Managing social media: finding the right person

If you have not yet taken your small business marketing mainstream with Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media, recruit someone who enjoys it.

If you are operating a farm, food or natural resources business and target the general public as your customer base, the use of social media is a necessity today. Among those with Internet access, 83 percent use social media websites, 75 percent of which is Facebook (Mintel 2012).

Conventional print advertising and billboards are out of the question for many small business owners due to cost considerations.

Sure you have a website, and a Facebook page, but you don’t twitter, or tweet, or any of that stuff? The demands of running a business may not leave time to keep up with social media and update your website. Maybe you just don’t think like that and the idea of being constantly connected may not make sense. However, social media does make sense to many of your customers, your trusted employees, friends and family.

A real-life E-mail exchange between two professionals, who will remain anonymous, illustrates this point. Question: “If you tweet about your open house, I’ll re-tweet to my networks” Response: “I’ll get my daughter to get me tweeting today J thanks!!” Innovation Counselors at the Michigan State University (MSU) Product Center recognize that in your business you rely on a team to make, manage and market your product.

So, put your kid, friend or employee in charge of social media. An experienced user can easy keep up with what crops are ripe, your farmers market schedule, and your recipe for rhubarb crisp. And don’t forget to post the photos from the Father’s Day celebration on the farm.

For more information on marketing your farm, food, agriculture or natural resources business, contact the Michigan State University Product Center at 517-432-8750.

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