The Power of Social Media in Agribusiness
Social media is here to stay – and it’s not just for being social. Over 3.6 billion people use social media networks for an average of 2 ½ hours a day. From a business perspective, that’s a lot of opportunity to reach potential customers. Using social media is a fast, inexpensive, and effective way to build your brand (read about the importance of brand in agribusiness). It introduces more people to your business and allows them to get to know you, making them more likely to seek out you and your products. Marketing industry sources say variations on the same thing: No matter what you have to sell, social media can help you sell it.
But farmers are the heart of agribusinesses – and farmers don’t have time for keeping up a robust social media presence. They’re too busy keeping alive and healthy the plants and animals that provide the food we eat. But here’s the thing: social media can help keep their farms alive.
Fortunately, there are a lot of organizations, associations, and coalitions out there whose mission is to help our farms – indeed, the entire agricultural system – stay alive and healthy. The New York Animal Agriculture Coalition, Agricultural Stewardship Association, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the New York Farm Bureau are just a few of these.
Some use their organization’s social media presence to help members grow. For example, New York Animal Agriculture Coalition (NYAAC), which represents and advocates for animal agriculture, with a focus on NY dairy farms, uses Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and its blog to educate, entertain and engage consumers. “We want people to understand that farmers are great people, and the dairy products you’re consuming come from a great place where they care for their animals, the land they live on, and the people they work with,” said executive director Eileen Jensen. “That’s our ultimate goal, to have people appreciate the industry.”
Others may have the best of intentions, but not enough bandwidth. A strong social media presence is time-consuming. In our next post we’ll look at the steps involved in a solid social media effort.
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