15 Mar Tell Your Agriculture Story: 3 Platforms Where People Are Listening!
If you haven’t heard the message “agriculture needs to better tell its side of the story”, then you haven’t been in this industry for very long.
There is no doubt that the consumer is more concerned than ever about where their food comes from, how it is grown, and if it aligns with their personal beliefs.
The reasons for this are many, but the fact is that if those of us in agriculture don’t effectively tell our stories, someone with less experience will do the storytelling for us! And a lot of times we won’t enjoy the message (Chipotle, PETA, HSUS, etc.), because it will often be fact-distorting and intended to capitalize on fear.
So what does it mean for agriculturalists to “tell our story”?
First, let me tell you what it does NOT mean. Telling our story DOES NOT mean:
- Getting on our soapbox about how little the consumer knows about agriculture.
- Criticizing those with different perspectives.
- Blasting out political statements on social media that we happen to agree with.
- Blindly agree with anything and everything a large agribusiness or farmer group puts out there.
These are not only ineffective, but can actually detract from your ability to tell YOUR story.
Farmer blogs, Twitter conversations, conventions, Instagram accounts, Facebook groups, and YouTube videos have been created to help agriculture tell it’s story to the public. These are fantastic ways to get a message out there. But I think with many of these platforms we’re often just talking to ourselves, and we can do a better job of engaging with others, whether they agree with us or not.
Here are 3 platforms that you can tell your agricultural story to an engaged audience:
1.Snapchat. You mean that phone app for teenage girls to take selfies and weird disappearing text messages? YES. Hear my out on this one. Snapchat has just enough constraints to make it incredibly interesting. What I mean by that is you can only “Snap” (post) something that you have created within the app. So, it’s not like Instagram or YouTube where you can post something that you didn’t create that’s is professionally produced. Also, because viewers only have 24 hours to view a story, engagement is extremely high. This means that the stories are more honest and authentic than other platforms, and users are much more engaged. Hop on Snapchat and follow me @AgGrad.
2. Quora. Be careful, once you get into Quora it’s very difficult to get out! Quora is the modern, social, and gamified version of the old Yahoo! Answers. Anyone can ask and answer a question. Here you will find A LOT of curious consumers who want to know more about agriculture. Simply subscribe to a “Feed” such as “agriculture”, “farming”, “agribusiness”, etc. and start to read the questions and answers that are out there. You might even get your question answered by someone famous! If you’ve been having trouble getting people to hear your story, this is a platform where they are literally asking for it! Find me on Quora.
3. Reddit. This site is a democratic way to exchange information on a particular topic. Reddit is like a discussion board where members “upvote” the discussions that they think are most relevant. You can join communities (communities are called subreddits) around your particular interest in the agriculture industry. For example, the “farming” subreddit has nearly 14,000 subscribers, and the “livestock” subreddit has over 2,500 subscribers. Reddit has some fanatical readers and contributors, and I have noticed really high engagement on threads that I have participated in. Post articles that you have written or found on the internet and start a conversation about them. Or just join a conversation that someone else has started.
All three of these platforms are 100% free and they can be very effective for telling your story in agriculture. As with any new platform, it will take some time for you to “get it” (Who got Twitter or Facebook right away? Nobody.). Give it time! Try it on for a while!
Most of all, have some fun, engage with people, and tell your story!
If you have accounts with these 3 platforms let us know in the comments so we can follow you!