I used Instagram Stories a couple of times a week as an education and engagement tool. These followers in particular are marine mammal and ocean conservation-minded, so I made 4 – 5 panel stories that gave greater insight to the hard work being done. The light but educational tone helped connect our audience to our patients while spreading awareness of our need for donations, visitors and volunteers. Increased response to all of these needs were regularly noted by longtime staff and volunteers and attributed to my social media efforts.
Working to gather images, video and patient information in a busy hospital environment full of sick wild animals is challenging. I regularly checked in with animal care and education staff to find interesting stories about our patients, their progress and the issues they face in the wild. Followers and visitors regularly commented on how much they loved the posts and about how much more they were learning. Engagement and follower counts increased across all platforms in my time handling the accounts.
All of this work was given freely because I got to see the positive impact on our sick and injured patients. I contributed a full day in person on Wednesdays and averaged 20 hours total working from home, traveling to cover patient releases and engaging with followers online. In return, I got a free education about my beloved marine mammal friends and a ton of up close experience that’d be hard to come by otherwise.