Nevada businesses, community members, Extension professionals and international scientists/agriculturalists expressed a need for social media training:
- Many businesses need social media for survival and growth, but using social media does not always come naturally.
- Many community members, including youth and seniors, want to use social media to connect with friends and family, but are not comfortable with the platforms and do not know how be safe and responsible online.
- Extension professionals want to learn how to use social media effectively: to improve their educational efforts aimed at sharing research-based knowledge and programs with targeted audiences, and to reach youth, who often rely on social media for information and communication.
- Scientists/agriculturalists can use social media for collaboration with and inspiration from each other, and to stay informed about public concerns. As such, they should stay current on social media and social networking best practices.
Extension provided Social Media 101, Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest, and Videos & Editing courses in 2016 at the request of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce. Carson City Library representatives who attended the trainings wanted to offer similar classes to the community, so Extension added and taught classes for Twitter, YouTube, Social Media for Parents and Social Media for Seniors from fall 2016 through spring 2017. Also in 2016, Extension presented on social media/networking best practices for scientists/agriculturalist at the Third Annual Canadian Wheat Symposium. In 2017, Extension gave 14 presentations: six as a continuation of the 2016 community series, four for scientists/agriculturists at the American National CattleWomen Region 6 meeting in Elko, Nevada, and four for Extension professionals. All trainings ranged from 30 minutes to four hours, and 680 people were trained, including 270 in 2017.
Community sessions were informal, with attendees asking questions and the instructor covering topics of interest to those in attendance during that particular session, so no data was collected. However, community feedback was positive, and Extension and the Carson City Library plan to continue offering classes on a regular basis. In addition, the Carson Water Subconservancy District asked for training for their team members and partners.
In 2017 trainings for Extension professionals, Extension taught each of two classes twice — once in northern Nevada and once in southern Nevada — for a total of four trainings. Attendees rated each of the two classes on a scale of one to five. For the “Social Media: What I’ve learned” class in August, 55 responded, including responses from both north and south. The training was rated:
- 4.43 for how informative it was
- 4.27 for usefulness
For the “Social media: Facebook Profiles, Pages and Groups” training in December, 48 responded, including responses from both north and south. The training was rated:
- 4.32 for how informative it was
- 4.19 for usefulness
Partners included the Carson City Chamber of Commerce, Carson City Library, American National CattleWomen and CropLife International.