Above Andrew Northover taking pictures of the Arawata Landcare Group at their 40-year anniversary tree planting to promote the project on social media.
Social media is one of the most effective ways your Landcare group can reach new people.
Every day one in every two Australians use Facebook and one out of three use Instagram. There is loads of information available about social media. Here are some lessons from seven excellent Victorian Landcare group and network social media profiles.
The first stop for many new interested people is to read the bio on Instagram/Twitter or visit the ‘about’ section on Facebook. Connecting Country’s Facebook page bio is a great example of this. They clearly set out where they are located, what they do and how to join. This will quickly inform people about the page and encourage them to follow it or get involved. They also have a clear handle – @connectingcountry – so other people can easily tag them in posts.
Creating a Facebook event is an easy way of providing details of an upcoming tree planting, farm walk or workshop. Bass Coast Landcare Network regularly creates Facebook events where they include the event schedule, time, date and location. When people RSVP as interested, or going, a notification is created in their friend’s newsfeeds promoting the event to a wider audience. It’s free and also helps organisers communicate with planned attendees leading up to the event as automatic reminders are sent out.
Twitter is a brilliant way of showing what you do to a whole new audience. Basalt to Bay Landcare Network is a leader in using Twitter to showcase the day-to-day workings of their network. They post about big news – ‘we got a grant’ – and the ordinary – the delicious sticky buns for a Landcare morning tea – allowing their audience to develop affinity and understanding for the range of work they do.
Social media is an easy way of narrating your Landcare story arc, showing the journey from receiving a grant to the final finished project. The Project Platypus Facebook page provides beautiful updates on projects and events. Their posts enable their audience to develop knowledge of their projects and events and also strengthen understanding for the importance of the network.
Upper Campaspe Landcare Network’s Instagram page uses stunning photographs to illustrate the scope of their activities. We may not all be such great photographers, but the easiest way to take effective images is to capture people looking at the camera. Encourage your members to share their photographs by tagging the group or network.
Videos are a super effective way to engage with your audience. Gippsland Intrepid Landcare’s Instagram page often features short videos of their events and members taken on their phones. Videos are effective at taking people behind the scenes and telling powerful narratives about events. The best thing about videos is you don’t need to be a professional. Amateur videos, especially selfies, can be more authentic and interesting.
A Facebook group is a great way of creating a space for members to chat, share content and plan meetings and projects. A group is different to a Facebook page, which is a more top down approach as it allows an administrator to write posts. Loddon Plains Landcare Network’s Facebook group encourages their members to share posts, ideas, plan upcoming events and organise meetings. The benefit of a group is that it also alerts members when someone has posted, ensuing all members are informed of what is happening.
Kathleen Brack is Regional Landcare Coordinator for the West Gippsland CMA.
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