More Online Agri-tunities

Most of the population is embracing social media because of curiosity, interest or necessity. The ag industry is one of society’s latent groups to this communications medium but has rapidly developed a presence at Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and is now utilizing one of the newest social-media developments — Pinterest.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard online — a social photo/video sharing website allowing users to create and manage theme-based image collections.

Each item of media is known as a "pin.” Pins are then assigned to a user’s "board," which is a collection of pins about a topic. Popular topics include wedding ideas, recipes and home design. Pinterest also allows users to view the activity of other Pinterest users and re-pin other users’ pins at their own boards.

View examples of ag-related Pinterest boards:
So why should agriculture invest at Pinterest?

“If you’re not at the table, you can’t be a part of constructing the face of agriculture — nor can you counter misinformation,” states Cause Matters Corp., a cause-marketing business specializing in agricultural advocacy in reference to today’s social-media platforms.

North Dakota State University’s Ag Communication Web Services received so many questions about the online tool, that it hosted a Webinar about Pinterest February 3 to help ag-industry members become affiliated with it and begin to use it as an extension of their outreach efforts. The University of Wyoming Extension, among others, also features a Pinterest learning guide online.

A recent Twitter user posed the question, “What’s the next ‘big’ thing in ag communications/social media?” One response: “I think Pinterest is catching a lot of momentum…Maybe this is a good place to share your farm message!”

An ag-industry-focused communications consulting firm wrote a blog about the delay between the farm community and Pinterest and begged the question, “Is ag keeping pace with Pinterest?” Her observations:
  • Few pins exist directly related to production agriculture: Few pins related to the process of raising and harvesting today’s food, fuel and fiber were at the site. I was able to find a few ranchers and their pins of the animals and their day-to-day work. However, the vast majority of pins focused on urban farming, organic food production and the new-age food revolution.
  • Food is the common ground between Pinterest and the ag industry: The amount of information about food — selecting the right foods, preparing meals and enjoying the feast — has expanded exponentially at Pinterest. Just logging in, 11 of the first 20 pins are related to eating. Therein lies the gap and the opportunity — connecting the process to the bountiful food on the table.
  • There’s an opportunity to close the gap: Pinterest is a great place to showcase what farming is about. Even one photo a week highlighting how farmers care for animals and provide a safe food supply can promote agriculture to Pinterest users.
Importantly, the author concluded, “It’s another way to tell our story where consumers are congregating.”

Though it may not be the most optimum channel for the average farmer managing day-to-day responsibilities, it certainly has its advantages for ag-related advocacy and education organizations.

Have you heard of Pinterest? Do you have a Pinterest account? Do you know of any farmers or ag-industry members using it? If interested in learning more, visit this beginner’s guide online.

No comments: