Business & Policy
Five reasons producers and agri-businesses should use social media
November 29, 2012 – Farm Credit Canada (FCC) says being active on social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook can provide business value to producers and agri-businesses.
"Social media is here to stay and it's a natural fit for the agriculture and agri-food industry," says Kellie Garrett, Senior Vice-President, Strategy, Knowledge and Reputation. "Since many farms and agri-businesses are located mostly in rural areas across Canada, social media is a convenient tool that makes it easier to build relationships and stay on top of the latest information. Current smart phone technology puts social media right in your pocket, allowing you to maximize your valuable time."
Five reasons producers and agri-businesses should use social media:
1. Stay informed about industry news and trends
Most news organizations and many agriculture experts are on Twitter and Facebook. By following or liking their social media accounts, links to the latest articles and videos come to you.
2. Research best practices
In social media, distance is meaningless. It has never been quicker or easier to share knowledge and best practices, no matter where your networks and sources are located.
3. Build stronger customer relationships
Social media is a great way to find new markets and customers, and strengthen relationships with the customers you already have. You can also ask them what they want from you and your business.
4. Connect with suppliers and service providers
The companies that you deal with are likely on social media. Equipment manufacturers and dealers, fertilizer companies, grain handlers and even lenders, including FCC and Top Crop Manager (@FCCagriculture and @TopCropMag on Twitter), provide news and information to their customers and offer customer support through their social media channels.
5. Promote the agriculture industry
The agriculture and agri-food system is Canada's largest employer and Canada is the fifth largest exporter of agri-food and seafood products in the world. Yet despite a promising future, misperceptions about the industry exist. Social media makes it easy for you to advocate for your industry by engaging in dialogue with others. For example, Agriculture More Than Ever is an industry cause that makes it easy for those in agriculture to share their positive ag stories through social media (www.agriculturemorethanever.ca or on Twitter @AgMoreThanEver).
"Start with the most popular social media networks, such as Twitter (www.twitter.com) and Facebook (www.facebook.com)," says Garrett. "You don't need to tweet or post content every day to realize the benefits. Follow influential people and organizations in the ag industry and try retweeting or sharing posts that interest you. As you follow others and share content, your own following will grow."
Find accounts to follow by looking at who others follow.
For example, on Twitter, FCC has over 1,300 English and French followers and follows about 200 organizations and individuals who are influential in Canadian agriculture. Follow @FCCagriculture and @TopCropMag for the latest agriculture news, trends the chance to engage with industry players.
For a more in-depth look into how to get started on sicla media, please see the video at the top of this article from the FCC.