then Facebook instantly. They don’t even need to have an account! Just be sure you have some sort of SOP or policy and address it in your communications plan.

I also posted this on the You can find a lot more info on emergency management and social media there as well!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me either on twitter or through the  “Make America Safer though Social Media” site.

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One response to “Tips and Tools of the Social Media Trade, by Hal Grieb

  1. Wow. What great information. Sounds like a great way of using social media with less interuption. One post to two sources. Nice work Hal, great topic Kim.

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