If you're wondering whether social media marketing is a good investment for your ag company, start out with some easy baby steps. Here are some common uses of social media in agriculture.
Social media is more than just a communications channel. Each platform – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. – is its own online community. And it’s changing the way we market.
Social media isn’t a place to simply “blast things out” and hope they go viral. Rather, it’s a place to continually nurture and engage your audience, establishing yourself as a presence in their day-to-day lives.
It won’t yield immediate results. And yes, some days it’ll feel like you’re not reaping any rewards from social media.
But the key is patience. Social media marketing, like any good digital marketing efforts, are based on a snowball effect. Keep showing up, keep marketing, and you’ll start to see results over time.
The good news for you is that social media marketing can be really easy (and free) to get started with. Here are some tips for leveraging social media in agriculture.
1. Share content your farmers will find interesting
The goal of any social media marketing campaign is to establish yourself as an invaluable and irreplaceable resource for your audience. People will only follow you if you have something of value to offer, so you have to entice them to keep coming back for more.
A great way to do this is to share compelling content with your farmers – something that they’ll find interesting and will help them in their day-to-day lives.
A great example of interesting content from American Farmland Trust.
Here are some tips for great content:
- Post something that helps them do their jobs better
- Post industry updates
- Post inspirational and motivational quotes or articles
- Post videos – they get more engagement than any other kind of content
This could either be content you create and publish on your own blog, or it could be third-party content that you’ve curated and are sharing simply because you think it’ll be helpful. And thanks to social media tools like Hootsuite and Buffer, you can schedule these posts to go out at strategic times .
Of course, you’ll want to know whether you’re posting content that your audience wants to see. That’s where social media metrics can help. Here are three easy ones to track:
- Likes. This is a good sign that your post interests your audience.
- Comments. This shows you how many people want to engage in conversations around your content, which will help increase visibility.
- Clicks. This shows the number of people who found your content so compelling that they left the application and visited the website.
It’s easy to take a few minutes in the morning to post on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Then, see whether your farmers are interacting with the content, adjust and repeat.
2. Talk about the goings on of your company
People love “behind-the-scenes” footage. Thanks to social media, it’s easier for consumers to see behind-the-scenes of the brands and companies they care most about. And consumers do make buying decisions based on what they see on social media.
With your own social media account, it’s easier than ever for you to pull back the curtain and let your audience see the goings on of your company.
...or something formal like announcing major personnel changes.
Feature some of your employees so people can get to know the “faces” of your company. Live tweet a big event or a webinar. Show footage of your team working in your offices, plants or factories.
These are all ways to give insight into your company. It’ll let your audience see that you’re not just a brand, but you’re human: and they’ll want to do business with you even more.
3. Mention upcoming offers
While email lets you put a message directly in your prospects’ and customers’ inboxes, social media is even more direct, putting your message in front of people without the need for any contact info.
So when it’s time to launch a new product, update or offer, consider using social media to make the announcement.
A stellar product announcement from Kubota.
Are you launching a new product? Create a compelling image or video and post it on your timeline. Are you offering a discount on a service you offer? Post a coupon or discount code that only your social media followers can access. Trying to drive last minute sales? Send out a Tweet and let your followers respond in real time.
Social media can help you get your message out quickly and directly. So if you need to boost those offers, be sure to get started with social media marketing.
4. Offer content that will drive them to convert
While social media is a great tool for building community, increasing your brand awareness and driving real-time engagement, one area where it has incredible power is in lead generation.
With social media, you no longer have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on TV or radio ads, getting limited ROI and little to no engagement. Instead, invest your time and dollars in a platform that helps you find new audiences, engage the audiences you have and directly place your message in front of people as they catch up with family or the news.
Whether it’s through CTAs at the end of blog posts, videos that provide a URL to the “next step,” or an eBook that you’re just posting directly on your timeline, offer good, creative content that will entice your audience to download.
In exchange, you get their email address, and their permission to continue sending them communications – hopefully nurturing them into a customer.