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Assessing the social media use and needs of small rural retailers: implications for extension program support

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Son, Jihyeong (main author), Niehm, Linda S. (author), Russell, Daniel W. (author), Lee, Juyoung (author)
Online journal article
Publication Date:
USA: Extension Journal, Inc.
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
attitudes, communication barriers, extension programs, information needs, information networks, marketing, rural communities, rural development, technical knowledge, social media, small businesses, social captial
7 pages., Article # 2RIB2, Via online journal., To assess small rural retailers' use of social media and the role of social media in their business sustainability, we conducted focus group interviews with small business owners/managers from rural communities in a midwestern state. Participants revealed strong interest in social media, especially for use in sales and marketing. However, their engagement in social media was limited due to lack of knowledge and resources (i.e., time, human resources, financial resources, effectiveness measurement) related to developing and updating content. On the basis of these findings, we examine implications for Extension professionals and outreach educators regarding social media needs and programming for small rural businesses.