6 Compelling Reasons Why Social Media Is A Must For Ag Retailers

The evolution and growth of social media use among ag retailers since 2010 has been nothing less than astonishing. In just six years, their collective mindset has taken a 180-degree turn, going from “social media is a waste of time” to “social media is an untapped resource.”

Social Media Usage surveys conducted by the CropLife Media Group during this span support this monumental shift. In 2010, few retailers (20%) said they were using social media for work purposes. In 2013, nearly half of retailers (45%) were embracing social media for business. And in January 2016, 60% of retailers said they found value in using social media.

Exactly what has caused this change in thinking is uncertain. Perhaps the next generation of retailers and growers has positively impacted the social media culture in the workplace. Or maybe it’s the stark realization that social media is far more than just an online popularity contest. That it can become an integral part of a marketing strategy.

“Social media is one of the cheapest and most underutilized forms of communication,” said one respondent from the 2016 survey. “It is the future of telling agriculture’s story, and we as an industry are not making it a large enough focus.”

Farmer on social media
The benefits of social media are making it hard to ignore for even the most reluctant of ag retailers. Photo credit: MarketingForHippies.com

While social media has come a long way in the eyes of retailers, it still has a long way to go for full adoption. A significant number of retailers (40%) say they still don’t find value in it. In addition to “it’s a waste of time,” other common reasons for not using social media include “not sure how to use it,” “there’s no perceived value,” and “not sure my customers are using it.”

To help convince the non-adopters to rethink their stance on social media, I offer the following reasons why it makes good business sense to give it a go:

  1. Creates brand awareness. For many ag retailers, creating brand awareness is the No. 1 objective of their social media marketing efforts. When used properly, social media can help to humanize a company’s brand by meeting their grower-customers where they are. This can transform a brand from a stale, corporate name to a living, breathing entity. The goal is to encourage as much positive conversation about your brand as possible. In doing so, you’ll create brand ambassadors who will help spread your message even further.
  2. Builds customer relationships. Savvy ag retailers are also leveraging social media to help build relationships with their grower-customers. By listening to what your customers are saying, whether it’s a question, concern, or problem, and then engaging with them by responding, you can turn social media into a legitimate customer service tool that supplements in-person meetings, e-mails, and phone calls. Customers are then actively involved and paying attention at each interaction.
  3. Cultivates a loyal community. All ag retailers want loyal customers, but building that community can be challenging. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer retailers the opportunity to build a long-term following. Perhaps the biggest key to social media success is having a policy that includes quick, accurate, and informative engagement with followers in real time. This, more than anything else, will go a long way to cultivating a loyal community.
  4. Increases digital exposure. Social media sites are more than just additional ways for ag retailers to communicate with their customers and the broader ag community. They can have a significant impact on your overall Web presence. When someone searches for Southern States Cooperative on Google, for example, the results should show the coop’s Website, its Facebook page, its LinkedIn page, and hopefully much more. If done right, your social media sites can dominate search engine results for all of your keywords.
  5. Enhances company trustworthiness. Social media is a proactive tool when it comes to increasing your company’s trustworthiness. By closely communicating with the ag community on a social media level, retailers become a trusted source of information. They can use social media to distribute valuable content, transforming a farmer’s negative experience into a positive outcome for your business, and in the process, build more trust.
  6. Expands potential sales. Social media can be a smart sales tool, but only if your grower-customers and prospects are using it. That’s a big assumption, but one our recent survey indicates is trending in that direction. Retailers said about 33% of their customers are using social media – up 8% from 2013. And if more and more of your customers are on board, then why not use social media’s instant access to their feedback to help jump-start your sales. Prospects are more likely to become customers if you respond to their specific requirements in a prompt and personal manner.

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
AdjuvantsA New Weed-Control Era Begins: But First, One Last Obstacle
March 4, 2017
There is trepidation, there is reluctance, and there is excitement. Ag retailers feel it all about the new dicamba and Read More
LIFT Academy video screenshot
Crop InputsLIFT Agriculture Academy: A Q&A With West Central Distribution’s Dean Hendrickson
March 1, 2017
West Central Distribution recently launched its LIFT Agriculture Academy, a new, premiere training and professional development resource for West Central’s ag 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
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Latest News
UncategorizedPrecision Ag, Iowa Water, and GM Corn Updates
March 24, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj look at the state of precision agriculture, the dismissal of the Des Moines Water Read More
Pam Marrone
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Enters Biostimulants Market Wit…
March 23, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. is expanding beyond biopesticides and crop protection and into the biostimulant market by commercially launching Haven Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
FertilizerNutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teach…
March 23, 2017
Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for Read More
ManagementThink You Know Water? Take WinField United’s R…
March 22, 2017
Water is among our most precious resources, and arguably the hardest working, with just one percent available for human use, Read More
Corn Field
LegislationTFI Hopes Court Dismissal Is ‘Final Chapter’…
March 20, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) released the following statement from President, Chris Jahn on the March 17, 2017, federal court dismissal Read More
Wheat Growers
Industry NewsWheat Growers CEO Dale Locken To Retire
March 20, 2017
CEO Dale Locken has announced that he plans to retire from Wheat Growers. Locken has served almost 15 years as Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Eric SfiligojBayer-Monsanto: Life, LibertyLink, And The Pursuit Of R…
March 20, 2017
As the calendar officially turns to spring, life is in full renewal mode. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and Read More
Corn Field
Crop InputsUltra Yield Micronutrients Acquires Kronos Micronutrien…
March 16, 2017
Ultra Yield Micronutrients, Inc. ”Ultra”, an affiliate of Cameron Chemicals, Inc., is pleased to announce that it has acquired the Read More
ManagementSnowstorms, Asset Sales, and Soybeans Prices
March 16, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the weather, precision ag, crop protection company mergers, and commodity prices in this Read More
Soybean Field
Seed/BiotechBayer Invests $8.1 million In Soybean Advancement In Th…
March 16, 2017
Growers in Illinois and across the Midwest now have the added benefit of a state-of-the-art soybean research facility, increasing accessibility Read More
CHS
CropLife 100CHS Acquires Western Co-op Transport Association
March 16, 2017
CHS Inc., North America’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has purchased Western Co-op Transport Read More
Young corn plants in soil
HerbicidesBest Management Practices To Control PPO-Resistant Weed…
March 14, 2017
Weeds resistant to the class of herbicides called protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitors are spreading at a faster rate than weed Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Eric SfiligojFungicide Resistance On The Horizon
March 13, 2017
For many years now, the agricultural market has struggled to keep ahead of an ever-growing number of herbicide-resistant weeds. According Read More
Management2017 Commodity Classic Review
March 10, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss what happened at the recent Commodity Classic in San Antonio. Read More
Farmer using AgriSync
ManagementMajor AgriSync Update Aims To Extend Ag Experts’ Power …
March 10, 2017
AgriSync announced a major update to its leading collaboration and service management tool for professional ag advisors and their farmer Read More
Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App
EquipmentNew Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App Alleviates Spraying …
March 10, 2017
There’s a new app to help farmers decide when to spray their fields. Pocket Spray Smart is a free iOS Read More
BPIA logo
Crop InputsBiological Products Trade Association Changes Name, Exp…
March 9, 2017
The Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA), formerly the BioPesticide Industry Alliance, is the new name of the rapidly growing U.S.-based Read More
BBI MagnaSpread Salford BBI
Equipment14 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2017
March 9, 2017
Application equipment manufacturers stressed flexibility and accuracy with this year’s crop of fertilizer spreaders. From AGCO’s TerraGator TG9300B and Case IH’s 810 Read More