A couple weeks ago we offered a webinar on Using Social Media. Building on that information exchange, we are highlighting a few recent examples of excellence in social media to engage followers and gain volunteers. Each includes a small explanation of why we think they are noteworthy.
Green Mountain Club’s Video Gets 19K Views
Don’t leave your best friend out of the adventure! Green Mountain Club’s first video in a series on hiking the trail with your pooch gained a lot of attention. Not only are these videos easy to watch, with interviews from fellow hikers, vets, and a dog trainer, but they’re also chock full of information that will make the adventure safe and fun for you, your dog, and others enjoying the trail. They set the right tone for respecting the environment and other visitors, and could only be improved by reminding folks what to do with their pet’s waste (pack it out or bury it in a cathole).
For ATC's perspective on pets on the A.T. click here.
Massachusetts AT Management Committee Shows All the Difference and Tells a Story
Mass A.T. Management Committee’s post on open spaces management exhibits the changes volunteers have made here over time and allows people to get a real sense of their meaningful work to help open spaces stay open. In this case, sharing is caring, so club members who post this accomplishment help the committee gain a larger audience for their page.
Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club Rocks the Factoid
This post is awesome because it highlights interesting facts about Sinking Creek Mountain (in case that name isn’t enough!) It’s great for audiences who may routinely travel across this area and may not know these geologic facts, and it’s great for piquing interest in the place among potential volunteers since it also showcases the work the club and Konnarock crew do to offset the effects of geological changes in the environment. This is among the club’s more popular posts with 26 reactions and 2 shares. Keep up the good work, RATC!
Carolina Mountain Club: Scenery Takes Center Stage
In this post, CMC showcases the beauty of the area of a neighboring club’s section with stunning photos. Compelling nature shots are generally a great way to garner attention for a post. Fifty-six responses and climbing because sometimes nature is all we need.
The language in this post is phenomenal! Framing trail work as “Trail Love” makes it a little less daunting for new folks and implies an emotional connection to the trail. The phrase “adventure-seekers” also informs the uninitiated volunteer that they’re in good company with others who may often find their adventures afoot without tools. All this, paired with a photo of everyone covered in dirt after a day of work, with huge smiles seals the deal on the invitation. They’ve accomplished some hard, dirty work, but look elated instead of haggard.
Important Note: Pictures before and after work is accomplished without personal protective equipment (PPE) is fine, but be sure that volunteers always don the appropriate safety gear when handling tools. Those are the best ones for posting on social media since ATC and other agencies can share those posts to help gain more attention for your volunteer program.
AMC Boston does a good job of highlighting the feeling people come out to seek on the A.T. Plus, great use of #AppalachianTrail in the posts helps to drive the discovery of the tweet since people can easily search posts by #.
Power of the Hashtag
Using #AT2016 reaches an audience that's following A.T. thru-hikers in 2016. This post is awesome because it shows the hard work that goes into maintaining the Trail - heck, even just getting to the work site! Note that this isn’t even a post made by an A.T. club, but offers the potential through the social network, for clubs to share and invite others. You might find stories from others that you want to share by searching for #AT(year).
Blogger: Natrieifia Miller
Title: Broader Relevancy and Engaged Partners Intern
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Based out of Asheville, NC
Affiliation: Biology Student, University of North Carolina Asheville, in Asheville NC