Monday, July 12, 2010

Beyond Farmville: Teens Should Use Social Media to Promote Ag Agri-View: Capitol News

Beyond Farmville: Teens Should Use Social Media to Promote Ag Agri-View: Capitol News: "Beyond Farmville: Teens Should Use Social Media to Promote Ag

By Casey Langan, Director of Public Relations, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation
Thursday, March 25, 2010 4:51 PM CDT

At first blush, being asked to deliver a speech to a group of teenagers about advocating for agriculture via social media was a little daunting.

It wasn’t so long ago that someone told me I was “too old” for the social networking phenomenon known as Facebook. The internet site first started as a place exclusively for college students to swap messages and photos. Clearly that has changed though."

Wendy's note: This popped up on a search today after I created and posted a video of the Lodi Agricultural Fair which just concluded this weekend. At the time I was thinking about sharing this video of the local fair experience with a few friends and family members on Facebook that couldn't be here to actually attend the event. My extension is to talk more directly with the Fair Board on better use of the channel for next year's fair. I love showing how excited the kids are, and then to move to the adults who volunteer so much time, and lastly the company sponsors who give money, to ensure the event is successful.

This post highlights how social media can be used to help fairs and farms as well as the downside. In marketing we always say that you always have a Brand. If you don't control your Brand, you may not like the view of the Brand that your customers or detractors have. Social media in my belief can play a major role in affecting the position of your Brand.

Agriculture is a business just like a plastics plant or paper mill. We need to have open and transparent communications with our audience. And we need to strategically think about social media. Ask yourself these questions:

What are my business goals?
Why would I use social media?
How will social media help me achieve these goals?
Where does my audience spend their time?
What problems and issues does my audience have?
What are the needs of my audience?

If you are in marketing, you normally need to answer these questions before you create a website, advertising campaign or begin a sales effort. Social Media is no different. The big difference is that since the entry point is so low, everyone just jumps in without a sustainable strategy, content development plan, engagement or escalation approach.

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