Social media is an outstanding tool for engaging prospects in the agricultural industry. Not only is it an affordable way to showcase your brand, it helps to build relationships with customers and prospects and drives new sales.

If you have been using social media to connect with farmers and ranchers but aren’t seeing the level of success you had hoped to, it’s time to reevaluate your social media strategy. Sometimes only a few tweaks here and there can have a tremendous impact.

The most important thing to remember, however, is that no social media strategy will work if you aren’t totally committed to its success. In other words, you can’t just go through the motions. This happens when a marketer is only active on social media because they feel like they have to do it, not because they believe it is important.

If you are looking for ways to jumpstart your social media strategy, read on for some tips to help you do just that.

Tip #1: Set a schedule. Decide on a schedule for posting and engaging with followers and stick to it. Sporadic posting and haphazard responses to followers guarantee your efforts will go nowhere.

Tip #2: Focus on your target audience. You can have thousands of followers but if a majority of these followers are not part of your target audience then it won’t do you much good. The content you post on social media needs to be specific to your audience-for example, farmers and ranchers.

Tip #3: Don’t spread yourself too thin. Do your research to find out where your target audience hangs out online and then choose a few of those platforms to be active on. If you try to be active on too many platforms you won’t be effective on any of them.

Tip #4: Be yourself. This is how you really gain traction on social media. The things you post and share on social media need to connect, educate and inspire but they also need to showcase the personality of your brand so people really feel like they know you.

Tip #5: Sell smartly. Approximately 80 percent of your social media posts should educate and inspire your target audience but there is nothing wrong with promoting your products or services, either. You are a business after all. Just be sure you only sell in about 20 percent of your posts so your followers don’t tune you out.

Social media is an outstanding marketing tool. If you have been disappointed with your results so far, never fear, a few small changes may be all you need to turn things around.