This is something I debated considerably when I decided to go full steam ahead with Upper Cumberland Weather earlier this year: do I continue running the Smith County Weather and Trousdale Severe Weather Twitter accounts separately, or do I merge them into the larger umbrella that is Upper Cumberland Weather?
After all, Smith County and Trousdale County are both included in Upper Cumberland Weather’s coverage area, meaning there is added redundancy on my part in posting updates for each county twice on Twitter, especially during severe weather…
Ultimately, I opted to continue running Smith County Weather and Trousdale Severe Weather independently from Upper Cumberland Weather, which I created a separate Twitter account for (unlike Facebook, where I converted the existing Smith County Weather account there to the Upper Cumberland Weather brand).
Unlike Facebook, which is algorithm-based and becoming increasingly ineffective for posting real-time, text-based updates during severe weather, Twitter (for the most part) shows you all tweets in order. This is perfect for communicating time-sensitive information during severe and winter weather situations.
And, with over 1,200 followers of Smith County Weather and 250 followers of Trousdale Severe Weather, there was very much an audience of folks to consume those severe weather updates.
However, this strategy has created many logistical issues on my part that have degraded the quality of the product I’m producing on Twitter.
For one, I’m currently managing three distinct Twitter accounts, in addition to Upper Cumberland Weather on Facebook.
That’s “I,” first person. Me. Anthony.
That’s right: only one person is running this show.
At the time of writing this, Upper Cumberland Weather on Facebook has 5,691 followers. The Twitter account has 167. Smith County Weather on Twitter has 1,255 followers, and Trousdale Severe Weather has 262 followers.
That’s nearly 7,400 followers across four different accounts.
Additionally, Upper Cumberland Weather covers 12 counties: Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Trousdale and White.
Again, I am but one person.
When I only had Smith County and Trousdale County to worry about, that was simple enough. Things could become a bit hectic at times, but I love weather and my community, and that love greatly transcended any difficulties I came across.
Even with the addition of ten more counties, which you’d think would make things even more difficult on my part, I’ve found ways to ease those pains and actually make it fun, mainly through live streaming during severe weather rather than posting those text-based updates I mentioned earlier.
In fact, the ability to live stream during severe weather is the only way Upper Cumberland Weather could become a reality — both with Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope platform.
But… that leaves Smith County Weather and Trousdale Severe Weather in limbo.
If I’m live with Upper Cumberland Weather on Periscope and Facebook Live (fortunately for me, I can go live to BOTH platforms simultaneously!), then where does that leave Smith County Weather and Trousdale Severe Weather?
I can’t tweet while I’m live. I mean, I can, but it’s highly distracting to those watching. I can simply ‘retweet’ the Periscope stream, but what’s the point?
Once again, I’m already covering Smith and Trousdale Counties via Upper Cumberland Weather.
And even on normal, non-severe-weather days, I’m not nearly as active on Twitter as I once was, mainly because updating three accounts is time-consuming and especially redundant when the content on two of those accounts can be found on the third.
I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that, well, there really is no point in me keeping Smith County Weather and Trousdale Severe Weather up and running anymore.
Upper Cumberland Weather launched at the end of June. It’s now the end of December, meaning I’ve now been running Smith County Weather and Trousdale Severe Weather for six months independently from Upper Cumberland Weather.
Six months is enough time for me to have decided that this format simply isn’t working and that a change needs to be made.
As of January 1, 2018, the Upper Cumberland Weather (@CumberlandWx) and Trousdale Severe Weather (@TrousdaleWx) Twitter accounts will be shut down.
Just as I did with Facebook back in June, Smith County Weather (@SmithCountyWx) will be re-branded as Upper Cumberland Weather and assume its current Twitter handle.
Why am I doing it this way and not simply shutting down Smith County Weather as it is currently and allowing Upper Cumberland Weather to continue?
Well, Smith County Weather has over 1,000 more followers than Upper Cumberland Weather currently has. It just makes good business sense to continue on from that account.
Plus, and as I’ve already mentioned, Smith County is covered by Upper Cumberland Weather.
Not only that, but I LIVE IN SMITH COUNTY!
Smith County is still my home, and of course I still want my friends and family to receive the same quality of hyper-local severe and winter weather updates they’ve come to rely upon!
I know there are several of you reading this who would rather me continue running Smith County Weather as I always have, and a couple of you may even unfollow altogether (even though, like I said, I’m still covering Smith County…..).
This isn’t an easy decision to make, but it’s the right decision.
Only good things will come of this. For one thing, you’ll see more content tweeted out each day as I no longer have to worry about updating three accounts (plus Facebook).
Additionally, severe weather coverage will be consolidated through one single channel: Upper Cumberland Weather. And since I’m doing a lot more live streaming, Periscope will be used much more extensively.
Just the overall quality of the product I’m producing will improve, not just on Twitter, but also on Facebook since, again, I’m only having to focus on Upper Cumberland Weather and not two additional sub-brands.
Change isn’t always fun, but I feel it is necessary here as we move forward into 2018. And what all I have planned for this upcoming year, I don’t think you all will be disappointed!
As always, I thank you all for your continued support of what I’m doing here, and I just ask for your patience during this transition period. It’s worked out incredibly well on Facebook, and I believe that success will be repeated on Twitter.