For those involved in the agricultural industry, we know that farming is a far cry from the rural idyll often portrayed. Farmers need to be confident business owners; they must understand multiple technologies for example GPS mapping, application and precision techniques and they need to stay ahead of the information curve in terms of business threats and commodity prices. They are also often in geographically remote locations. The internet and social media within it now provides access to social and commercial information to assist in the diverse range of day-to-day activities that previously would have been much harder and slower to come by.
Also, consider work location. For a farmer, he may be work in the farm office but much of his time is also spent in a tractor cab or walking his farm. This means receiving information and exchanging dialogue when on the move is imperative.
Primary farm businesses (B2B)
For a primary farm business, farm owners and workers can discuss topics like weeds, pests and diseases with their peers who are also geographically remote. The exchange of ideas and peer recommendations can really help with sharing knowledge and expertise for better business performance. There are forums like the Farming Forum and also communities like #clubhectare and #AgriChatUK on Twitter where people relevant to the farming profession can meet.
Your primary farm business recommendation: Facebook has a few spray operator groups, but actually Twitter is a much better source of contacts. Have a look at #clubhectare #AgriChatUK and #FarmersoftheUK as a starter.
Secondary farm Businesses (B2C)
For secondary farm businesses, the ability to extend your reach through social media can result in increased profit. Simple. From farm shops to glamping holidays, farmers need to be able to market their business in the B2C space (ie to consumers, not other businesses), when marketing isn’t their core skill. Social media can be an easy way to chat to your local community about what your facilities have to offer and you can reach customers further afield looking for their holiday destination too.
Your secondary farm business recommendation: If your secondary farm business is B2C then generally networks like Facebook and Trip Advisor can have great impact for you. Also, look at specific sites like http://www.farmshop.uk.com/.
Social media for farms of the future
Looking to the future, as the agricultural industry becomes ever more Global, the requirement for business owners to have access to more information will be vital. Global commodity prices obviously, but also receiving data about new disease trends and understanding how other farmers have dealt with fresh threats could really help to put the agricultural industry in a strong position for the future.
For more tips and help with making social media work hard for your farm business, contact us now or talk to our team about one of our hour-long Agricultural clinics to talk 1-2-1 with Edwina about your social media problems.