Creating community with social media- meet volunteer Anne Hanlon
How does a small organization like RCLC reach thousands of people online? Anne Hanlon, a volunteer managing RCLC’s social media Facebook (FB) and Instagram accounts, set out to answer that.
Anne first got involved with RCLC in early 2020 when she was inspired by the land trust’s campaign to buy Mill Bend. She explained she has “an appreciation for the ability to access the coast” and wanted to help out. She has been an experienced user of social media for about a dozen years and saw the need to expand RCLC’s presence there. “Social media is a connector, and in a small town that means a lot.”
Working with Cheryl Harris, the volunteer coordinator, Anne undertook the job of growing RCLC’s Facebook channel and starting an Instagram account. Under her guidance the Facebook followers have grown to over 770 people, engagement is higher and comments and likes have grown.
Top Facebook posts can garner up to a hundred likes and 20 comments. She adds that people especially find Mill Bend and Gualala history fascinating when she posts historic photos and facts. She shares scenic photos from a variety of sources, and noted that local young photographer Blaine Mason seems to have a following.
Anne promotes Instagram as a channel with “a resonance towards the visual” since it’s based on photos and images. While that RCLC channel has a smaller following, she says followers tend to respond more and appreciate the designer aspects of Instagram.
Anne says RCLC’s social media “reach” is about 5,500 people, which is the number of people who subscribe to the channels and feeds that she shares with. These channels include the Point Arena update page, Gualala Trading Post, NorCal Birding and others. By sharing RCLC’s FB scenic photos and posts with other channels, the land trust outreach is expanded to thousands of people.
RCLC also has a new Youtube channel where you can watch videos from RCLC public forums or outreach.
Anne is an example of an active RCLC volunteer who has seen a need and responded to it in a way that she finds creative and fulfilling. She explains that there are many ways volunteers can help out either on site or from home. “There is always a spot.” To find out more about volunteering opportunities, email coordinator Cheryl Harris at email@example.com or contact RCLC on our website at www.rclc.org