Social media for ag business

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The use of social media has become an increasingly important way to enhance a farm or food business’ marketing activities, allowing owners and managers to connect directly with their audiences.

While a social media presence is almost expected of many businesses, some struggle with how to use the various tools to connect. To help these businesses overcome barriers to effective social media deployment, Penn State Extension is offering Social Media Boot Camp for Ag Businesses.

The “basic training” will be held at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11 in Pittsburgh, Dec. 17 and 18 in Allentown and Jan. 3 and 4 in Gettysburg.

Powerful tool

Concepts and examples will be relevant to farm, greenhouse and landscaping industries, according to Sarah Cornelisse, senior extension associate in agricultural economics in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

“Whether you direct market your farm products and want to quickly and efficiently communicate with your customers, or you just want to share your business’ story with your neighbors and community, social media can be a powerful tool,” Cornelisse said.

Learn the basics

During this two-day boot camp, presenters will discuss the basics of several tools, such as Twitter and Facebook, and get you thinking about their strategic use.

The first day of the workshop will be spent in a computer lab, where attendees will begin developing their Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Yelp pages.

Measuring success

On the second day, participants will develop a strategy for achieving their social media goals and objectives, and will learn about tools for measuring and analyzing their social media impact. They also will hear from a farm or food business owner about their use of social media.

The registration fee of $75 for one day or $125 for both days includes lunch. To learn more or to register, visit http://extension.psu.edu/events/social-media-boot-camp-for-ag-businesses.

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