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Illustration of Zachary Emerson near a log truck with a gradation of orange shapes in the background representing the fall trees of the hilly Vermont woods.

Zachary Emerson, of Emerson & Sons Logging, stands beside a full-tree log truck in the Vermont woods.

Winter 2023



Influencer Zachary Emerson is proud to work with John Deere

A digital presence is becoming more and more essential to any business, including logging. At a bare minimum, companies should have a website, drive traffic to the site through search engine optimization, and add contact information to local business listings.

But many loggers such as Zachary Emerson, co-owner of Emerson & Sons Logging in Groton, Vermont, are boosting their social media presences to reach customers on a more personal and regular basis. Emerson has attracted more than 1,400 followers to his Instagram account.

“I try to show what we do and the quality we provide,” he explains. “It has definitely helped me attract people who need loggers so I can build my business.”


Authentic voice

When people think of influencers, they often think of famous athletes, musicians, or actors with millions of followers. But in truth, anyone with over 1,000 followers is considered a social media “influencer.” And leading brands such as John Deere are interested in people such as Emerson who offer personal, niche content to an audience of highly engaged users. Even though Emerson himself did not view himself as an influencer, Deere saw his potential and reached out to him.

With the advent of social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, consumers have almost unlimited choices for content, but this also makes them harder to reach. Influencers provide a way for companies to connect with their audiences through social media.

Emerson has earned a reputation as a trusted authority. Authenticity is key to building and maintaining trust with followers. “I think showing my image and images of my family shares a human face. It gives a more personal vibe to our business.”

Emerson started an Instagram account three years ago. “I just wanted to record what I was doing on a daily basis,” he says. “It’s helped me attract an audience of people involved in logging, whether it’s landowners or other people in the industry.”

Hashtags such as #logging, #vermont, #local, #wildlife, #forestproud, and #DeereInTheWoods have helped Emerson further boost his following. Persistence is also important. He posts almost every day. “If I’m in the feller buncher cutting, I’ll post that. If I’m on the landing, that’s what I’ll post. Whatever catches my eye.”


Brand ambassador

Emerson caught the attention of John Deere, who approached him about establishing a relationship. When asked to be the company’s first influencer for forestry, he didn’t believe it. “When I first got an email, I thought it was a scam,” he recalls, laughing.

After a few unsuccessful follow-up phone calls, the Marketing Department for John Deere Construction & Forestry eventually reached out to Emerson’s local dealership, United Construction & Forestry, who paid him a visit to confirm the messages were indeed from Deere.

Through the partnership, Emerson will be able to demo some of the latest John Deere technologies and share how they improve, in Emerson’s words, “our efficiency and craftsmanship in the forest.”

“I’m extremely grateful and honored for the opportunity,” he says. “I’m looking forward to showing the latest things Deere has going on and representing them as a brand ambassador.”

Emerson & Sons Logging is serviced by United Construction & Forestry, Williston, Vermont.

Clockwise from top left. Zachary Emerson posts on Instagram about the John Deere 853M Feller Buncher behind him. Sampling of Zachary’s social media posts. Zachary Emerson poses with his wife and two children. Showcasing his work life and family members on social media has helped Zachary Emerson bring a human face to the business.

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