What Happens to Social Media Upon Death?

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The issue of one’s digital legacy currently does not receive a great deal of attention. That fact lies in the relatively newness of social media.

Preparation for one’s death is not a new topic with estate plans, wills, trusts, and other legal documents. And some of one’s digital assets such as pictures, video and text are covered in these.

Yet the online social media platforms bring a new set of challenges.

Lara Bowman, Mississippi State University Extension Service, has put together a fact sheet outlining the options available on various platforms. You can find the material at: http://msucares.com/pubs/infosheets/is2011.pdf

This fact sheet is a great place to start if you need to handle the social media accounts for a relative or friend, either business or personal.  You may also want to check to see if your state has any laws regarding such digital legacies.

This material should help you get started. You can also check with your local Extension agent to see if there is anything state-specific.


Important to Watch Trends

Mary PeabodyStaying current with what’s coming is key to small business success.

Your business is bubbling along. Things are going good. And then one day you look out and no one is buying anything. Not only are they not buying anything but there isn’t even anyone coming in the door.

Can you envision this?  What happened?

One of the possible answers is you missed an important trend.

Mary Peabody, University of Vermont Extension, looks that this topic of “trends.”

She notes how important it is for business owners to keep an eye on what’s going on.  She also cautions business owners to try and distinguish what is actually a trend from something that might be a fad.

Trends, she notes, can have a serious impact on your business but they can also represent opportunities.  If you find an interesting trend, further determine if it is going up or headed down. You want, if possible, to catch the upswing.

Watch this webinar. And then check out trends. It’s worth the effort. 


Finding Ideas

Ugly Food of the NorthIt is not uncommon for individuals wanting to start a business to struggle finding a  business idea.

Many people do know what they want or are told that something they are already doing would be a good business. But not everyone falls into one of those categories.

Even for those who know what they would like to do, they know that making money would be hard, if not impossible, and so they end up searching as well.

Sometimes finding that idea happens by luck. Often, though, it happens by staying open to opportunities. 

I want to share an example of sometimes are right in front of us. And while this group is doing something for a social good, this same idea in other places has been turned into a viable business idea.

Ugly Food of the North sprang out of the discussions of a group of North Dakota thinkers. Like many ideas, the issue was right in front of a whole community. Yet few saw the opportunity and even fewer took action.

So are you looking for an idea?  Just let your mind wander. It might be right in front of you. Perhaps invite a group to wander with you.

Just one way to find your idea.

Facebook Marketing Using Contests

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Just want to do a follow up to the Jan 20th post when I highlighted Dr. James Barnes chat on Facebook ads.

If you are a Facebook follower, you know that one of the marketing tools you can use on Facebook are contests. This article, also done by James, looks at how such contests can boost consumer engagement.

He notes, however, the need to follow Facebook’s contest rules.

If you want to do contests make sure you “play by the rules.” Not doing so may harm your future marketing efforts.

With 1.4 billion users using Facebook, it will be time well spent.


Community Development: Retaining Rural Grocers

Elwood marketThanks go to Dr. Dan Kahl, Associate Director of the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky for this week’s blog idea. His idea demonstrates the power of the national Cooperative Extension Service network as he mentions work being done in Kansas.

It’s not a secret. Many small rural towns struggle to maintain themselves and their quality of life.

Part of that quality comes from having certain amenities such as a local cafe and a school. Another key component is a local grocery store. This local store often becomes a meeting point where neighbor sees neighbor, where the bulletin board serves as a “social media” sharing site, and where many events are held.

Obviously we all need food and that means access. USDA talks about food deserts or places where, for rural situations, people have to drive more than 10 miles to get to a supermarket or large grocery store. But such stores serve as much more.

Kansas State University has developed the Rural Grocery Initiative to help these rural linchpin stores maintain themselves and grow. When Dan sent the information about this effort, he specifically mentioned their Rural Grocery Tool Kit as a useful resource. Not only are a variety of tools found but there is also a variety of reports such as Rural Grocery Stores: Ownership Models that Work for Rural Communities.

Since 2007, Kansas State’s Center for Engagement and Community Development has worked on this project. They have done several national meetings for store owners and community stakeholders. Their National Rural Grocery Summit V is set for June 6th and 7th in Wichita, Kansas. See their web site for more information.

Growing your local economy through your rural grocery store. Looking for help, here is a great resource.  

Here is another story on supporting rural grocery stores.