Today, the web has revolutionized the way that people communicate by providing people direct access to millions of other users without any sort of media filter. The population of web users using social networking sites to obtain information about the world is growing exponentially. Facebook now boasts a population larger than the United States with 461 million users. Facebook users are not all teenagers either; nearly two-thirds of users are beyond college age, and the fastest-growing user group is women over the age of 50.
Anti-ag activist groups are taking advantage of this opportunity. According to Cause Matters Corp. research:
- HSUS: Nearly 30,000 followers on Twitter & growing with celebrity connection – 50x increase since January 2009
- PETA: 614,000 Facebook fans (quadrupled in 9 months) and 69,000 Twitter followers
- Greenpeace: 43,000 followers on Twitter & 488,000 FB fans (tripled in 9 months)
- Farm Sanctuary: 24,000 Facebook fans (tripled in 9 months) & 6,400 Twitter followers
With food taking center stage in the media, farmers need to harness the power of their respected and trusted position in society by taking either message directly to the people. At Butterscotch.com, adults can watch a series of simple, well orchestrated tutorials that help them set up a Facebook page “for grownups.” By following the simple steps in the videos, anyone can learn how to use this free, convenient social media tool.
Then, learn from the people who know social media best. Make “friends” with Facebook pros like the National Corn Growers Association, Darrin Ihnen, Michele Payn-Knoper and Chuck Zimmerman. Watching the messages on their “walls” will help you understand how to best get your story out.
98.5 percent of the population is not longer engaged in agriculture. Growers may producer their food, but it is time to fight back and educate them on the issues that affect farming. Take an active role in under ten minutes a day and try out Facebook today.