Website/Online Content

Brooklyne Wassel
County Extension Agent
University of Georgia

Wassel, B.*1,
1 County Extension Agent, University of Georgia, Zebulon, GA, 30295 

The Pike County Georgia community has been without an agent for numerous years, and through the absence of an agent, community members are unsure of the role Extension plays. This creates a complex challenge in reaching stakeholders, growing programs, and gaining the community’s trust as a reliable source for agricultural information. Social media outlets play a critical role in educating the public, and this particular campaign helps the community better understand the importance of the Extension Agent by establishing credibility and accountability through showing day to day activities as well as illuminating opportunities for adult and youth audiences. While Facebook caters to a wide audience, Instagram is able to connect with not just parents but the youth of the county. For this reason, the Pike County Agent utilizes Facebook as an outlet for educating mainly homeowners and producers and Instagram as a means of displaying daily endeavors and highlighting youth activities and programs. The ability to reach a different audience when compared to the more traditional Facebook, allows for a multifaceted approach for reaching youth who may be interested in becoming involved in agriculture and natural resources programming. Instagram displays information in a much more visual manner than many other webpages or phone applications, so content naturally becomes more personal and connecting. Through this ongoing social media campaign to educate Pike County citizens, the agent has reached an audience of 15,215 accounts and has had direct contacts with 1,548 accounts within the past year which include liking, commenting, and profile visits. The account has grown to attract 295 followers and counting. The Pike County 4-H Horse Club and 4-H Livestock Show Team have both seen a boost in participation numbers since the start of the Instagram campaign. Understanding the importance of social media is paramount to reaching a youth audience today that will be our adult audience tomorrow.