Agri[Culture] Insights: Developing Paid Social Media Plans

As agriculture promotion groups (APGs) and checkoffs strive to provide educational information to farmers to keep them informed about investment activities and new opportunities, building a social community with your target audience can be a positive, engaging way to support key communication goals.

You have chosen the right social channels for your association, created your content calendar and embarked on a successful journey to engage with farmers through social media. Your team is posting relevant, timely information and your community is engaged. It may be time to reach beyond your group of loyal followers and extend your message to a broader audience with a paid social program.

Like other paid media, building a budget for paid social media can depend on a number of factors and, with careful consideration and alignment with your overall communication plan, social media can be an effective channel in your overall paid media mix.

When to Consider a Paid Social Media Program

So, when should you consider a paid social strategy? The key benefit of paid social media is it allows you to reach beyond the audience currently engaging with you. It allows you to widen the net and generate new followers, fans, clicks to your website, etc. There may be a large audience of farmers on social media, not engaged with you and a paid social effort can increase your reach among your target audience, generate awareness for your programs and efforts, allow viewers the opportunity to interact and engage with you, and provide traffic to your website content.

The good news is, paid social advertising can be very targeted. In most cases, the ads served to an audience are highly relevant and useful. The ads don’t seem obtrusive or out of place for your audience, and audiences are becoming more and more comfortable engaging with paid content. While some brands may struggle with the idea of “selling” in a social community, for most APGs, associations and checkoffs with nothing to “sell” other than good information and educational content, a paid social campaign can be an effective way to reach a broader audience with relevant, timely content.

You can consider many ways to set up target audiences for your paid social efforts, and the beauty of social media is each of the platforms has vast information about its users. The platforms not only have demographic and geographic information, but they have deep information on user occupations, interests and behaviors.

Research tells us the top two social media platforms for farmers are Facebook and YouTube, let’s look a little deeper at how a paid social media effort on those platforms may support your communication efforts.

Where to Place Your Social Media Budget

Facebook is not only the largest social platform, it’s one of the most established and has been offering advertising for some time. Therefore, Facebook has good advertising options, audience targeting options and robust analytics through the Facebook Ads Manager. Once you have selected your audience and budget for your paid campaign, you’ll want to develop messages for your expanded audience. One strategy is to start your paid efforts by reviewing popular or engaging organic posts and boost those posts to an expanded audience or repurpose content from those posts into the development of a paid ad for your expanded audience. If your current audience found your educational content on crop improvements interesting and engaging, your expanded audience will too.

YouTube remains a top social platform for farmers, and its viewership in general is massive. While it may be best known for entertaining videos, it’s also an effective vehicle for instructional videos. However, the ability to create engaging, high-quality videos is key for this medium. Since YouTube is owned by Google, many of the “how-to” searches are supported with YouTube video content.

Social media has become an important communication tool for checkoffs and APGs. A paid social media campaign can efficiently extend your reach by utilizing data from your organic efforts to define paid target audiences and messaging of value. By providing relevant information to a larger targeted audience, there’s an even greater possibility your information will be shared and extended further through the power of social sharing.

Need help getting the most of your social media efforts? Let us help you get started with an organic and paid social media plan to help you reach and engage with your audiences and support your communication goals.

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