Today’s guest post comes from Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion and Holstein Youth Mentor Tom Pearce
For better or worse and bordering on an obsession, the mobile phone has become our more useful “left” hand. Ask yourself – How often do you see a young person these days with a firm grip on their mobile device? Right -Every spare second! And what are they doing with it? Chances are if they aren’t writing another text message in record time they are using some form of social media!
The Holstein Youth mission statement is “To attract and develop the next generation, providing a sustainable framework for the future of the Australian Dairy Industry”. We believe the best way to do this and connect with the majority of the younger generation who are holding on tightly to that smartphone is through Social Media
When Charles Darwin said in the 19th century – “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change” I don’t think in his wildest dreams he would have envisioned the phenomenal level of technology in the 21st century
Social Media is often described as “revolutionary”, and those resisting the change are being left behind, fast! While Holstein Youth has had a social media presence for some time it is only in the last 6 months or so we have really “jumped on the bandwagon” so to speak and started to milk it for all its worth to boost our online presence and audience. Not only are we trying to connect with the dairy community we feel our content is relevant and of interest to the wider community.
So what has Holstein Youth been doing in this space?
Our most active platform now with 581 “Likes”, that has seen a weekly page audience peak at 8000+ and our most popular post reaching 3000+ Facebook users worldwide. Some of the statistics are truly amazing! While our main audience are Australian’s, others include from the USA, Canada, New Zealand and as far afield as Pakistan, Ecuador and Egypt to mention a few! We endeavour to keep the page updated regularly so our audience can see Coming Events, Photo Albums, Interesting Facts, YouTube clips, links to other competitions and Sale + Show Coverage (proving quite popular for those who can’t attend the event). Being an interactive platform we invite comments from our audience with our “Guess Who” and “Caption This” photos. It is interesting to note that the most successful “posts” are the one’s our audience can relate to and share an emotional connection.
The caption ‘Should have been a “Cow’ asaki’ had 816 Likes and was shared 333 times on other Facebook pages
Twitter is the newest social media platform we have ventured into. Yes Holstein Youth has joined the conversation (don’t roll your eyes it’s definitely worth looking into, it may be a lot more than what you expect).
The YouthTube competition was inspired by a number of Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion videos that showcased their industry to the wider community via Youtube. All entries into the YouthTube competition have been uploaded to our YouTube channel for the whole world to see. And going by the statistics YouTube is telling us those videos have been seen, again mostly by Australian’s but other views have come from countries like Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey and Costa Rica amongst others! The Holstein Youth team has a few more videos in the pipeline but we are definitely looking forward to uploading this year’s entries into the YouthTube Competition to continue to showcase our Aussie dairy industry to the world. Any video uploaded to YouTube can then be shared on Facebook and Twitter and potentially join the Petersen Brothers movement and go “viral”
What’s next for Holstein Youth
It doesn’t stop there the Holstein Youth team is looking at embracing another social media platform, Instagram. All we can say is watch this space!
Using Social Media will also play an integral part in promoting next year’s Holstein Youth Conference which will coincide with the Holstein Australia 100 Year Anniversary Conference in Queensland.
So long as the Holstein Youth team has an internet connection we can update our social media wherever we are in the world, it truly is so easy! On the other hand it is a little hard to measure our success on social media in terms of page “likes”, twitter “follows” and video “views” equally more young farmers on the land or new Holstein Australia members, but you just never know. By using Social media we can provide constant reminders to our audience and it may just be one of the pieces to the puzzle in attracting and retaining youth in Agriculture. Through using visual and interactive content we might just get a few people to stop and take notice in this fast paced digital world.
Thank you Tom and well done Holstein Youth
You can follow Tom on Twitter
You can see his entry for the I love Ag competition “Meet Tom Pearce the farmer who puts the Cheese in your Cracker” here