I have been a Facebook user since 2009. However, I didn’t realize the true magnitude of how social media impacts our lives until I enrolled in the course Utilizing Social Media in Agricultural Communications taught by Dr. Courtney Gibson at Texas Tech University. Multiple social media platforms exist and all feature benefits such as free advertisement, information dissemination, and providing a means for viewers to share their opinions. Using social media in agriculture is very important! It’s a form of technology enjoyed by users that shouldn’t be ignored.
The following is a list of 10 examples featuring good social media use in agriculture.
John Deere demonstrates good social media use with their YouTube channel. Videos are grouped into segments such as agriculture, forestry, and construction in addition to playlists featuring specific topics such as John Deere Financial, Improving Your Efficiency, and Haymaking Tips and Tricks. With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn plugins on their home page they are also easily accessible on other social media platforms. John Deere engages in conversations with viewers through their discussion page as well.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) does a good job of putting time and effort into their YouTube channel. They consistently post media with their last video uploaded two days ago in addition to featuring their logo as their profile picture. The USDA also has other channels they subscribe to and are persistent in displaying their contact information at the end of every video. The USDA extends their influence on social media by not only utilizing YouTube but Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, and Google Plus to name a few.
Extension focuses on helping people better their lives through unbiased research. NDSU’s channel features videos grouped into playlists such as Horticulture for the Home, Fall Lawn and Garden, and Farm Safety. These videos show the results of people utilizing their services. NDSU consistently uploads videos with their last one added three weeks ago. Subscribing to other channels also helps viewers identify similar topics.
Although I do not support HSUS and their agriculture abolishment efforts, I figured they must be doing something right when it comes to social media because they are VERY effective in persuading people. Turns out I was right unfortunately! They publish about 3-4 tweets everyday for their followers to see what’s happening in real time. With about 2000 pictures and videos, utilizing cute pictures of cats and dogs and funny animal stories is what they do best. They also attract followers by commonly re-tweeting other messages. In opposition to HSUS, the detective group HumaneWatch is also present on Twitter where they share findings about HSUS’s donations to animal shelters.
I will admit that my strength in agriculture lies in dairying and animal welfare. With a desire to learn about agriculture equipment, I enjoy reading Fastline’s Twitter feed. They practice good social media use by consistently posting at least one tweet everyday and frequently share other tweets and use mentions. These two actions provide more exposure to Twitter users and aid in searching hashtags. Their photos often feature timeless quotes and eye appealing typography. Fastline’s tweets are very positive and uplifting as well.
Heartwood Farm is a great example of social media use for variety of reasons. The farm is working to establish themselves in the social media world by using their logo in their profile picture in addition to a masthead with a beautiful cow picture. The majority of their posts also include a picture, video, or link to a website putting even more opportunities at the viewers’ fingertips. In their posts they also utilize hashtags which works to also cross promote their tweets on Twitter.
With almost 20,000 likes, World Dairy Expo utilizes Facebook to promote this event held in Madison, WI. They serve as a good example of social media use for a variety of reasons but I believe they best exemplify this because of their extensive photo gallery. This helps attract prospective visitors and in addition to showcasing their pictures, they post messages consistently throughout the year even though expo occurs only for one week in early October. World Dairy Expo engages its viewers by hosting contests and encouraging dialogue with its followers.
Agriculture Everyday does a fantastic job of keeping viewers engaged with their photos, videos, and neat infographics that accompany their posts. They needed a timeline photo and sponsored a contest where followers could submit their pictures to be voted on. This way a great way to make viewers feel important by getting them involved. They feature newsworthy content and facts with brief, pertinent posts.
The National FFA Organization effectively utilizes Instagram to promote their group with their display of attractive, high quality, and creative photos of FFA students across the nation. They incorporate other social media platforms such as Twitter into their pictures to create conversation with hashtags such as #goffa and #ffathanks. My favorite photo is a screen shot with Easton Corbin’s tweet mentioning National FFA. It’s a great example of how they used a celebrity and his influence to their benefit.
Instagram is a great social media outlet for Bonnie to showcase her paintings and photographs. As one of the most well-known artists in agriculture, her work is conveniently assorted by date. All of her images are of excellent quality with hashtags such as #lifeonthefarm and #summer as Twitter identifiers. Her tagline provides a brief description of her that includes her website and subsequent blog link. She really makes her site personal, sharing who she is and her love for painting and rural life.