Many ag professionals are actively using sites such as Twitter and Facebook to promote their businesses. But perhaps no other social media platform helps you connect and engage with customers, colleagues, and companies better than LinkedIn. It has become the world’s largest online professional networking site, with nearly 500 million members as of December 2016, according to Statista.com.
One segment of the agricultural industry that has certainly embraced this social network is the service provider. According to CropLife’s 2016 Social Media survey, 41% of ag retailers said they are using LinkedIn — second only to Facebook (42%) — which is up 11% from 2013.
This is one of the many reasons we recently launched the PrecisionAg® Professional LinkedIn Group. This exclusive forum offers the opportunity to strengthen connections with like-minded individuals (i.e., precision ag professionals). Coinciding with the February debut of PrecisionAg Professional magazine — a new media brand presented by the editors of CropLife — the LinkedIn Group is specifically for the service providers who in turn serve and most heavily influence growers: Ag retailers and cooperatives, consultants, Extension specialists, and equipment dealers.
So if you are looking for a network that caters solely to the needs of precision agriculture integrators, then consider joining the PrecisionAg Professional LinkedIn Group. You can find and join it by searching for groups at the top of your LinkedIn homepage. If that’s not enough to convince you, then here are several more reasons why you should join:
1. Expand Your Precision Ag Network
LinkedIn is all about networking, and what better way to do so than participating in a focused group? Whether you want to stay on top of precision ag trends and technology, talk to others that understand the industry or even recruit people for open positions, you’ll be able to do all of these things in the PrecisionAg Professional Group. On LinkedIn, by default, you can’t send messages to people you aren’t directly connected with. But if you share a group with that person, this option becomes available and presents a major benefit. You can get in touch with other precision ag professionals that you wouldn’t be able to approach otherwise.
2. Learn From Your Colleagues
LinkedIn Groups offer a great opportunity to learn from your colleagues. If you want access to precision ag consultants, Extension specialists, or other industry influencers, then the PrecisionAg Professional LinkedIn Group is the place to be. Reach out to other individuals and collaborate with them to find answers to your questions related to precision ag. People love to help. Asking a question allows others to not only help you, but connect with you. So start a conversation within the group, and you’ll begin to build a trusted network you can use as a sounding board.
3. Establish Your Expertise
If you join our LinkedIn group, you’ll be able to show off your knowledge and from there start to develop relationships with people. And the fact that you can participate in conversations will make you a reliable source for many people within the group. Just like the above where you are learning from others, you can help those who need help. By opening and participating in discussions within the PrecisionAg Professional LinkedIn Group, you can showcase your expertise which improves your professional branding.
4. Share Great Content
Discussions in LinkedIn groups with many comments and shares tend to get the most visibility. This is a way for you to connect with other precision ag professionals who started the discussion, as well as those who have participated in the discussion. Begin engaging with other Group members by asking a question, sharing an article, or introducing yourself if you’re new to the group. Either initiate, participate, or both, but don’t sit on your hands.
5. Search For Jobs
All Groups have a “Jobs” tab, next to the “Conversations” tab near the top of each Group’s page where you can find jobs posted. This section enables employers to post open positions within their company that are relevant to precision agriculture. So, if you’re on the hunt for a new job, visit the PrecisionAg Professional Group regularly to see what’s currently available. You may find the perfect job that isn’t widely advertised elsewhere.