by UFSocial director Andy Selepak and student Ann Peterson
Creating awareness on social media for a favorite charity or cause can be difficult. You often have to cut through the noise of everything else on social media and then also compete with social media posts and campaigns from others creating awareness around a similar topic. And, how do you make an abstract topic or cause relevant on social media?
University of Florida social media graduate student Ann Peterson took the idea of forestry and conservation and created an Instagram post to draw attention to the topic while also using the visual and creative aspect of Instagram to attract an audience.
Her post is not only visually appealing, but it also provides information for anyone who wants to know more about the topic.
Baby trees are my favorite trees 😁 🌲🌲💚🌲🌲. Sustainable forest management is good for everyone, but especially our trees! While forestry in Washington provides over 106,000 jobs, protects over 60,000 miles of forested streams, and plants on average 52,000,000 seedlings; it also helps us keep our forest happy and healthy by reducing risk of wildfire, pests, and disease, AND it gives all our baby trees the chance to grow up and be apart of a forest! #roomtogrow #pnw #myforest #trees #myjob #sunnyday #thisismyforest #sustainablemanagement #plantmorethanyouharvest
In Ann’s Words
This social media post was meant to tell the story of forestry. Forestry is frequently misunderstood and often has a negative connotation. But while leaps and bounds have been made in the concept and practice of sustainable use of forests since the timber boom of the 60s, most people still don’t understand the big picture of forest health and sustainability. With a little additional information, they realize the benefits of actively managed forests to not only society, but in maintaining a robust economy, and healthy forests.
This post was intended for audiences who care about nature, but want some quick facts and don’t necessarily want to take the time to do any extensive research on natural resource management. It is particularly useful because it personifies trees so people develop an emotional connection to them, and it personifies baby trees in particular, because it is important people recognize that even our baby trees need the opportunity to grow into a forest.
It also provides some quick statistics on the importance of forestry to the state of Washington.
The post was shared on Instagram because the platform is popular with younger people (15-30) to gain quick information on topics their friends/followers care about that they then form their opinions on and learn new things.