One of the key recommendations from the UNESCO Global Geopark re-validation in 2019 was to improve the Geopark’s communications. Social media is a key area to communicate Geopark information to domestic and international audiences and associates, and with so many interesting topics to cover, it is essential for me to target, plan, schedule and analyse our posts to ensure that we get the most out of our content.
SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS
The Geopark has all sorts of online audiences, from the people who make memories in the Geopark on a one-day trip, to the people whose families have resided in the region for generations. It is important for us to recognise and differentiate the audiences we are trying to connect with for our range of activities.
Upon starting my role in the Geopark, one of my first endeavours was to analyse our audiences on social media and on our website and determine who they were and how we could reach them. From my analysis, I determined that the most appropriate social channels we could use for our work are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT
The Geopark programme covers a broad portfolio of activities and projects. The content we post on social media must communicate each of these areas.
My Geopark Colleague Dr. Eamon Doyle is frequently out in the field doing research with associates from the Earth and Ocean Sciences sector. I regularly go with Eamon and document their work for our social channels.
We have an events programme that covers events such as Heritage Week, Geodiversity Day, European Geopark Week and more. We also collaborate on events such as the Burren Food Fayre and the Slow Food Festival. I document these events through posts and stories on our social media.
Dr. Eamon Doyle is very knowledgeable about geology and earth sciences. I use social media to convey this knowledge through various media types including animations, graphics, videos and imagery.
While some content (mainly external) can be shared on a whim, I try to stick to a schedule and mix our content up as much as possible. I work with a social media calendar to plan out the content being posted and the channels being used for each post.
The schedule consists of a mix of internal Geopark activities and external posts from groups we are affiliated with, primarily business members of the Burren Ecotourism Network and Visit Clare.
Change throughout my time with the Geopark
INSIGHTS AND ANALYSIS
I analyse each social channel that we use to see what works and what doesn’t. Throughout my time in the Geopark I have grown the reach, engagement and followers on the Geopark channels, and I have learned a great deal on what gets the most engagement on each channel. For instance, photogenic events such as the Caherconnell International Furnace festival get a lot of shares, likes and reactions, thus I place a large focus on documenting the event each year.