Making social media work for you as a Farmer


How can you make the most of social media, which can be both a friend and a foe to farmers?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, social media has become a more common and important platform for farmers to connect with customers, advertise their products, share industry information, and stay in contact.

It can serve as a shop window for the industry, allowing the public to learn more about the industry and the people who put food on their tables.

 

Social media has been buzzing with educational campaigns and lockdown learning schemes that see farmers connect with young people over the last 12 months and three national lockdowns.

Campaigns promoting positivity about African food and farming, such as #Chataboutfarming, have been able to reach a broader audience and promote a sense of belonging within the farming community by using digital platforms.

The public's interest in rural interactions has risen as a result of the pandemic, resulting in the emergence of the "influencers."

Attitudes are evolving, with more young people seeing farming as a fulfilling profession that helps them to reconnect with nature. Social networking is a powerful tool, not only for being truthful, straightforward, and open with customers but also for allowing farmers to connect and learn trade secrets, as well as digitally see each other's farming systems.

While social media frequently focuses on the ‘good,' agriculture is becoming much better at highlighting the negative, which is something farmers should strive to do.

If you are having a hard time on the farm, seeing people on social media who are having similar problems will make you feel less like you are struggling when everyone else is succeeding. Farmers have used social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to petition policymakers and express their opinions on agricultural news in recent years.

Danger

When posts go viral, there's a risk that "anyone can become an expert," with people eager to express their opinions without knowing the larger context or the consequences of their actions. For example, social media can be flooded with derogatory and offensive messages, the majority of which would stay on the sites forever.

There is also a risky side of social media, with people competing for ‘likes' and putting their safety at risk.

“In a professional industry, people who post material that degrades the whole industry have no right to call themselves farmers.”

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