Among all the social media platforms out there, Facebook is the preferred choice in agriculture. Since farmers are on Facebook, how are you incorporating it into your marketing strategy?
Facebook currently has 2 billion monthly active users. 214 million of those are in the United States – that’s over two-thirds of the U.S. population. This means that Facebook presents agri-marketers with a powerful way to reach farmers in direct and powerful ways.
It’s only been thirteen years since Facebook was founded. But since that fateful day, the social media network has become one of the most powerful and important influencers in the world, becoming a platform where people can share their message and their thoughts with people connected with them.
And with a little bit of cash, they (and you) can grow that network to people outside their inner circles.
Do you want proof that Facebook is effective? Here are some examples of how this company has made a difference:
- They facilitated a level of influence in a presidential election that was previously unseen
- They’ve created a fundraising channel where charities and individuals can raise the necessary capital for issues and causes they care about
- They’ve revolutionized how families stay connected with each other, even across great distances
- They give businesses the opportunity to engage with their customers, clients and even new prospects
And you know what's even better than Facebook's reach? It's a highly profitable marketing channel. Here’s an infographic to show you the ROI effectiveness of social media advertising.
Believe it or not, as an agri-marketer, you have a wide-open door to take advantage of the power that Facebook can give you. We’ve talked before about how farmers are growing more and more active on social media channels. They’re ready to engage with brands they care about – hopefully yours – on their personal accounts.
With the right combination of Facebook’s targeting tools and reliable farm and grower data, you can realize ROI for your business and open up a new and cost-effective way to engage your farm customers.
Here are three advantages you'll get from Facebook ads.
1. Find New Customers
One of the biggest challenges for agri-marketers is finding new customers. Agriculture is a zero-sum game, simply because there’s a limited amount of farmland available and, thus, a limited number of farmers farming that land.
With a zero-sum market, agri-marketers have to be especially diligent in finding who their best potential customers are, nurturing them into a productive relationship and maintaining that faithful relationship over time.
This is where Facebook can be a powerful ally. Not only does the platform allow you to use their own analytics and algorithms to find new customers, but if you have access to farm data, you can use that data in concert with Facebook to even further drill down into your audience and find those customers who are going to be most likely to engage with you.
Here are some ways to use Facebook ads to find new customers.
Facebook Targeting. Although it may seem a bit like George Orwell’s infamous “Big Brother” from the novel 1984, Facebook is active in collecting data on the users. You can use this data to your advantage by creating targeted audiences directly within Facebook. Create target demographics to find new potential customers.
Upload Contacts. Facebook has a powerful tool that lets you upload a .csv file into their Ads Manager, and serve your ads directly to those people. So if you’re trying to revitalize your CRM marketing efforts, or get people who’ve signed up on your website to convert to qualified leads or customers, this would be a great option for you.
If you have a list of email addresses from a third-party data provider, you can upload those emails to Facebook to target them in an unobtrusive but direct way.
Lookalike Audiences. This is another way you can use your own farm data in concert with Facebook to create an even more reliable audience. Upload your data to Facebook, and they’ll automatically find audiences similar to those in your customer file.
That way, you can combine the power of your agri-data – whether it’s your own records or from a third-party source like Farm Market iD – and find new people similar to your current file.
2. Drive Website Traffic & Conversions
Website traffic is the first step in digital inbound lead generation. No matter how high your conversion rates are, you won’t acquire any new customers until you see some traffic at the top of the funnel. So finding ways to drive traffic to your website is an absolute necessity.
This is another benefit that you can get from social media advertising. By promoting your best content, landing pages and webpages, you can drive your Facebook fans, targeted audiences and lookalike audiences to see and engage with your content.
Hopefully, they’ll like what they see and convert into leads.
Here are two specific ways that you can use social media advertising to increase conversions.
Boost Posts. You can be posting great content, but it’s tough to get it in front of a larger audience. Consider using ads to increase the reach – that way it gets in front of more people.
Lead Ads. This is a new feature that lets you collect leads' information directly from Facebook, making it easier and more convenient for your subscribers to convert.
3. Reach Your Farmers on Facebook - Where They Are
The saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” The best thing about Facebook ads is that you’re always “in sight.”
When your farmers go to look at pictures of family members or read the latest headlines, your content will be right there, in clear sight of your audience. Thanks to Facebook’s many ad-building tools, your ads make it easy for your audience to convert both within the platform and on your website.
While direct mail, email, programmatic ads and other types of advertising are effective, social media gives you something unique – it lets you directly connect with farmers and cut through all the noise that exists in digital marketing.