Ouachita County agent uses social media as an educational platform to reach thousands
By Emily Thompson
U of A System Division of Agriculture
April 14, 2017
- Ouachita County Extension Agent uses social media to reach a larger audience to teach them about nutrition.
- Some videos reach thousands of views.
- Plans are in the works to expand the video series topic range.
(Download a MS Word version of this story here.)
CAMDEN, Ark. – Give Addie Wilson a minute and she can give you a lesson that will last the rest of your life.
Addie Wilson, Ouachita County extension agent for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, has been using Facebook and its new Facebook Live feature to post one-minute videos about nutrition. Facebook Live allows users to broadcast themselves live to viewers. At the same time, the viewers can comment and react to the livestream.
Wilson said social media helps to not only expand her education audience, but also teaching methods. “If you meet people where they are, you sometimes get a better response,” she said.
The idea first came about because of a scheduling issue. Wilson was approached by a health commission in her county about starting a program to try to help battle obesity. After looking over her schedule, she realized that she didn't have the time. She did, however, have time to post.
As a bonus, it fits into the viewers’ schedules as well, because the videos only last one minute and can be viewed anytime.
According to the Pew Research Center, Facebook is still the most popular social media platform, outperforming Instagram and Twitter by a large margin. In 2016, 79 percent of adults that use the Internet, are on Facebook. Only 32 percent use Instagram, the next most popular platform.
The platform, coupled with her own upbeat presentation style, have worked well.
“I’ve gotten a lot of positive responses,” Wilson said. “More than I expected.”
The most popular video covered mindful eating and has more than 2,000 views.
Wilson said the message she’s trying to convey is that nutrition isn’t complicated and that everyone can become more conscious about what they are eating.
“Nutrition is simple. If we put good foods in our bodies, we can do amazing things,” Wilson said.
Season one of the videos wrapped up in March, but Wilson plans on starting up season two this summer, but with an expanded topic range to encompass all aspects of health, including physical activity and mental health.
“When people think about health they tend to focus on one aspect like nutrition or exercise, but they’re actually one in the same,” Wilson said.
To watch Wilson’s one-minute health video series, visit the Ouachita County Extension Service Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/OuachitaCountyUAEX/.
For more information about heath and nutrition visit, https://www.uaex.edu/life-skills-wellness/ or contact your local county extension agent.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service