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

Linkedin-Groups
Matt Hopkins5 Compelling Reasons To Join The PrecisionAg Professional LinkedIn Group
March 1, 2017
Many ag professionals are actively using sites such as Twitter and Facebook to promote their businesses. But perhaps no other Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
Twitter
Matt Hopkins15 Twitter Accounts Every Ag Professional Must Follow
October 13, 2016
What do singer Katy Perry and the President of the United States have in common? They are two of the Read More
Trending Articles
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Agriculture
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentSpray Application: A Nozzle Renaissance
May 2, 2017
If you had asked four-decade ag veteran Mark Bartel, President of Wilger Inc., just a few years ago what lay Read More
ManagementWashington Update, Dow-DuPont Earnings, and the Passing of an AGCO Legend
April 27, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the latest Beltway news, crop protection company 1st quarter numbers, and the Read More
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Young Corn Plants
Crop NutritionStill Hunting Yields
April 1, 2017
There’s no denying it — the agricultural marketplace today is undergoing a fundamental shift in fortunes. Not too many years Read More
Latest News
Eric SfiligojMonsanto ‘Picks Its Battles’ by Nixing Deere Deal
May 23, 2017
Having been in the trade journalism game since the mid-1980s, I remember several watershed moments during my career. One of Read More
FungicidesSyngenta Launches New Seed Treatment Fungicide
May 22, 2017
Syngenta has announced the launch of PLENARIS seed treatment fungicide for the control of downy mildew in sunflower. PLENARIS contains Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsMonsanto’s First HPPD Herbicide Garners EPA Appro…
May 19, 2017
Monsanto announced today that EPA has federally approved Harness MAX Herbicide, the first herbicide in the Monsanto portfolio to provide Read More
ManagementPrecision Planting Deal, China Developments, and Enviro…
May 18, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Dan Jacobs discuss the latest news on John Deere’s now dead deal for Precision Planting, China’s Read More
Soybean aphid leaf
InsecticidesMulti-state Research Reveals IPM Best Option for Treatm…
May 17, 2017
About 89.5 million acres of soybeans will be planted across the U.S. in 2017 — a record high, according to Read More
GROWMARK-2017-Interns
CropLife 100GROWMARK Names 2017 Summer Interns
May 16, 2017
Forty-two college students are exploring agricultural career opportunities this summer as GROWMARK interns. They are working at FS member cooperatives Read More
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Ag…
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
Flooded corn in Indiana
FertilizerBoth Wet and Dry Conditions Threaten Nitrogen Loss
May 15, 2017
The weather is notoriously unpredictable, leading to challenges for planting, harvesting and applying the nitrogen (N) your corn crop needs. Read More
farmer Kip Tom
Precision AgAg Tech: On the Cusp of Something Big?
May 15, 2017
The investment and ag-tech sectors’ continuing courtship of agriculture, smoldering for three or four years now, was well in evidence at Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
ManagementOpinion: Shaking Your Perspective in Ag Retail
May 12, 2017
Some of you I’m sure have encountered our recently retired salesman extraordinaire, Dan Bellanger. He worked in the industry for Read More
Exterior view of CPS Big Lake facility which includes enclosed receiving and load out area
CropLife 100New Alternative Weed Resistance Traits Could Experience…
May 12, 2017
It wasn’t too many years ago that ag retailers and their grower-customers could hardly wait for new options to fight Read More
Diane Allemang and Dan Jacobs
Crop InputsFMC Agricultural Solutions, Casa Pacifica Partner to He…
May 11, 2017
FMC Agricultural Solutions is teaming up with Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families, an organization that supports vulnerable children Read More
UncategorizedWhat’s Up With ARA
May 11, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj talks with Brian Reuwee regarding what issues are on the docket for the Agricultural Retailers Association. Read More
BASF Maglis tablet retailer grower
Precision AgQ&A: What BASF’s Latest Foray into Precision …
May 11, 2017
In late April, BASF agreed to acquire U.S. precision ag player ZedX, a leader in the development of agronomic weather, Read More
Pam Marrone
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Enters into Distribution Agreem…
May 11, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc., a leading global provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture markets, Read More
Bayer
Crop InputsBayer to Sell Liberty Business to Seal Monsanto Deal
May 8, 2017
Bayer has agreed to sell its Liberty herbicide and LibertyLink-branded seeds businesses to win antitrust approval for its acquisition of Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationTrump’s EPA Appointee Dismisses Half of Major Sci…
May 8, 2017
(Via NYTimes.com) EPA has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board, the latest signal of what Read More