5 March 2013 2 Comments

7 lessons social Media activist can learn from a farmer

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Social Media, Social media strategy, Social media communication, Socialmedia experts, Farming and social mediaBeing a cutting edge professional creates better opportunities. But having a mindset like concrete may destroy every great potential. A thriving professional must be able to learn from his/her environment. One must also understands the trend and see how to pick vital lessons in varied environments and apply such. Farming may not appear to be a lucrative profession in Africa, but social media experts can learn from an average farmer.   

Since our discussion today is not centred on farming per se, but on individual’s professional ability to learn and benchmark what works in other areas of human endeavour. It should not stop there, a professional must adapt knowledge gain to further achieve more. We will therefore examine what social media experts, activists can learn from a farmer. 

They know when to till the ground: Average farmer is wise enough to know when to start cultivating the land long before planting season begins. Farmers do not jump the guns. They follow the process. Listening precedes any meaningful social media activities.

They know when to sow their seeds: Average famer also understand best time to sow his seed if he plans to reap harvest. He plans for harvest in advance. Often this is not immediate in advance. If you are looking for quick fix it, you may not make much progress here.

When the seeds sprout, they are smart to see the harvest: farmer understands process. They are not angry when the seeds sown sprout. They can see beyond this. They can see sign of harvest so they take their time even when the rough beginning. Farmer has a long-term view approach. The first ‘like’, contact or   connection should not be followed with sales or what someone called ‘transactional’. Cultivate the relationship first.

They watch and monitor the weather: Farmer constantly keeps an eye on the weather. They do not apply fertilizer when there is long absence of rain. That may snuff life out of the sprout. Keep an eye on the changes in the platforms’ rules as well as other changes in behavioural patterns of your audience before you move them to inner caucus.

They weed: Farmer takes time to weed out dangerous elements. You must be active in ensuring conversation and engagement rules are followed. While you are not going to delete followers, keep hammering on group focus and enforced standard when a follower is using abusive language or is becoming a bullying.

They know harvest do not come same day: in addition to the above, patience is a great virtue known to be a farmer’s tool. They understand the law of seed time and harvest. They know it takes time for harvest to come. They also know, harvest comes in different times depending on the kind of seed sown. Some of your followers may not be useful to you in the same degree. Some may be active today in helping the brand while it may takes sometimes before the rest wake up.

They are smart enough to appreciate the value of their contributions to the whole nation: farmers do know they are the engine room of the whole nation. So they are happy to stay with that. Always note that your contribution affects the entire brand. Your contribution as a social media manager affects customers, marketing, public relations, Business development, corporate communication, stakeholder support among many others. So never be short-sighted.

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