Social media is everywhere. We all know the examples of big brands and famous people with massive follower bases. As a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) it can be daunting to start out on social media and have zero followers. Despite this, social media matters in agriculture, that’s a certainty.
It’s a way to look for new connections, interact with followers, and show your passion for the agricultural industry. Social media channels are online communities where participants can discuss agricultural practices, share market opportunities, and advertise agribusinesses. It’s also the perfect place to share day-to-day experiences in the fields, orchards, pastures, barns, and laboratories, without having to leave the workplace. Lastly, social media has the potential for attracting the next generation of agricultural experts. Actively showcasing your work is a great way to show youth what working in the agricultural world entails.
So, you think you should be on social media, too, but don’t know where to start. Where to start, what to post, and how often to post it? We are happy to share seven tips with you on how to push your social media marketing forward.
#1 Create a strategy
Let’s take a step back and first think about your strategy. You need to be mindful with your time, so have a look at the different social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) out there and make a choice. Look into which channels are worth your time and try to determine if the channel help you better reach your audience. You can always start small and expand gradually.
Another important part of your strategy is to set some objectives per channel. Do you want to reach a certain number of followers, post at least once a week or drive traffic to your website? Establishing some objectives beforehand will help you adapt your decisions and know when you’ve reached your goal.
#2 Make sure you have a consistent presence
Whether you start with setting up one channel or claim multiple social handles, it is important to have a presence in line with your corporate identity. This means using a consistent name, logo, attractive header image, and an ‘About Us’ description that resonates with your website.
#3 Diversify in your postings
Even if every company has multiple stories to share, stay tuned with a variety of trends and topics which you might want to disseminate through your channels. Think of the following topics:
- Knowledge sharing
- Company news
- New crops or product varieties
- Client testimonials
- Your team, the people behind the brand
Also, share links with your posts to drive traffic to your website. The goal is not to convert every follower into a client but instead build a positive association that lasts for the long term.
A great example of varied posts is the LinkedIn page of Tradin Organic. The organisation posts about their products, trade fair visits, job alerts, and so on. Get inspired and come up with multiple topics you can post about.
Finally, see your employees as ambassadors. Actively stimulating your employees to follow, share and interact with your posts will help spread the message.
#4 Use the best pictures you have
People love to watch pictures. That is why you should use the best pictures you have on your social media channels. A post without a picture will not stand out in the long list of updates your followers scroll through. A great example of a company using high-quality pictures is UCHU, an Ecuadorian and Peruvian-based company that produces and processes hot peppers for worldwide export.
#5 Set up a content planning
There are numerous real-life examples of companies that tick all the boxes when it comes to social media channels set up and posting. But after some time, they simply stop being active because of a lack of time. To prevent this, make someone responsible for social media management and try to set a baseline in posting. Content planning will help you with this and there are several templates available online.
You can also use social media management tools to help you with planning and posting your updates. Tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer offer a basic free version to start with.
#6 Don’t deal with social media as a one-way street
There are many companies that treat social media as a one-way street. The only thing that matters for them is to get their message across and don’t mind the comments people post with the updates. Don’t forget the social aspect and interact with your followers by reacting and liking comments.
#7 Evaluate what works (and what doesn’t)
As you’ve set your objectives, it’s also important to occasionally evaluate what works and what doesn’t work. Look at the statistics every platform offers– they provide valuable insights. And listen to your followers, as that will be the best way how to decide how to move forward.
The final take is this: social media marketing takes time. You probably aren’t going to gain thousands of followers per week. But that doesn’t mean that you should be discouraged– if you put in the time and effort, social media will help you grow your agribusiness.