Social Media for Hurricane Season

Hurricane Maria spaghetti model

We’re one month into hurricane season – again. Think back to the first few weeks after Hurricane Maria. Once we started digging out of our homes our thoughts turned to “How will I survive without power for weeks (which turned out to be months)?” Where can I get gas for the generator? A meal that doesn’t come out of a can?

The coconut telegraph was in full swing for a good six months and rumors spread in every way imaginable. I remember hearing accounts from friends that they could only text, send emails or check Facebook in the wee hours of the morning because that’s when internet traffic was the lightest.

Some businesses, depending upon their location and resources, were up and running faster than others. Most of those that were able to help, did.

So, imagine that you are a Virgin Islands business and a tropical storm or hurricane strikes and leaves us without power. Using social media lets you control the message -not the rumor mill. If your business’ land line is down you can supply an alternate phone number. You can tell your customers when you’re open, when you’re not open, items that you have in full supply and items that are out of stock. Use it to your advantage and you could likely gain new customers simply by being a good neighbor.

On an island this size, when disaster strikes we’re reminded that we’re all in this together. Help each other out by using social media for communicating, sharing and helping your fellow Virgin Islanders.

5 Things Not to Miss at Jump Up

Mocko Jumbies at Jump Up in Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Jump Up is a quarterly St. Croix event that has something for everyone. Sponsored by the Christiansted Restaurant and Retail Association, downtown Christiansted’s streets are closed and merchants’ doors are open. Typically, a theme associated with each event (last week’s theme was Valentine’s Day). Any time of year, Jump Up is simply a good time. Here are five things not to miss:

Food trucks

Walking up and down the streets of Christiansted you’ll see a food trucks and other non-truck food vendors selling Crucian specialties – pates, roti, johnnycakes. Eat as you stroll or find a curb to sit on as you people watch.

Street vendors

St. Croix is full of artists, many of whom do not have a store front. Jump Up is a great place to find artists exhibiting their wares such as jewelry, prints and clothing.

Steel drum bands

St. Croix has several steelpan groups, comprised of students. The ting-ting-ting of the steelpan is delightful in person, and you’ll surely recognize the songs. Stop for a while and listen…these kids make beautiful music.

Mocko Jumbies

No visit to St. Croix is complete without seeing a mocko jumbie up close. While mocko jumbies are not unique to the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Department of Tourism made the mocko jumbie part of its logo. Men standing 12 feet tall wearing colorful costumes are more than just a great photo opportunity. Watch them walk through the crowd with ease. Amazing!

Merchants

Most of the retail shops in downtown Christiansted stay open late for Jump Up. Make sure that you step off the street to browse or buy – some offer a Jump Up discount.

I enjoy everything about Jump Up, but what I enjoy most is running into friends, meeting new people and getting to know business owners. Jump Up is an event that makes us proud of our community, while showcasing the best of St. Croix.

Why the Crucian Christmas Festival is Perfect for Social Media

The Crucian Christmas Festival is the island’s signature cultural event of the year. In fact, it’s not fair to refer to it as one event as there are dozens of elements that make up the celebration. Feel the culture, appreciate the food and revel in the excitement – all in one day or over the course of a month. You can experience it in any way that suits your style. Just be sure to experience it.

So…where does social media come in? Any time AND all the time! It’s easy to fit the Festival celebration into your business’ social media plans:

People

Does your business contribute in some way to the Festival festivities? For example, provide supplies to food vendors, contribute to troupe costumes, or exhibit at the arts and crafts fair? Snap a picture and post it on your page. You’ll demonstrate your contribution to our unique culture.

Places

 While much of the Festival takes place on St. Croix’s west end, it’s an island-wide celebration. Regardless of your location, plan specials and giveaways throughout the weeks leading up to and during Festival. Post them on your page and give your fans a reason to like and share your posts. It’s a great way to show your St. Croix pride.

Events

With much of the island shut down between Christmas and Three King’s Day your followers may have more time to be online. Make sure you create events on your Facebook page and promote them on your other social channels to get the most visibility.

One of the nicest things about living on St. Croix is slowing down at the holidays to celebrate the past year’s accomplishments with friends and family. We’re all trying to live our best life in this community and there’s no better time than Festival to celebrate the best of where we live. Social media connects us all. Share the joy of the celebration with your island family!

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Top 3 Ways to Chill on St. Croix’s West End

west end St. Croix USVI

St. Croix is the only one of the U.S. Virgin Islands with two cities. The smaller of STX’s two cities is Frederiksted on St. Croix’s west end.

While there are plenty of activities such as hiking, jet skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving and sightseeing available, sometimes you just want to chill – especially when you’re on vacation. Here are three ideas for how you can spend your time.

Beach Out at Sandy Point

Hands-down the best beach on St. Croix, Sandy Point is also a National Wildlife Refuge that protects three species of endangered sea turtles.  The beach is pristine, the water is clear and locals know it as the location of the last scene in the movie The Shawshank Redemption. With its turquoise blue water and powdery white sand, you’ll feel far away from whatever you left behind. Because the sea turtles also love Sandy Point, it is closed during the spring and summer months for turtle nesting season. When it is open to visitors in the fall and winter, it’s open on Saturdays and Sundays only (double check on cruise ship days) – which is likely part of what keeps this beach pristine. There’s no shade, so bring your own or have a cover-up handy.

Watch the Sun Set

Watching the sun set from St. Croix’s west end is a ritual for some, a highlight for others. On certain days you may be lucky enough to see the mysterious green flash, which appears for a second or two as the sun drops into the Caribbean Sea. The best sunset watching time is about 30 minutes prior to official sunset and 30 minutes after, as the sky lights up with shades of pink and orange.

Sunset Sail

The west end’s calm waters make an evening sail an ideal way to escape the heat. Let yourself be chartered along the coast, looking up at hillside homes and the twinkling lights of Frederiksted while you enjoy a small bite or an adult beverage. Lyric Sails offers sunset sails most months of the year, and other operators may be available in season.

Do you have any other favorite non-active activities? Post in the comments below.

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