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Avoid the 'crazy': Making an impact with agriculture on social media

Avoid the 'crazy': Making an impact with agriculture on social media
Sharing the positive of modern agriculture on Facebook is a better presentation than being the crazy.

How active are you on Facebook? Do you comment on friends' statuses, "like" what they have to say or pictures that they share? How about on Facebook company or business pages? Do you interact with pages that you have "liked" or become a fan of?

Related: Agriculture is being baited on social media

First, let's talk Facebook page likes and clicks. Facebook can be a bit confusing with its status likes, status shares, page likes, group invites, private pages, group pages – it's not only confusing, but also can be intimidating. This is especially true when you find out that you are only seeing a small percentage of the things you want to see.

Engaging positively on social media: Let's not take the bait and spend our time arguing with those who have their mind made up. Let's promote the good!

Your engagement with your friends helps ensure you will always see status updates from all of them – that's a given. But did you know that those pages you "like," such as blog pages, business pages and club pages, aren't guaranteed to show up in your feed?

I "like" 412 pages on Facebook. Yes, I even shocked myself when I looked that up. It would seem like my timeline would be loaded with status updates from 412 pages and 588 friends, but it's not.

Cris Goode, social media strategist and owner of says that many "fan" pages only reach 1-3% of the people who like their page, depending on the post and page engagement level. So in theory I wondered if I was only seeing 1-3% of the status updates from pages that I liked.

I decided to count. I scrolled through my timeline for a two-day period, and found 20 updates from pages that I like. That's about 4%. I got a little excited – I was above average! I spend very little time above average!

But then I remembered I had to take into account how often I am active on social media, which, again, is probably above average.

"What is seen on Facebook very much depends on the people involved, both actively and passively," Goode notes. "In social media there are always the active participants but there is also an overlooked and oftentimes much more important majority, the passive lurker or watcher that is clicking, but not commenting or liking."

Related: Are Farmers Engaging with Like-minded People on Social Media?

Active users are spreading the word. We in agriculture need to be active and in a positive way. We are possibly influencing the passive, those who are reading every comment, clicking our links and forming their opinions about their food choices and agriculture.

I have a Facebook page, From My Front Porch, for my blog. To share with people life on the farm and promote my blog, I have just more than 1,000 likes. But while I would like to think all of the people who like my page are seeing my numerous daily updates, in reality under 20 people see it if I'm lucky. That number will rise if people engage and are active by liking or commenting, but at the same time it will go down if no one "likes" me!

We need to be reaching beyond the choir, but the only way for us to accomplish this is to build each other within the industry up. Be active, not passive.

The opinions of Jennifer Campbell are not necessarily those of Indiana Prairie Farmer or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

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