The various platforms in social media allow users to create and distribute news content in familiar as well as unlikely ways. I've had the opportunity to use social media to promote my news coverage, the Seedstock Merchandising Team's cattle preparation for the 110th National Western Stock Show and 40th Annual CSU Bull Sale, the Legends of Ranching Performance Horse Sale, the Range Beef Cow Symposium. Each experience has taught me lessons in content writing, using images to attract viewers, the power of live-Tweeting science, and much more. All photos copyright Dixie Crowe except Seedstock Team photo by John Eisele.
Social Media Success for the Horse & Livestock Industries
As companies and individual users in the horse and livestock industries expand their social media use, it is important to target the right audience and craft the best message that fits each platform. According to Animal Agriculture Alliance, only 2% of Americans farm today. The average age of farmers and ranchers is 57 years old. Additionally, the average horse owner is female and 45 years old or older. However, young people are entering these industries and are using a variety of social media platforms.
Social Media Marketing for the Seedstock Merchandising Team 2015 - 2016
The social media marketing plan for the Seedstock Merchandising Team included tying the other promotional materials' look in with the Facebook page, newsletter and catalog, creating a YouTube channel, and a new website to host catalog photos, expected progeny difference data, and videos for each of the 35 bulls in the sale.
My duties as the written committee co-chair included designing and writing team newsletters mailed to 600 households. Developing and deploying the Facebook media plan, as well as building and launching 40th Annual Bull Sale website, and overseeing the catalog production. I photographed 28 bulls for the catalog and filmed and edited 35 videos, which included overlays, and voiceovers, for our new YouTube channel that were embedded in the website.
In a six month period, I increased our page likes from 410 to 693, with an average weekly reach of over 1,000, by posting content with original photos following the team's progress from the selection of bulls and heifers from the 2015 calf crop in October, through preparation and showing at the 110th National Western Stock Show, to the 40th Annual Bull Sale in March.
Social Media Marketing for the 2015 Range Beef Cow Symposium
The Range Beef Cow Symposium was sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Service and animal science departments of the University of Wyoming, South Dakota State University, Colorado State University and the University of Nebraska. The biennial symposium has a reputation of being an excellent educational program, offering practical production management information since the first symposium in Chadron, Neb., in 1969.
The event rotates between Colorado, western Nebraska, western South Dakota and Wyoming. Focusing on beef production issues in the Western states, the symposium attracted nearly 800 attendees and more than 80 agribusiness vendors for the three-day event. CSU's Department of Animal Sciences hosted the event in 2015. My internship was sponsored by the Colorado Beef Council.
Before I launched the social media campaign, the only existing promotional media for the event was a website hosted by the "Angus Journal." The goal was to promote the event and attract young producers using social media. I developed and deployed a social media campaign using Facebook and Twitter. The Facebook page likes currently has over 300 likes, with new likes happening every week although the site has been dormant since the end of November.
I used photographs from my personal collection to create post cards for both platforms to promote the event and highlight speakers from September to November. During the event, I live-Tweeted the three-day event with over 550 tweets, and was re-Tweeted by “Angus Journal,” Wyatt Bechtel of “Beef Today,” The Red Angus Association of America, Colorado Beef Quality Assurance, and other members of the beef industry.
Social Media Marketing for the 2014 Legends of Ranching
Performance Horse Sale
The attached document is a manual on how to produce and market the sale based on my experience in that role for the 2014 Legends of Ranching Performance Horse Sale as part of the the sales and events class at Colorado State University. The samples to the left are a part of the Facebook marketing section, which was the only social media platform used for the sale at that time.
During the class as the marketing team lead, I designed and implemented a Facebook marketing plan for the 9th Annual Legends of Ranching Performance Horse Sale. Increased the page following from 200 to over 1200 likes over the month-and-a-half leading up to the sale. I also took candid photographs of the student trainers and their horses that were published in the sale catalog and used as part of the Facebook promotion plan. I wrote and designed the sale's exit survey, the press release, and a follow up story for "Rodeo News." I assisted the videography crew during filming of the Wagonhound Land & Livestock student competition, the sale preview, and ran the video timeline for the tote boards while the horses were in the sale ring, and posted live from the sale during the preview event.