Is Social Media relevant for Businesses in Rural Areas?

social-media-photo-300x276Is social media relevant for businesses in rural areas? You may think not….Social Media for Rural Business

If you are not serious about connecting with current and potential customers on social media, your competitors certainly are….

I have found that many rural businesses are not making the most of the opportunities that social media can offer as they have traditionally relied on local customers, local advertising and word of mouth to reach potential customers.

Social media has become the “word of mouth” of our current time!!

As the guest speaker at a dinner following the Social Media in Agriculture Forum in Adelaide last week, I was asked a question by the owner of a training organisation specialising in chemical training for agriculture & horticulture, which went along the lines of – “Leanne, what social media would be best for our business?”

As I have known the owner & business for a number of years, I could quickly picture a number of scenarios for his business.

To connect directly with the farm businesses, “Facebook” was my first comment, to which his reply was – but the blokes wouldn’t be on Facebook.

The perception quite often is that as it is generally the male members of the farming business that undertake farm chemical training, that they would not be on Facebook. This may or may not be correct, however a majority of the women in the business certainly would be active on Facebook. From my knowledge of farming & training, it is quite often the women that have influence over the safety aspects of their business, so I believe that engaging with them on Facebook would be a great way for their business to engage with their current customers & potential customers.

My next thought was LinkedIn – which is where he could engage with the businesses that are already working with his ideal clients. He could find strategic connections and develop relationships which could then create a value adding proposition for both businesses.

LinkedIn certainly is a fantastic avenue for building business relationships in any business. The key to LinkedIn is having a great profile, building a network of connections, establishing yourself as an expert in your field and offering value to your connections.

So in relation to the business example above, Facebook & LinkedIn were just 2 of the social media channels that off the top of my head, I could see huge potential for engaging with their current customers, increasing their customer base and hence growing their business.

The huge range of social media channels has made it super easy for every business to connect with customers regardless of their location – rural or not.

Each day that you put off making a decision on social media you are risking having your competitors taking your share of business from under your nose.

Hence my message – social media is paramount for growing YOUR Rural Business!