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#ProtectNature—How Characteristics of Nature Conservation Posts Impact User Engagement on Facebook and Twitter

Annika Miller and Stefan Heiland
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Annika Miller: Chair of Landscape Planning and Development, Technische Universität Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Stefan Heiland: Chair of Landscape Planning and Development, Technische Universität Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 22, 1-0

Abstract: Social networks expand the communication tools of nature conservation. Nonetheless, to date there is hardly any scientific literature on nature conservation communication in social networks. For this reason, this paper examines 600 Facebook and Twitter posts of three German nature conservation organizations: Federal Agency for the Conservation of Nature (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN), Naturschutzbund Deutschland e. V. (NABU), and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Germany. Using the Mann–Whitney U method and Spearman’s rank correlation analysis, it reveals how post design affects communication success and provides respective recommendations for German conservation organizations. Communication success was divided into four indicators: reactions, comments, shares, and overall engagement as a synthesis of the three. On Facebook, the use of hashtags, images, and many characters (up to 1500) leads to higher success, whereas emojis and videos can reduce it. On Twitter, links, images, and longer posts promote user interactions. Emojis have a positive influence on comments and overall engagement, but a negative influence on reactions and shares. In addition, hashtags reduce overall engagement on Twitter. These results are discussed with reference to similar studies from other political fields in order to provide recommendations for conservation organizations. A validation and expansion of the presented results is recommended due to the growing relevance of digital nature conservation communication.

Keywords: nature conservation; social media; social networks; conservation communication; user engagement; Facebook; Twitter (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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