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How to use Facebook to grow your agribusiness venture

When you think of Facebook for your agribusiness, you probably think of Facebook Pages. But are you a member of any Facebook Groups? If not, consider this post a little push because Pages and Groups can go hand-in-hand to boost your Facebook marketing efforts. Farmers in Kenya have come a long way since the founding of Facebook. They have created numerous groups to help them connect with each other and share ideas across the agribusiness community. Facebook Groups are a popular way for small groups to organize and communicate. I’ve seen groups organized around causes,  events and social groups, like book clubs. But Facebook Groups can also be a powerful way for farm owners to connect with their customers and followers, or to colleagues in professional organizations. In a 2015 earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg  told investors that there were 850 million people using Facebook Groups every month. That’s, obviously, a huge number.

When you start looking around for groups to join, you might find some that look interesting but that are “closed.” Don’t let that dissuade you from requesting to join. Most of the Facebook Groups I’ve looked at happen to be closed but requests to join are answered pretty quickly. Keeping them closed is just a way to keep spammers and trolls out.

Here are five ways joining a Facebook Group can add value to your agribusiness venture.

  • Facebook groups can help you build a community. – Being connected in todays worls is very important. As they say information is power and having it in your fingertips will take you a long way. By being connected farmers are able to learn from each other,find new products,create awareness especially from con-men,find events etc
  • Facebook groups can help you promote your product.-Before harvesting your produce, you can post your crops in a Facebook group and inquire if anyone is interested to buy.  You will be surprised to find a lot of people interested in what you are selling.
  • Facebook groups can keep you organized- As noted above, Facebook groups can be useful for community building and product promotion, but it also has some features  built in that can make groups even more powerful.

Here are three that are especially useful:

  • Questions. Let’s say you’re planning an agribusiness training event for your group and you want to know what type of training the members are interested in having. You could use the Questions feature to poll members about their preference, ask them to choose from a list of options.
  • Events. Once you’ve settled on what type of training to host, use Facebook’s “Create Event” feature to schedule it and collect RSVPs. Just click the … in the top right-hand corner of your group, create an event from the dropdown menu by adding details and click “Create.” (If your group has fewer than 250 members you can invite everyone to your event all at once. To invite more than 250, you’ll have to choose invitees individually.)
  • Files. You can post files you’d like to share with group members, e.g., documents and presentations. All you have to do is click the “Add File” icon (you can also share Dropbox files).

Prominent Kenyan farming groups on Facebook are Digital Farmers Kenya with a membership of 84,154 and Onion & Watermelon Farming Gurus with a membership of 74,990 (24/5/2017)

So there you have it: A few ways you can use Facebook groups for your agribusiness venture. Are any of you members of Facebook groups? Has a group helped you with your farm business? Which features do you find most useful? Please let us know!

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