Lynzee Glass, the Editor of the “Ozarks Farm and Neighbor” newspaper presented a topic and discussion about the role of social media and how it has changed her newspaper. She mentioned that there are approximately 60,000 readers in the SW Missouri area and many of the readers are between the ages of 35 and 65 and of a farm background.
1. What forms of social media does the Ozarks Farm and Neighbor utilize? When Ms. Glass first joined the team of writers she noticed that the magazine had no social media outreach. With a lot of prompting, she convinced the team of writers and owners to try out a Facebook account and a Twitter account.
2. What steps did they take to decide to take on social media? When the readership demographics seemed to be elderly in nature, the writing staff and owners decided they needed to expand their base. Ms. Glass mentioned that she felt many of her readers just don’t have the time to sit in front of a computer and load much information off the web. They are hopeful that getting the newspaper out past the news stands and onto possible phones thru Facebook or Twitter maybe they can catch younger readers and pull up more advertising. Ms. Glass said it was difficult to get the company swayed into using computer applications to reach new potential audiences.
3. How has it changed business or how has it changed the way they share information with their readers? Ms. Glass feels like it will take time to really see some results in the way the newspaper will grow in readership being out in the social media. They are trying to drive readers to their website from the Facebook and Twitter accounts. At the moment they are allowing “Hoot Suite” to manage several websites and they feel like the OzarksFM.com will sell Banner Ads. The magazine is published every three weeks and with any new form of advertising, it just takes time to catch on. Ms. Glass mentioned that farmers are always out building fence, checking cows and are busy individuals, but she is hopeful that the social media she is striving to obtain for the company, will work out eventually.