Weekly Genetic Review: Using Social Media as Another Marketing Tool

SPRING bull sales are on track in the Eastern States. As sales intensity increases, so do promotional campaigns as breeders seek to attract and capture their share of potential buyers, in a highly competitive market.

As last week’s columns have highlighted, the increasing ease of access to digital images and the popularity of highly targeted online industry website platforms like Beef Central have seen an increase in images being shared and used in through promotional programs by bull breeders.

The familiarity of most Australians with social media has also been widely embraced by bull farmers as another sales marketing tool. Just as there are some basic strategies associated with bull photography, there are also strategies that can help social media engagement achieve a more successful outcome.

Social media has become a mainstay of Australians’ online usage. Recent statistics released on Australian users show that there are 20.5 million social media users, almost 80% of the population.

As breeders plan their 2022 sales promotions, it’s important not to assume that simply creating a Facebook page and posting a few pre-sale posts will be enough to successfully promote this year’s bulls.

It’s important to note that for the purposes of this article, “social media engagement” refers to posting material to social media pages, not the use of paid Facebook and Google Ads. , which is a whole other topic. Many industry players are increasingly wary of the lack of targeting performance of, for example, Facebook ads based on digital algorithms.

As popular as Facebook is, there are other useful social media platforms, however, such as Instagram (images) and YouTube (video).

Almost 50% of social media users have an Instagram account. Visually appealing images – such as bulls, calves of this season and other highlights of a farm business – draw support and interest from engaged social media users. In terms of video content, YouTube attracts most Australian users, who spend around 12 hours a week watching videos.

Well-crafted images and videos can be used in these forms, providing additional return on the time and effort required to produce good quality media for other purposes.

The essence of marketing is to create engagement, and social media—as well as Beef Central’s leading industry websites—allow potential customers to connect and engage with a bull breeder via the web.

Many bull breeders overlook the importance of this commitment and miss the opportunity to build a following of supporting producers. Engaging these followers can raise a social media page’s profile and expose it to a wider audience.

Keep it updated

One of the most common failures for social media pages is inactive or outdated content. Producers looking to share and interact with bull breeders are less likely to choose pages where new content is only uploaded at the time of sale.

Prior to any promotional campaign, it is important to recognize that bull buyers ultimately choose someone they wish to do business with. After all, they are making long-term investments in their business by the genetics they use.

Having a relationship with a breeder is integral to those decisions, and social media is just one of the tools that can help make the process of engagement and relationship building more effective.

Tips for Successful Social Media Engagement

  • Create and share behind the scenes: potential Bull customers want to engage with the brands they have chosen. People want to know more about the brands they love and want to use or be associated with. This is as true for a particular selection operation as for any other product. Behind-the-scenes footage, ranging from day-to-day activities on the property to catalog preparation, adds authenticity to social media posts and is more likely to capture support and engagement.
  • Use the Facebook Event feature to post your sale: The Facebook Events option (available through Facebook Pages) is an additional promotional tool to keep growers informed. Event information can include a range of options from catering to directions for travelers. Other options include likes on additional sheets as well as the ability to add additional images, videos, and highlights to particular bundles on offer. An added benefit is that it can give an indication of potential interest and attendance for the day.
  • Hashtags work: Hashtags give potential customers a way to search for information specific to their interests or needs. It’s worth creating a specific hashtag for a sale. However, it is important not to overlook the use of more generally used and searchable hashtags. An example can be #anguscattle #brahmanbulls. It is better not to have too many and avoid complications when developing a hashtag.
  • Engagement and Interaction: The purpose of social media is to engage and connect with people and potential customers. Engagement through likes and shares organically increases the reach of posts and profiles. Being willing to respond to comments and liking any comments or posts will drive the content forward. More importantly, it cements a breeder as being engaged and genuine to potential customers.
  • Building and Nurturing a Following: Wrapping up a bull sale is a strategy that is increasingly being used by many social media seedstock programs. Sale day highlights, such as photo galleries; short video interviews with full-screen buyers or sales agents add color and vibrancy to a page. It creates and maintains the atmosphere of an event not to be missed and arouses among producers the desire to participate in future events.

Ultimately, as we approach this year’s bull sale date, getting producers to attend sales and bid on cattle will be driven by bull farmers’ engagement with breeders and breeders. commercial. By using social media well, producers can build engagement and build relationships that can translate to stronger sales.

Creating a social media page is relatively easy, but simply having a page does not guarantee brand awareness or engagement. Building a relationship takes work, but the exposure and reputation growth should help build customers’ knowledge and confidence in the livestock they buy.

Alastair Rayner is director of RaynerAg, an agricultural advisory service based in NSW. RaynerAg is affiliated with BJA Stock & Station Agents. He regularly lists and sells cattle for customers and also attends bull sales to support customer purchases. Alastair provides pre-sale selections and gradings for seed growers in NSW, Qld and Victoria. He can be contacted here or via his website www.raynerag.com.au

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