Social media and land trusts
Land conservation organizations are no different than any other businesses that hope to grow their customer or client base, and just like businesses, land trusts have several items in their tool kits for outreach. One of these tools is social media.
Social media is not just for the young anymore; it's now mainstream. It is therefore not an option to skip the use of this tool when reaching out to members of the community. Apps are used to attract people of all ages to the land.
In addition to Facebook and Instagram, Solano Land Trust uses Meetup and Eventbrite to get the word out about special events, volunteer opportunities, and hikes.
“Using smartphone apps is a way to capitalize on connecting people looking for connection,” says community engagement assistant Deanna Chedsey. “Using these tools have increased visitor turnout, especially by people who are new to Solano Land Trust. They allow us to cast a wider net."
Meetup is a platform for different types of groups to promote activities and events that are categorized by interest area. From hiking to kiting, it’s an online gathering place for people to hear about events and activities related to things they like to do. Solano Land Trust attracts people who like to hike, bike, volunteer or search for wildflowers and birds.
“Meetup helps people engage with their community, meet new friends, and get outside of their bubble world,” says Chedsey. “It provides a way to make friends, put down roots in a community, and get yourself out there. And it’s low pressure. Everyone is taking the risk of being the new person in the group.”
Eventbrite is an online calendar listing for events. When Solano Land Trust lists an event, it shows up on a web search such as, “Events near me this weekend.”
These apps reach beyond the individuals who show up for an event. “Even if someone reads about the event and decides they can’t go, that’s still one more person who knows about us, our land, and our mission to protect and share it,” adds Chedsey.
We know that to encourage more people to enjoy our lands and attend our events, we must stay relevant and communicate with our audience from many angles. When we think about who will care for this land in the future, we hope we are doing a pretty good job of connecting all generations to the importance of land conservation. (Photo courtesy of Deanna Chedsey. June 2018.)