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News & Media: Staff Columns

Dairy Strong Bloggers: 7 social media tips for beginners

Wednesday, March 22, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joanna Wavrunek, social media specialist
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Getting more involved on social media provides the dairy community with numerous benefits but can be daunting at first. There are over a billion people around the world consumed by social media every day. One post could create millions of lasting impressions. It all starts with baby steps to reach your goals and reap the rewards.

Whether it’s you, your farm or your employer diving into the social media world, keep in mind these seven tips:

Understand each social media platform

Select a social media platform(s) or site(s) that best fits the content that you plan to share. Facebook is a good choice to share blogs, articles, images, videos and life updates. Twitter is best to deliver news items and quick updates in the form of text, photos or videos in 140 characters or less. YouTube is strictly for video content. Instagram is used to share images and videos that typically pertain to life experiences. Pinterest is great for discovering and sharing ideas or projects, such as crafts, recipes and blogs.

Keep it simple and real

Dairy farming is a foreign language to many of our customers, so it’s essential to explain everyday farm terminology in a simple way that’s easy to understand. Use analogies that relate to a non-farming person’s life. Keep it real by being yourself and letting your personality shine through pictures, articles and videos. Customers want transparency.

Follow the pack

The dairy community has a core group of people who have been active on social media for many years and have areas where they excel. Follow their content and share posts to allow your followers to see what other dairy leaders are doing. This will help boost their content, grow your following and keep you up-to-date on the latest information.

Ordinary to extraordinary

What you might think is an ordinary day on the farm is an extraordinary day to someone else. Seeing a curious Jersey cow or letting the dry cows out on pasture for the first day of spring are examples of great moments to record and share on social media. Capturing a moment that melts your heart will have a lasting impact with the social media audience.

When capturing daily events on the farm, make a point to step back and take a look at the picture or video through the eyes of a customer before posting it online. Ask yourself how this action or event might look to someone with little or no dairy experience, and scan the background for things that may not look their best, such as a cow with excessive manure on her legs or udder. You understand the inner workings of a dairy farm, but your viewers may not. Just like online dating, you want to post pictures that portray you and your farm at your best.

Making your voice heard

There are a few ways to get your voice into the conversation on social media. On Twitter and Instagram, users communicate through hashtags (the pound sign followed by a word or phrase). A popular hashtag used is #agchat. This allows the audience to follow or participate in the conversation by clicking on and using the hashtag. On Facebook, users will tag others or a business along with adding a location. The more specific the post, the greater the opportunity to reach a broader audience. YouTube allows users to add tags so information can easily be found.

Watch out for the naysayers

Each social media account allows you the ability to adjust your security settings. You can make your accounts public – meaning anyone can see your content – or only open to people who follow you. You have the ability to review comments or posts to your page before they are made public. You can add a profanity filter and much more. Despite these settings, you should still have a plan about how you will handle naysayers should your page receive some negative comments.

Keep up with the changes

There are many choices when it comes to social media, and the developers behind each platform are continuously seeking new ways to make their sites convenient and user friendly. With this in mind, don’t be surprised when each site changes periodically. There will usually be a preview of any new features when changes occur. Ease yourself into new features and keep an optimistic mindset.

Taking the time to learn how to use social media platforms is well worth the investment and can provide numerous benefits to your organization or farm. You might be surprised at the impact you can make!  

The Dairy Strong Bloggers series is brought to you on behalf of the Dairy Strong Conference, Jan. 17-18, 2018, in Madison, Wisconsin. This event focuses on cutting-edge technology, cultural trends and the future of the dairy community. Learn more at the Dairy Strong website.

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