In November, Ohio State University Extension Family & Consumer Sciences rolled out their new online presence in the form of LiveSmartOhio.osu.edu. The new blogsite serves the purpose of being the main content hub for information tailored to our new, modern online audience.
Prior to the creation of Live Smart Ohio, our Family & Consumer Sciences website and social media feeds were outdated and weren’t topic specific. We had one Facebook page for all topic areas in Family & Consumer Sciences; thus this page posted about everything that involved individuals and families. It was too much. Our online audience wasn’t interested in everything we were posting about, and were most likely tuning out. The lack of a strategic social media presence was compounded by an outdated website that was built for housing resources for stakeholders and FCS professionals – not an online audience seeking quick educational information. It was painfully obvious that a new content hub was needed before our social media feeds could be updated.
After a year of planning and hard work, Live Smart Ohio was then launched last Fall, along with some of our brand new social media feeds. Our social media strategy is now to house topic specific content on separate social media feeds and pages. On Facebook, we have separate pages for Food, Money, Relationships, and Mind & Body. On Twitter, we separate these topics via hashtags on the Live Smart Ohio Twitter handle. Live Smart Ohio will also house videos of past and upcoming educational webinars and infographics created based upon OSUE Fact Sheets.
Of course, not every brand new tool or strategy is welcomed with open arms in Extension. Many FCS program staff have declined to assist in managing our new social media feeds due to other commitments and priorities, which has left our new online presence in a sort of limbo… without the manpower, the Live Smart Ohio feeds have been automatically posting new blog links. Which is good for getting new content out there, but social media suicide in regard to a complete lack of engagement with our audience or inability to tailor posts to each social media tool.
There are plans to hire additional manpower in the form of students, but the hope is that with an increase in digital content evaluation and reporting information at OSUE this year, more program staff will assist with managing this important online presence in the future.
How have you created or changed your social media strategy? What has worked, and what lessons have you learned?