January 20, 2010

More people going social - are you?

A research summary posted over at Groundswell shows that 70 percent of those 18 and older who are online participate in social media in some form - whether that be through reading blogs, listening to podcasts, watching video, reading forums or checking out cutomer ratings/reviews and tweets. (These are the "Spectators" in the Forrester graphic below. And yes, if you're reading this, you're among the 70 percent!)

About one-third of those online post updates to a social networking site like Facebook and/or Twitter weekly. This group is called the "conversationalists," a group it says are 56 percent female - and 70 percent of those making up this group are 30 or older. (One of the younger groups on the ladder's rungs, which is inteesting.) Facebook is more prevalent than Twitter in this group.

The survey noted that nearly 60 percent of Internet users visit social networking sites or have a profile on one -- a segment that is "growing rapidly" Groundswell blogger Josh Bernoff said.

This does not demonstrate that social media is "the" way to reach people. Just that it is "a" way - and not one that farmers and those in agriculture can ignore or blow off as a fad.

Tools available to farmers and others in agriculture to tell their story - to jump in the game - are fairly easy to adopt. Your messages about farming, farm life and food production are growing in importance as people want to learn about where food comes from and they hear negative stories from those who don't agree with how you farm or raise livestock.

People want to know the truth - they're just waiting for someone who does the job to tell them about it.

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