Thursday, February 25, 2016

Social media for agricultural extension and advisory services

I am passionate about social media; it is the way that they can be used as a mean for sharing information and knowledge with friends, colleagues and customers - the way that a message can be shared, re-shared and reach a wide variety of recipients that you probably don't know but still they are interested in it. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to contribute to the Agroknow social media to an extend and I believe that the use of social media by an agri-food data powered SME like Agroknow makes a difference - it allows us not only to share/promote all these interesting things that we work on as a company but also to share information about news and updates of interest to us. This allow our followers to create a better view of Agroknow, seeing what we consider interesting in our ecosystem of services, content and solutions in the agri-food research (and not only) sector.

I recently came across two interesting publications by GFRAS - the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services:

1. Social media policy guidelines for agricultural extension and advisory services (PDF): This is a really short document providing some well-though and useful guidelines for the selection and use of social media on behalf of an organization,

The Honeycomb of Social Media Kietzmann, J.H., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I.P., Silvestre, B.S., 2011. Social media? Get seri...

2. Social media: Shaping the future of agricultural extension and advisory services (PDF). This is a 38-page study that discusses the role of social media in the context of agricultural extension and advisory services. By defining the context, the authors are able to provide useful insights on the use of social media in information and knowledge sharing in the agri-food sector.

As I am using social media for various purposes - not only for my own professional purposes but also on behalf of an SME like Agroknow, I found both publications to be really useful for anyone working with social media in the agrifood sector - and not only. What makes them so useful is the fact that they do not address marketing and business-related challenges that social media aim to address; there are plenty of publications providing this perspective - instead, they focus on the use of social media for serving information and knowledge sharing purposes, which is the scope of the extension and advisory services.