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Living Social: Getting the Most Out of Your Social Media Networks

Back in 2010, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Backyard Wisdom was a solid little radio show that needed to be active in social media. Backyard Wisdom’s host, Maggie Lawrence, is a communications specialist with a passion for gardening. It was clear to her that to get the most social media has to offer you have to do more than dip your toe in the pool. You have to jump in and join the party. For the last two years, Maggie has been living in the social media world using outlets such as blogging, podcasts, Twitter and Facebook. Recently, she has added Pinterest, Google+ and other tools to her toolbox. The results are clear: a more than 300 percent increase in visits to the Backyard Wisdom website in 2011 from 2010. Data from the first half of 2012 shows significant growth over 2011. The difference between 2010 and the last two years? How often and how effectively social media was used to promote the site. These uses of social media have enabled Extension to share research‐based information to a much broader audience than was originally being reached when Backyard Wisdom existed solely as a radio program.
In this session, Maggie Lawrence will share tools and tips that have helped make the Backyard Wisdom social media effort a success. Specifically, she will talk about the importance of living in the social media community that you are trying to reach rather than being the 21st century town crier who shouts a message and then disappears until there is a new message to be broadcast.
This session will show you how living in your social media world can generate significant and documentable results.

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