Farmers, ranchers, ag media, marketers, trade groups and the like are tapping into a medium that has never before been leveraged in the industry — social media.

The industry has shifted, and “agvocating” on social media is on the rise. While current agvocates are directly targeting their ag industry counterparts, they are also inadvertently creating online conversations about food and sustainability for all social media users alike.

Even though change is happening, social media is still feared in business. To overcome this fear, we must face it. Social media, while it can be a standalone strategy, should not be treated as a separate entity.

Overcoming your fears

Fear of not knowing what to share is a common concern, and to overcome it we encourage you to follow the 60-20-20 rule:

60% of content shared on your social media platforms,is original content from your website.

20% of content shared is from other sites (news articles, etc.).

20% of posts are a direct call to action (promotional).

There will never be a shortage of good, valuable content to share.

Fear of being a slave to the network can be overcome by sharing the aforementioned rule. Another way to overcome this fear is by dedicating a specific time of the day that you will dedicate to creating content, scheduling posts, engaging with followers, and replying to messages.

Fear of making a mistake not only applies to social media, but everything in business. This fear can overwhelm you to the point of confinement. We are all human, and mistakes — including typos — happen. To overcome this fear, consider the content you are posting, read and proof your post for errors, and send it to your chain of command for approval until you are comfortable posting on your own.

Fear of negativity or controversy is inevitable, especially on social media. It’s not the negativity that is the problem, but rather your reaction to that negativity that will determine any potential effects from it. Controversial topics are everywhere, from GMOs to climate change. Share insights on an educational basis rather than forming an opinion.

Be professional but relatable. The benefits of engaging in social media far outweigh the risks and should be considered an investment in your marketing.