At the recent American Agri-Women conference Michelle Payne-Knoper of Causematters Corp and Agchat suggested to attendees that they could make a difference for Agvocacy (Agriculture Advocacy) if they spent 15 mins. a day on Social Media. But what does that look like? How can 15 mins. help transform the public face of agriculture?
The first thing to know is these 15 mins do not include your personal contact with friends and family, playing games or accepting app requests. Unless your friends and family have responded to a post about agriculture.You’re aiming for a much broader scope.
If you are personally involved with agriculture as part of your day to day life update your status with seasonal happenings on your operation. The general population doesn’t know what happens in the pumpkin patch after they take home their pumpkin to carve a Jack-o-lantern, or what time of year lambing happens at. Try to keep your status upbeat, and jargon free or help your non-farm friends understand the terms you use.
Read posts from agriculture groups you like. If you need some place to get started I suggest: on Facebook American Agri-Women, Advocate for Agriculture, Agriculture Everyday and a state/local agriculture group like Oregon Ag in the Classroom or Oregon Women for Ag. On Twitter @Agchat @Foodchat @Women4Ag or @Agnews Then retweet on Twitter, or Like/Comment/Share on Facebook. To retweet hover your mouse over the post you’d like to share. Favorite, Retweet and Reply will show up. Click on Retweet and a box will come up, click Retweet one more time to share it. On Facebook under each post you will see a link to Like (give it a thumbs up,) Comment (say something about it,) or Share (post it to your wall, so your friends and family can see it.) The more of these a post has the longer it will stay in the Top News on Facebook.
Do a little scanning on Google for ag related news and videos. Use carefully selected keys words, and keep the scan short so you don’t get overloaded. Or look on Youtube for a good video about the kind of business you run. Each watch on Youtube of an agricultural video that shows the true story is a vote for agvocacy. Look for share buttons on blogs, news sites, and Youtube that allow you to automatically share links on Facebook or Twitter.
Check your @mentions and new followers on Twitter. Then send a quick thank you to each of them. From your home @mentions is the second tab under What’s Happening. You may get an email for each new follower. If you have this default setting tracking new followers is easy. If not from home click on Followers on the right side of the screen next to Following. Newest followers appear on the top of the list. If their interests seem similar follow them back.
Post Pictures of your farm or agri-business. Use Facebook Photos, or Twit Pics or Flickr. Make sure to give a description that is easy to follow and easy to understand. This is of course flexible. You may find some days where a conversation on Facebook or Twitter is really engrossing to you and you choose to spend more time commenting or sharing stories. Or you may find a series of videos on Youtube that really needs sharing.
If all of this is overwhelming just do a little everyday, keep it real and keep it simple. Soon you will find yourself comfortable enough with Social Media tools to spend a full 15 mins., if not 30 mins. a day being an Advocate for Agriculture.
For more hints and help visit http://www.causematters.com/ag-social-media/ or Like my Facebook page or Follow me on Twitter @thetechchef to be kept up-to-date with new blogs featuring Social Media How-to’s and Privacy Hints.