Fish and Game Facebook “Fans” Number 3,000
CONCORD, N.H. – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department has reached a new milestone in expanding its online outreach efforts: more than 3,000 people have hit the “like” button on the agency’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nhfishandgame.
“We’re using social media to connect with new audiences – and to better serve our existing constituents,” said Judy Stokes, chief of public affairs for Fish and Game. Thousands of people who currently “follow” Fish and Game through e-mail news releases and reports have come to expect a regular flow of information, Stokes said. Now, the same people can readily interact with fellow Facebook fans as well as the staff members who take turns monitoring the page, posting updates and answering questions.
“Facebook has been a fun and effective way of increasing the quality and timeliness of our public communications with people who don’t necessarily get our news and information through traditional sources,” Stoked noted. “One benefit has been our ability to give thousands of people the answer to a question that might in the past have been asked and answered one-on-one. That saves staff resources -- and at the same time, it continues to spread the word about the work we do for wildlife and habitat conservation in additional ways.” According to a September 2010 poll by Harris Interactive, 87 percent of online Americans now use social media, so “it’s a natural connection for us to pursue,” said Stokes.
Fish and Game uses Facebook to point out important season dates, announce events, illustrate the many facets of the agency’s work in the state, explain rules and laws, offer wildlife facts, show videos and more. One of Fish and Game’s most popular Facebook features has been the occasional “Name That Scat” photo quiz, wherein users are asked to identify which New Hampshire animal left behind a certain something.
In turn, Fish and Game’s Facebook fans use the page as a place to get answers to questions about fish and wildlife regulations, to ask about favorite fishing spots and strategies, to share stories or post photographs of wildlife and outdoor experiences – and, on occasion, praise or question the department’s work on behalf of the state’s natural resources, all of which helps staff better understand what kinds of information people are looking for.
Fish and Game’s Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/nhfishandgame. It was established in April of this year.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.
- ### -