I was very disappointed the other night when four tweets about an Amber Alert in Seattle went unmentioned/retweeted by the @GladDads followers (1,430 by last count). A man (allegedly) killed his girlfriend and took off with two kids, including a 9mo and eventually turned himself in later that night. The children were safe.
But seriously… WTF?!
Q: Are our Twitter followers a bunch of uncaring assholes?
A: Surely not! How dare you even think that! We like to think the best of our readers.
Q: What can we do to bring better attention to active Amber Alerts?
A: Find a way to Auto-Retweet Amber Alert Information. Check.
A: Write a blog post shaming followers into taking action the next time they notice an amber alert on their Social Media feeds. Check.
If you're on Twitter and have more than a dozen followers, chances are that one of those followers will know someone in the area. Just because you don't know anyone in the area personally is a poor excuse for not forwarding on an Amber Alert.
This concludes the rant portion of this post. Read on to learn what steps you can take to get the word out about Amber Alerts.
Auto-Retweet Amber Alerts: You Can Do It Too
Using instructions I found for creating a Twitter Retweet Bot and the twitter feed of @Amber_Alert I created a Yahoo! Pipe and automated publish to @GladDads via TwitterFeed.com. You don't have to publish to Twitter though, TwitterFeed lets you publish to Facebook as well.
If you want to use our Yahoo! Pipe's RSS feed, here it is.
You may have noticed a few of the tweets already coming through.
Twitter Dashboards: Add An #AmberAlert Column
If you're already using HootSuite, MetroTwit, or TweetDeck you can easily set up a column to look for hashtags like #AmberAlert. This way, when something pops up you can easily retweet or mention it.
If you have a smart phone your twitter app may have similar functionality.
See It = Share It
If you see an amber alert on any social networking platform you happen to frequent, just share it with your users. Where's the harm in that? Worst case scenario your users will think of you as a caring individual and best case scenario, you can help bring victimized kids home safely.
You don't know where your followers are or what they are doing. For all you know they could be staring at the suspect vehicle right that moment while sitting at a coffee shop.
Please don't be the weak link. Spread the word and help save kids.
If you have more ideas on how to spread the word about Amber Alerts please comment!