July 17, 2015

Social Soil: Facebook

*Welcome to Social Soil - a series of social media posts for farmers. Whether you're a seasoned social media veteran or just trying to start, we want to help farmers with their "ag+advocacy" skills ("AGvocacy") so together we can promote Nebraska corn and agriculture.*

Facebook is probably the most popular when it comes to social media. It allows for easy interaction among friends, colleagues, businesses, brands, companies, organizations, and more. For agriculture, Facebook gives us a voice and a platform to many people (and consumers) who we otherwise wouldn't be able to reach. Here are a few fun Facebook user stats from the most updated Digital Marketing Report.

  • 1.44 billion monthly active users 
  • 72% of online adults visit Facebook at least once a month 
  • 936 million people are daily active Facebook users 
  • 21 minutes is the average time each user spends on Facebook per day
That's a lot of people and a lot of time spent on Facebook! All the more reason that farmers and ag industry organizations alike need to be engaged on the Facebook platform sharing educational information, pictures, video, memes, and more.

There are different ways to interact or be involved on Facebook. You can have a personal page that describes who you are and you can post whatever you want. There are "fan" pages or company/business/brand pages that allow you to create a page that corresponds with your business - say a family farm page. There are also groups - they can be private or pubic - that you can start or join. Groups encourage more interaction where discussions are started and more information is shared.  

Here are a few great examples of how people in agriculture are doing a great job on Facebook agvocating. 

Most websites have a corresponding Facebook page that they can route info to from their website and reach different demographics. Agriculture.com (among many) is one of those who does a good job at posting pictures and directing Facebook users back to their website.

Family farm pages are perfect for sharing what you do on the farm and allowing people outside of your "friends" to see what you do on your farm. Two great Nebraska examples are Schwarz Family Farms and Weeks Family Farms.

Schwarz Family Farms raises organic crops and produce in Gosper County. Their family has been farming for over 100 years and they have a great story to tell.

Weeks Family Farms is in South Central Nebraska raising popcorn, white corn, yellow corn, soybeans, alfalfa, prairie hay and their kids.

A public group on Facebook that is popular with women in farming and ranching is the "Women in Agriculture" group. This group is public meaning anyone can request to join (private groups only allow you to join with an invitation). The goal of the Women in Ag group page is to help connect and uphold farm women in all dimensions of their farm and family life. Here, you'll find useful information for all of your jobs on the farm, from managing the business to raising kids, plus a place to talk with other farm women.

Lastly is a no-brainer: be sure to follow the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association Facebook Pages! 

So your challenge for this next week: if you're not already on Facebook, consider getting an account and sharing what you do as a farmer. It may seem mundane to you, but you'll be surprised how many people will really find it interesting and possibly change their misconceptions about agriculture.

If you are on Facebook, how can you engage with your consumer? Try posting a short video clip from your phone (we're talking simple!) when you're out checking the irrigation pivots, getting machinery ready for harvest, or feeding your cattle. Explain what you're doing - it's simple, educational, and people get to see you (a farmer) on a farm working hard to raise food!

Read other Social Soil posts here!

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