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Thursday, November 5, 2015

"Mandatory" social media platforms for agricultural businesses

By Dr Kathy Kelley, Professor of Horticultural Marketing and Business Management, and Dana Ollendyke, Extension Associate




Through an internet survey conducted by researchers at Penn State, Rutgers, Cornell, and New York University in 2013, 1,183 participants answered questions concerning their wine purchasing and consumption attitudes and behaviors and their demographic and socioeconomic status. Panelists were screened for being at least 21 years old, residing in one of the targeted mid-Atlantic states (New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania), and for having purchased and drank wine at least once within the previous year.

This survey may be focused on wineries, but the data collected can be of use to many agricultural business types. Marketing is an integral part of doing business.  Using social media to inform consumers about your products and events is an excellent way to build relationships.

John Gillespie, founder and CEO of Wine Opinions, a wine research company, stated in the article "Who’s Drinking Wine? A Look at the Wine Market Council’s Latest Survey" that 66% of core wine drinkers (those who drink wine at least once a week) and 40% of marginal wine drinkers (those who drink wine less frequently than once a week) use the internet to get information about wine. The article also said that more than half of all wine drinkers are on Facebook.

Consumers who participated in our internet survey were asked to select from a provided list of social media platforms they felt were mandatory for a winery to offer.  As you can see by Figure 1, Facebook is the significant front-runner.  Over 40% of participants believed that this social media tool is "mandatory" for a winery to implement.  Other platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube were significantly less important to respondents.

Figure 1. Social media platforms that survey respondents believed were "mandatory" for a winery to implement.


More information about the survey results can be viewed in the video series "Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors Towards Wine Purchases".

To learn more about social media marketing and the survey data, please see video 5 in the series.

As an agricultural business owner, what social media platforms do you use?  Which one(s) seems to drive the most interaction with your customers?

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