CREATING AN ONLINE PRESENCE FOR YOUR FARM'S BUSINESS
The popular belief amongst farmers especially in West Africa is that they need to focus only on their farms. It is often rare to find a farmer in West Africa who is trendy, well informed and adept with the workings of social media today. Social media is being overlooked and seen as a source of distraction to these farmers and yes, it can be. We, however, understand that when the right strings are pulled, it can be an incredible tool for business growth.
It is no longer understandable when farmers say they are too busy to handle social media because it is now very flexible and easy to operate. You can schedule posts and platforms such as Facebook have bots that reply messages from prospective customers when you can’t access your phones and computers, this is very important for farmers in West Africa who sometimes lose network access whenever they get to their farms usually located outside the town.
The advantages of being on social media outweigh the disadvantages by a mile and half and farmers should consider using these platforms specifically for their business growth.
We will take you step by step on how to use Social Media to take your farm’s business to another level. Let’s make a stop at Facebook, the first social media platform we would be writing on.
Facebook is a community with a large number of user estimated to be about two billion, it runs an advertising network for businesses trying to reach their customers online. Farmers can make use of this platform and widen the potentials of their business if used effectively.
Let’s go step by step on how to create a space for your business on Facebook
The first step is opening a page for your business. You will need to have graphics ready because you will be asked for your logo and a cover picture (you can hire a graphic designer for this, it shouldn’t cost much). The graphics are needed to make your page distinct and unique. After filling the basics such as your page name, page description, and others.
You can jump to Phase Two.
This is the part that requires your attention. Look around your farm and identify your unique selling points (USPs). Your USPs is most definitely your products, the crops you plant, harvest and sell.
After identifying your USPs, you can create engaging contents from them. It is very easy, you can easily take a picture of your tomato vegetation and create a post like “Juicy Tomatoes comes from well-bred vegetations. Well-bred vegetations are our signature”.
After creating and posting contents created from your Farm’s USPs. You can move to Phase Three.
This phase involves advertising your content. There are too many users on Facebook and expecting your post to gain traction organically is a hard task. Facebook created an advertising network for businesses that want their content to continually reach a wide range of people.
As a farmer who is looking to promote his business online, you will need to advertise. Create a budget that doesn’t eat too much into your products and advertise for a specific period.
You can advertise your page to gain more followers and attraction (this is more expensive) or advertise posts on your page to reach a wider range. Any option you choose is very important.
Monitoring growth and maintaining a high response rate with potential customers is what makes up phase four. After taking the steps mentioned in the three phases above, you will begin to notice growth and leads on your page.
If you want to turn your leads (inquiries) to conversions (sales), you will need to create a strong reputation for your brand online because you will get leads from different locations and personalities.
Creating a strong reputation means you need to respond to orders and complaints on time, so you can always leave your number on your page so prospective customers can contact you when you aren’t online too.
You see, it isn’t entirely difficult to have an online presence for your farm’s business. We will move to other networks as the series continues, however, take the steps mentioned above into proper consideration and weigh your pros and cons.
You’ll see your business is going to be better when it goes online.