Importance of social media in Cooperative Extension


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This was the basis for a workshop Importance of Social Media in Cooperative Extension that I conducted at the University of Missouri Ext

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  • Tools…digital communication, using available free tools to do our work better, merging together through a single system 1. Social media…facebook, twitter, flickr Do it for discoverability…make it easy for people to find the information, want them to discover us (content, nugget, workshop, oneline presentation) bring the content to people, not make them come to our site, publish and promote content in multiple places   2. Email update…subscription list…put together content For awareness, we want them to see us on a regular basis…   People don ’t need info every day, but when they do, they should think of us. Unobtrusive, reminds them we are there,  Adds value to other offerings (such as workshops) Discussion board…offers peer to peer learning; how can we facilitate…creating a space not just for us, but for discussions to take place, take advantage of teachable moments, not an ask the expert; responses here are read by muiltiple people   Widgets (oak wilt) Embeddable on other websites…, click for info to send to our web pages, 61 percent came to oak wilt site; 45 percent wenton to read more content
  • Anne will present
  • I spoke to the LSU AgCenter leadership class about social media for agvocacy and communication. Class members took it to heart. Many created profiles, and they also created a private group for communication.  Many friended me and they also invited me to join their group. One of the class members, Nobel Guedon really started to use social media to share information and ask questions. I noticed this and asked him to speak in a forum on social media at the USA Rice Outlook conference in Austin 2011. In preparation for participation, he established the Facebook Group Southern Farming - according to Nobel, he did this because other online forums were dominated by northern row crops and he was having trouble finding information and convo he wanted with local/southern farmers.  Recently, he requested LSU AgCenter publication. Farmers share with each other and extension faculty are involved in the conversation. This is a big mind-shift - we don't control the conversation, we simply participate!
  • What we have to do is change our mindset and begin to add new tools to our tool box. I suggest that you start with one and find your comfort zone with the first before you add another. It ’s too easy to become overwhelmed if you try all at once.
  • About a year after I started blogging, I set up a Facebook group page. It is not very interactive, but county agents have told me that they like having all the information in one place.  I post blogs, pictures, videos, field observations and links to resources on the blog. I also use it to poll my audience on occasion. I also created a twitter account in the winter or 2011. I use it to post my blogs and observations during the season as well as an information gathering tool. Twitter is not reaching very many of my target clientele but it  is connecting me with colleagues across the US. I used my contacts through twitter for a lot of background research for an app proposal, which has resulted in grant funds for the first app that LSU AgCenter has built - RiceScout. I call that time well spent!
  • Importance of social media in Cooperative Extension

    1. 1. Importance of Social Media to Cooperative Extension Anne Mims Adrian @aafromaa eXtension Military Families Learning Network Social Media Strategist University of Missouri Extension Fall Conference October 30, 2012 #MUEPC2012
    2. 2. Cooperative Extension has a problemwith reaching enough people. % of adults who know and don’t know of Extension
    3. 3. Cooperative Extension has a problemwith reaching enough people. % of 18-35 year olds who know and don’t know of Extension
    4. 4. We are good at what we do!Of those who have used CooperativeExtension, 83% rate Cooperative Extension asexcellent or very good.
    5. 5. Cooperative Extension is not reachingand impacting enough people.11% have used Extension:23 Million…sounds like a lot butit’s not enough
    6. 6. Bridge the “knowledge gap” of whowe are and what we do is essentialto the future of Extension—increasing our reach and influence.
    7. 7. Cooperative Extension has a problemwith reach and influence.Reach >> where we have “touched”or been noticed.Influence >> making impacts ordifferences in people’s lives, businesses,and communities.
    8. 8. Here’s the math# of Cooperative Extension professionals = 15,00027% of 230 Million adult population = 62 MillionTo reach (“touch”) 62 Million people, CESprofessionals must reach ~ 4,100 people each.To reach (“touch”) 124 Million people, CESprofessionals must reach ~ 8,200 people each.*These numbers do not consider that a portion of CESprofessionals work directly with youth, not adults.
    9. 9. Average number of social ties
    10. 10. Average number of social ties Those on the Internet have 25% to 45% more social connections than those who are not on the Internet.
    11. 11. More math: The idea of actual influencegets more narrow.Dunbar number = 15015,000 X 150 = 2.25 MillionRemember the 11% of the populationhave used Extension?11% of 230 Million adult population = 25.3Million
    12. 12. Recent history of downsizingOne solution to budget cuts isrestructuring.•About efficiency.•Not about increasing reach.Downsizing decreases our possibility ofincreasing reach.
    13. 13. % of US Adult Population This is where we want to be 54% 124M 11% 8,200 / CES 27% 25M 62M1,700 / CES 4,100 / CES
    14. 14. Methods to reach and impact 11% 25M 1,700 / CoopExt 27% 62M 4,100 / CoopExt
    15. 15. Methods to reach and impact 1,700 / 25M CES 62M 4,100 / CES
    16. 16. Improve reach and impact 1,700/ • Se 25M CES e au as m d i en 62M com emb ces m 4,100/ • Be mun ers of ore CES com ities netw e no • In orks des i crea n abo se ot ut C hers 200/• In crea ES & o ’ talkin 8, with se co ur w g 54% CES othe nver ork rs sat i ons 124M
    17. 17. GoalsIncrease the number of social tiesExtension professional’s have.More importantly, capitalize on socialties and connections to discuss anddevelop our education efforts.
    18. 18. Increasing Extension’s reach Not only a Communications Unit problem to solve. Approach education differently to increase our reach and impact.
    19. 19. Extension’s role:create connecting environments that help othersbuild and contribute to informational and innovativeplatforms
    20. 20. Extension become defined by howwe contribute to ecosystems —platforms—assuring optimal levelsof sharing, serendipitous insightsand innovative thinking.
    21. 21. Break for questions
    22. 22. Start with ourselvesImprove the way we connect and share.Improve the way we learn, connect withourselves and with others.A mindset change.
    23. 23. Extensions role in the newinformation orderFrom Eli Sagor, Extension Specialist and Forester, Universityof Minnesota "help people think critically, interpret, analyze and apply information they gather from all of the different platforms." Use available free tools to do our work better. Use social media tools to make our content more discoverable.
    24. 24. In order to get cooperation,you have to give cooperation.Grace Towns HamiltonGeorgia State Representative 1981
    25. 25. Benefits of social media ore It i s m ch. reaReach new audiences an th waysReach existing audiences in new, engagingStay connected with communities between program meetingsBuild relationships with new and existing clienteleBuild personal learning networksRespond effectively to emerging situations
    26. 26. Benefits of openly sharing ore It is m ach.Resources are shared by other an re thReach is scaled through others as we become nodes in the networksCredibility is built among communities members who have never heard of usPossibility of viral spread (which can also be short-lived) emotionally useful and contextual crisis (could be bad or good)
    27. 27. Possible personal goalsIncrease ways of communicating.Increase number of viewpoints.Listen to & engage with new clientele(not normally engage with).Bridge & maintain relationships with my currentclients.Improve own professional and personal development.Collaborate with others (colleagues, local partners, &new communities).
    28. 28. Characteristics of connectingenvironments m Open ro s: ce om e F Connectedness ur C so as ny In the flow Re Ide pa d n d Co m oo a Fluid; agile re G t ed h e nec Willingness to fail W on heC Planned serendipity T Seeing value in waste Borrowing from other fields
    29. 29. Challenges in social media
    30. 30. Livestock Poultry Environmental LearningCenter Integration of Traditional and New---------
    31. 31. Mindset change from ExtensionFarmer generated Facebook group—Southern Farming--More active dialogue if initiated by the clientele.
    32. 32. Develop relationships with others AgFax-Owen Taylor links to the blog #1 source of trafficBlog was picked up by Owen Taylor, editor of AgFax - ran as regular article – also as emailWrite-up on #CESValue campaign & cuts to Smith-Lever funds was ran. Became key discussion piece
    33. 33. Twitter#ManureMondaystarted by@LPELCReach:12-15,000 accounts26-34,000impressions
    34. 34. Let me hear from youWhy do you and Extension need to use socialmedia?What do you or Extension need to use socialmedia?What do you or Extension want to accomplish withsocial media?What prevents you or Extension from using socialmedia?
    35. 35. Emergency examplesCrowdsourcingParticipative environments are changing journalism,information flow, crisis communications.
    36. 36. #Sandy, Google Crisis Map
    37. 37. A mindset for using social media1. Be open about who you are.2. Listen and take active roles in conversations. This is how we know know what information people wantand what concerns them3. Dont look at it as another duty. People are finding ways to use new tools, we should too.4. Be open to hearing all views.5. Surround yourself with people who will risk trying new things.6. Be willing to join others –you don’t have to “build” places.
    38. 38. Social media-just another set of tools Popular social media outlets
    39. 39. Different tools have different purposesThe hammer or broadcasting isnot the right tool.
    40. 40. Setup Google Alerts your name your organization your topics
    41. 41. Your IdentityCreate accounts; reserve your nameComplete profilesLearn online privacy concepts
    42. 42. Efficiency and filtersLearn the lingoLearn dynamics of mobile computing in context, real-timeUse apps to manage Hootsuite, Tweetdeck Twitter for cell some messages to SMS-text
    43. 43. Linked through Facebook and Twitter Leads to calls from local reporters County Agents appreciate the ability to curate content Posting allows sharing of links
    44. 44. Curation Collecting, filtering and making sense of information and putting findings into SummifyPinterest BloggingGoogle Plus Others
    45. 45. Relax and experiment
    46. 46. Faculty to dialogue and share in the openand to participate onlineHow can we inspire more extension andresearch faculty to use social media space forcommunication, dissemination of information anddialogue?What are the barriers?
    47. 47. Photo Credits
    48. 48. References Brand Survey
    49. 49. Questions? Comments @AAFROMAA Anne Adrian from Auburn AL Creative Commons License This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of thislicense, visit