Social media study explores how to connect homeowners with arborist

How do people respond differently to messages about caring for the trees in the yard? Which messages motivate homeowners to contact a certified arborist to help them care for their trees? This spring, the Wisconsin DNR partnered with the Wisconsin Arborist Association (WAA), University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW-Extension to design a Facebook outreach campaign to test these questions. A new resource with the results and social marketing insights from the study is now available.


From the 2017 Wisconsin Urban Landowner Survey, we learned that Wisconsin homeowners most trust private tree care professionals (such as arborists) for information and advice about caring for their trees. To test this and other survey results about homeowner tree care behaviors, we designed a set of four unique Facebook ads, which were hosted by the WAA and ran for two weeks in June. The ads targeted all adults 18 years of age or older who live in city and suburban neighborhoods across Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee and Wausau. The ads encouraged homeowners to “Contact a local arborist for help” by clicking on a link to go to the WAA certified-arborist-for-hire webpage to learn more about what arborists do and how to find one locally.

This study is the first of many that will provide insights to help local communities and tree care professionals better understand their audience and how to connect with them.

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