10 Reasons To Use Social Media

There’s a lot of talk these days about how social media can be used, both professionally and otherwise. And while social media doesn’t dominate the world, it at least dominates the Web. Why not use its components to expand your network, improve your customer service, build relationships, recruit employees, and enhance your world view.

Here are 10 reasons why you should use social media to enhance your professional career, and/or your ag retail business.

1. Networking. Social media participation is an essential tool in networking with professional contacts, making new contacts, and keeping in touch with the world. Envision mingling with leaders in your field without having to meet them. Join groups that share your interests, your community, or your profession. Facebook, as an example, allows you to create groups. I’m a member of several ag-related groups and other members point me to interesting online articles. Following people on Twitter also yields content recommendations. Twitter groups are increasingly scheduling in-person “meetups” so that people who are interacting online can meet face-to-face.

2. Customer service. Social networking your customer service elevates it to a new, transparent level. Provide a space in which customers can interact with you. Customers want to have a conversation with you about their needs. They want to tell you how you can better serve them. Many of them want to build a community around products or services that they use. Give them the opportunity. Use your customers’ feedback to improve.

3. Recruiting. Using social media for employee recruitment can help you find qualified individuals by enlarging your candidate pool. You can e-mail your network with job requirements and ask for referrals. Tap into the power of your current employees’ networks by asking them to broadcast available positions to their networks. This is a good way to obtain passive candidates, people who may not be actively seeking work.

4. Expertise. Sharing information and the latest news within your area of expertise positions you as the go-to person and an industry leader. People are always respectful of those who willingly share valuable information that helps them. Use your knowledge to connect with people looking for answers in your field. Provide links to related articles and free content. Brand yourself as an expert.

5. Build relationships. Using social media provides great opportunities to establish and build relationships. There is no time constraints like offline life where meetings have to be at a designated place at a given time. The use of social media tools could not make this situation easier.

6. Research. Social media is an excellent tool for research and keeping up with the latest news. On Twitter, for example, you don’t necessarily need to “follow” people or for them to follow you to read their tweets and click on their links. With relationships established, you can reach out to your potential customers and find out exactly what issues or problems they are having and would like to have solved. This is an ideal way to determine what products and services you can offer that customers are interested in buying.

7. Simplicity. Twitter and Facebook are easier for people to understand than many other social media sites. There are only a few concepts to learn: how to create a profile, follow, update, reply, search, retweet, and hashtags. You can also create your own social network without any difficulty. At the CropLife Media Group, we’ve created two networks — www.PrecisionAgNetwork.com and www.MyCropProtection.com — using a popular online service called Ning.

8. Competitive edge. Because there are so many other ag retail businesses that have not embraced the use of social media, an opportunity is on the table for you to jump ahead of the pack. One of the largest advantages in any business is to do more than the competition.

9. Joint venture possibilities. Having a presence online has always been valuable. You never know when someone may have something of value to add to your business. Perhaps they have a product that can be combined with your service or vice-versa, thereby creating an opportunity for a joint venture. This could lead to long-standing business relationships and winning situations for all involved.

10. Why not? What sound reason could there be for not promoting your business and reaching more potential customers? You can sign up on as many as you want, and most sites are free unless you want their premium or advertising services.

Now be careful. Just because there are at least 10 reasons to use social media does not mean you should spend all of your time on Facebook or Twitter. Everything in moderation, right? Social media is just a tool… that’s IT. But it’s a versatile, extremely powerful tool with an immense amount of potential I believe we’re only just beginning to tap into.

Leave a Reply

Matt Hopkins Stories

Farmers on Tablet
Matt Hopkins6 Mobile App Trends Worth Watching In Agriculture
May 9, 2016
The agricultural industry is being transformed by the use of data. It is everywhere, and over the next several years, Read More
Social media
Matt Hopkins7 Social Media Trends Shaping Ag Retail In 2016
April 22, 2016
After writing my last column on why social media is a must for ag retailers, I heard from several readers Read More
Farmer on social media
Matt Hopkins6 Compelling Reasons Why Social Media Is A Must For Ag Retailers
March 17, 2016
The evolution and growth of social media use among ag retailers since 2010 has been nothing less than astonishing. In Read More
Wheat Growers
Matt Hopkins16 Most Diversified Ag Retailers In 2016
January 8, 2016
Diversification. It’s the battle cry for financial planners everywhere. Many will preach that spreading your investments across market sectors, industries, and Read More
Trending Articles
Southeast Farmers Coop - Finished Building
Retail FacilitiesNew Stueve Facilities Offer Ag Retailers Speed, Accuracy
July 9, 2016
Leading the industry in planning and constructing dry fertilizer storage and chemical warehouse solutions, Stueve Construction helped three ag retailers Read More
Heritage Cooperative
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Designs State-Of-The-Art Facility For Heritage Cooperative
July 4, 2016
Heritage Cooperative in Marysville, OH, needed an efficient liquid, dry and grain facility to serve the many needs of their Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Latest News
FertilizerGypsum Added To List Of Conservation Practices
July 28, 2016
Crop farmers in a growing number of states may be eligible for financial assistance from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Read More
Management2016 CTIC Cover Crop Survey: 33% Report ROI From Cover …
July 28, 2016
Insight from 2,020 farmers from across the country reflected enthusiasm for cover crops and—for the fourth year in a row—found Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
HerbicidesStudy: Fall Weed Controls Can Make Significant Impact O…
July 28, 2016
An article published in the latest issue of the journal Weed Science shows that adopting harvest-time and post-harvest weed controls Read More
InsecticidesSyngenta: Beware Of Early Stinkbug Threat To Soybeans
July 28, 2016
With the record warm temperatures this past winter and confirmations from early entomologist reports, Syngenta encourages growers to monitor stinkbug Read More
Peanut field
Crop InputsVerdesian Introduces New Inoculant For Peanuts
July 28, 2016
As planning begins for the next growing season, Verdesian Life Sciences adds Primo Power CL, a new liquid inoculant, to Read More
Soil Young Corn
Crop InputsSmithsonian: 5 Things to Know About New GMO Labeling Bi…
July 27, 2016
On July 14, the House of Representatives passed a bill requiring large food companies to label products containing genetically modified Read More
Palmer pigweed in soybean stubble
HerbicidesSpecial Issue Of Weed Science Explores Human Aspects Of…
July 27, 2016
Weeds that evolve resistance to herbicides are a serious threat to global agricultural production. In this Special Issue of Weed Science, Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100CHS Businesses In Washington, Idaho Combining For Great…
July 27, 2016
As full-service ag retailers, CHS Primeland and CHS Farmers Co-op collectively serve farmers and other customers in 15 counties in Read More
Storage Tanks at Nachurs
Crop InputsNACHURS Joins Field to Market
July 27, 2016
NACHURS announced today that it has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, a leading multi-stakeholder initiative working Read More
Illinois Researchers
FertilizerMeasure Of Age In Soil Nitrogen Could Help Precision Ag…
July 26, 2016
What’s good for crops is not always good for the environment. Nitrogen, a key nutrient for plants, can cause problems Read More
Kochia
Crop InputsNufarm Launches New Herbicide for Resistant Kochia
July 25, 2016
Nufarm introduces Scorch herbicide for U.S. farmers and ranchers combating a broad range of troublesome broadleaf weeds. A unique premix Read More
ManagementNew Rabobank Report Calls for Farmer ROI Focus
July 25, 2016
As U.S. row crop farmers brace themselves for a third year of negative margins, Rabobank believes farmers must lower the Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsBloomberg: Syngenta-Chem China Deal on Track for Regula…
July 25, 2016
Syngenta AG, which has agreed to be taken over by China National Chemical Corp. for $43 billion, said talks with Read More
ManagementGROWMARK Meeting Visit, Company Takeover Updates, and R…
July 22, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent speaking engagement at GROWMARK’s eastern event, crop protection company merger rumors, Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto: EU Approves Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Imports
July 22, 2016
Monsanto Co. announced today that the European Commission has granted import approval for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. This milestone Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Alfalfa Seed Split Off
July 22, 2016
On September 1, 2016, Syngenta will transfer sales and distribution of alfalfa seed to the NEXGROW branded business that is Read More
Dow DuPont
Crop InputsDuPont, Dow Shareholders Approve Merger
July 21, 2016
DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company announced that, at their respective special meetings of stockholders held today, stockholders of both Read More
ManagementLand O’Lakes Announces SUSTAIN Business Unit, Oth…
July 20, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc. today announced the formal organization of a new business unit, SUSTAIN, and its leadership. SUSTAIN will focus Read More