During last week’s PR in Ag class at Missouri State University, Lynzee Glass, the editor of Ozarks Farm and Neighbor, came to speak. She informed us about some of the social media techniques that Ozarks Farm and Neighbor. The Ozarks Farm and Neighbor is a livestock and farm oriented paper that has an estimated 58,000 readers. The papers are distributed throughout southwest Missouri, northwest Arkansas, and eastern Oklahoma. Some of the social media techniques they use include: Facebook, Twitter, and the Ozarks Farm and Neighbor website. They use these as a way to reach a younger audience as well as to keep their name out in front of the public and get instant feedback.
The steps towards these social media outlets took a while to get underway. The Ozarks Farm and Neighbor started with their website as they realized that many people today get on the internet to look at stories to find out more information over a variety of issues. Therefore, they put small snippets from their paper on their website to encourage readers to buy a subscription to their paper to be able to read the full story. They also have an online paper that their customers are able to access with a code on their paper or if new readers want to subscribe and read it online. In 2009 Ozarks Farm and Neighbor decided to join Facebook as there are a number of businesses that receive recognition through this social media outlet. It has been slow to get followers due to not being updated as much as it should have been when they first started it, but since then they have been posting more regularly. This too can contain snippets from their paper so that people might be intrigued by a story and want to go read the rest in the paper whether. This has also allowed them to gain more followers. Then in summer of 2013 they joined Twitter. Twitter was a great way for Ozarks Farm and Neighbor to be seen as well as be able to connect with other organizations. Many times the paper helps promote some organizations, for example breed associations, through their stories. Therefore, Twitter allows them the opportunity to be able to connect with the organizations so that they can see some of their work.
Social Media has changed their business by allowing them to connect to a younger audience since many of their paper readers range from the age of 35 to 64. It also allows them to stay out in front of the audience more and be seen more often. It has not changed their business too much as a majority of their readers still receive and read the actual paper, but it has helped them branch out. It has changed the way they share information as they can post some things on the social media sites that they may not put in their paper. Being online also allows them to get more timely feedback of any changes or additions that some people may want to see in the paper. It also helps the Ozarks Farm and Neighbor get news out more effectively as it can be posted about as the event is taking place rather than waiting three weeks to read about it. Overall it has helped draw in a younger crowd and gives them another outlet to get word about their paper to the general public.