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Social Media 101 for Agriculture

In today’s world many in the agriculture industry are becoming more active in social media to market their products, educate their customers, and connect with their community. Those in the agriculture community are finding that social media is useful to bringing their farm or business into the public eye and leading to more successful business. Whether they are posting videos on YouTube or daily updates on Facebook, they are finding social media as a way to draw more customers and get people talking about their farm or business.

Farming has come a long way as a result of the many technological advances in the past decades. With all of this change, comes new ways for those in the agriculture industry to market themselves. While many still rely on word of mouth as they did in the past, a new digital landscape have evolved allowing them to reach out to more consumers than every before.

Social media can seem intimidating if you are new to it, but the good news is that it is not that difficult to get the ball rolling. Getting started is as simple as signing up. Each social media platform has some version of a business page or account that you can sign up for using your personal account or starting from scratch. These business pages are filtered differently when it comes to the algorithms these platforms have and can be more useful than a personal page.

When trying to decide which tools you want to use, write down your objectives and research social media platforms to find which ones best alight with your goals. Consider your vision, target audience, and what you are trying to achieve with your account. The following is a brief overview of some of the most used platforms and what they can be used for:
  • Facebook
    • Users can post videos, photos, and text updates. This platform is the most commonly used and is great for education purposes and keeping in touch with your community and customers.
  • Twitter
    • Users can post videos, photos, and text updates, but with limited amounts of text. This platform is more used for news type updates and quick notes. This is a great platform to keep your community updated about what your business is doing.
  • Instagram
    • Users can post photos and videos. This platform can be great for posting photos of what is going on around your business and keeping the community updates using visuals.
  • LinkedIn
    • Users can post photos, videos, and text updates. This platform is more business to business based. It is more formal than all of the other platforms.
  • YouTube
    • Users can post videos. This platform is great for positing educational videos.

Once you have an idea of what you want to do with your social media presence, you can get started. Our advice is to start with one tool and build that out before committing to more platforms.

There are many types of content that you can post on your social media platform. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
  • Post daily/weekly updates about what is going on around your farm
  • Share educational articles or agriculture messages
  • Post photos or videos of your farm and operations
  • Share agritourism events or events on your area
  • Inform your followers about anything else you want them to know about your farm

Social media can connect your business to the outside world. As you dive deeper into using social media, it is important to remember the following etiquette.

Be positive. It is important to maintain a positive presence on your social media pages. If someone leaves a negative comment, do not take it personally. Try to promote a civil conversation and know when it is worthwhile to engage vs move on. When in doubt, you can always encourage the individual to privately message your business and therefore taking the conversation out of the public eye.

Be passionate. People will get excited about your farm if you are. What is it that motivate you? What do you find interesting? Share your passions and people will be drawn to what you are sharing.

Be consistent. While it is not necessary to post every single day, your followers are following you because they want to hear from you. Try to post on a consistent basis so that they don’t lose interest and unfollow you.

Be authentic. Speak about what you know is try to build a brand that people trust. Remember, you are promoting your business and livelihood. Present yourself in a confident, reliable voice that people turn to as a result.

Be interactive. Social media is all about connecting, it is a two way street. You will retain the your followers if you show interest in who is following you. If it becomes overwhelming to respond to every comment or message, just remember to show appreciation for the support you are receiving.

Taking advantage of social media as a farm, you can form relationships and cultivate a following of people who appreciate your business and the agriculture community just as much as you do.