When we look at the two communications platforms of websites and social media, we need to see them as separate entities instead of an “either/or” option. There is a reason that most businesses have a website and a social media presence online.
People use search engines to seek answers. They use social media for entertainment.
Search engines (mainly Google) have a massive index of results for questions from websites and/or YouTube, but rarely does it show a social media post as a result. The reason is because it's too difficult to keep up with the amount of information being placed into social media. It's also because the social media platforms are not easily indexed or can't be indexed by the search engines.
When people want to be entertained or see what is happening in the moment with their friends, they are more likely to pull up social media. It brings them information such as the latest news, friend updates, or just something an acquaintance finds interesting or entertaining.
The two communication platforms have their specific uses for dairy consumers and they aren't interchangeable. However, you can use information from each to drive awareness and engagement with the other.
The videos you produce for social media can be downloaded and put on YouTube. They then can be embedded on your website for educational purposes as well as keeping them together in one spot as opposed to being pushed down in the feed on social media. The content you need on a website, such as questions and answers, can make great ideas for social media. In fact, the content at each location should be close to the same for the sake of consistency with consumers.
Essentially, I'm saying it's important to have both. The future of dairy farming and our industry depends on clear communication and transparency with consumers, and these are the platforms they use the most.
If you are looking to build a website, you can check out this blog post “What should be included on your farm website?” to help you understand the content you need. If you are looking to start in social media, check out this blog post “Is Facebook still relevant?”
Do you need help getting started in social media and connecting with consumers via digital tools? Your local and national dairy checkoff can help — please reach out to them via dairy.org or me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to learn more about your national dairy checkoff, you can join our Facebook group or visit dairy.org for information.
The author is a Senior Vice President of Digital Initiatives at Dairy Management Inc.