In my PR in Ag class last week Lynzee Glass from Ozarks Farm and Neighbor came in to talk to us about some of their struggles with social media. The Ozarks Farm and Neighbor is a farm and livestock oriented paper with an estimated 58,000 readers. The paper reaches out to farmers throughout southwest Missouri, eastern Oklahoma, and northwest Arkansas. Their average readers are males with an age range of 35-64. Their average reader also often runs a cow/calf operation on about 329 acres.
Some forms of social media that Ozarks Farm and Neighbor utilizes are their website, Facebook, and Twitter. They first introduced their website as they noticed that many people of younger generations utilized the internet to learn about new information and news more than picking up an actual paper. Through their website they put small excerpts from their paper so that people may want to read the whole story and then buy a paper. Today they now offer an online version of their paper as well as the actual paper itself. Then in 2009 they joined Facebook. This allowed them to be able to reach a wider audience and get noticed by more people. However, this was a slow to grow due to the lack of posts and the small staff being able to keep up with everything. However, in 2011 that changed to where there are now more and more posts being made. These posts can contain information from their paper as well as other information they want to inform their readers about. They can also give timelier news updates as that can be updated every day rather than every three weeks. Then in the summer of 2013 they joined Twitter. Twitter is another way for the Ozarks Farm and Neighbor to be able to reach other forms of people as well as organizations. Sometimes they tend to promote a few breed associations in their paper due to some of the farmers stories they write, so this gives them away to show the organizations what they do for them and be able to connect with them.
Social Media has not changed their way of business by a substantial amount as most of their readers still get the actual paper. However, it has helped them to be in front of the public and branch out to a younger generation of readers. It also helps in a tremendous about to be able to connect with associations and possibly be recognized through them as well. They are also able to give out more timely information through the social media route as well as get more timely feedback from their readers. In addition to this they can also post some things on these sites that may not be otherwise posted in their paper.