Social Media

Did you know that there are over 200 social media sites on the Internet?  You're probably familiar with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and a few others… There are a host of special interest, oddball and esoteric sites that serve the people's interests that you probably never knew existed. Use of social media sites by big business is challenging but for small business and small farms in particular, it can be a struggle to make effective use of the popular social media channels. Don't get too worried about all those sites. . . you will only need to be concerned with a few. And, even though it can be daunting for someone who hasn't ventured into social media before – your customers are out there, so it may be a fantastic opportunity to improve your business.

  • Start with a plan. Outline your marketing goals and try to envision how each social media site can help. This will assist you in understanding what you want to achieve. Then work out how to measure progress towards those goals – don’t get bogged down tracking numbers you don’t care about -- just plan on measuring what is coming back from the social media site so you can determine whether it is a windfall or a waste of time!social-media
  • Find your audience. Define exactly who you want to reach. They’re probably similar to your current customers. So ask a handful of your customers which social networks they use. Also check to see what is – or isn’t – working for other similar farms on their social profiles. You don’t have to be on every social media site – start where the biggest potential audience is for your farm. And be aware that age will play a huge role in where you need to look for future customers. People under 45 will be on Facebook and Twitter (at the least), between 45 and 55 should be on Facebook and over 55 may not be on social media at all.
  • Make sure you commit regular scheduled time to your social media presence. Clearly identify who does this job in your operation, and ensure they learn and maintain the skills needed to post, monitor, manage and respond effectively and in a timely fashion.
  • Finally, don’t forget that social media is also a customer service channel – be ready to respond to all feedback, good or bad. Keep focused on what you are trying to deliver in your social media strategy so that you don't get dragged off track by the conversations around your brand. Whoever is managing the social media function should be honest, forthright and be themselves.
  • Have fun with it. Don't see it as an advertising function so much as a social function. Connect person to person with your customers and you'll find several good friends and the odd sale in the bunch!.
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