January 5, 2016

Social Soil: Social Media That Farmers Should Be Using In 2016

*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.*

The experts from Social Examiner.com gave some great advice on what social media platforms and strategies to focus on this year. And we thought that farmers and ranchers - and anyone involved in agriculture - could benefit from a few of these ideas.

#1: Social Media Goes Private
Farmers like more privacy so this should appeal to them and get you more comfortable using social media as a way to communicate. Social media is going more private: private groups and messaging apps. Whether it’s on Facebook or LinkedIn, we’re already starting to see usage of private groups take hold and a surge in people creating them. Snapchat started this, but the shift to messaging apps (think Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Line, etc.) is going to force brands to get a lot more private and personal with their social media expenditure.

What does all of this mean? We are pushing ever closer to a new kind of social media: one that happens on these public and for-profit channels and networks, but one where the best (and possibly most valuable) content can only be seen by those who are granted permission to see it… or by a small group of people.

#3: Companies Adapt Social Strategies Around People 
SE experts say that 2016 will be the year where more companies implement adaptive social. Meaning, they are focusing efforts not just around marketing initiatives, but how they can engage with people.

This couldn't be more perfect for agriculture! We need to focus on how to reach people through social media to give them an emotional and real connection to how food is raised. This will result in more participation and ultimately a greater reach and more authentic trust for topics around food and farm.
Center for Food Integrity and AFBF connect with people using stories about real people raising real food.
#4: Visuals Customized By Platform Become Critical 
Visual marketing will continue to grow in 2016, making it absolutely necessary for brands to have a solid plan for visuals including multimedia such as long- and short-form video for YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, as well as graphics for blog content.

The same goes for farmers and ranchers. Now more than ever, sharing images of everyday life on the farm or ranch is critical to sharing our story and making a personal connection with consumers.
Instagram from Mark Jagels, Davenport, Neb., @mjagz62
See the whole list from SE experts here.

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