According to a 2014 Pew research study, 87% of U.S. adults use the internet on a regular basis, which is up from 66% in 2005. With growing internet usage, internet marketing of both public and private programming has also continued to increase. Extension risk management programs can utilize both web-based and social media platforms to reach new and existing audiences with relatively low cash outlays. As these forms of marketing increase, so does the range of tools used to track reach. Most websites and social media outlets apply metrics to demonstrate the reach of a particular program or resource. By utilizing this data, educators can determine participant interest, track demographics, and improve their outreach. Dually, these platforms can be used to create networking opportunities, share ideas and resources among participants in a timely manner, and create a comprehensive outreach effort. In 2011 Oklahoma Women in Agriculture & Small Business began employing social media marketing. In 2014, surveys at the statewide conference indicated that social media was closely the #2 way participants heard about the conference, with direct mailings of thousands of brochures being the #1 way. Although personnel time required to manage web-based media should be taken into consideration, the cost effectiveness of social media and web-based marketing compared to duplicating and postage costs, along with dynamic capabilities, creates a strong case for incorporating these platforms in Extension education.
Pew. (January 2014). Internet User Demographics. Retrieved from: http://www.pewinternet.org/data-trend/internet-use/latest-stats/
|Conference||2015 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|