Online agriculture: 42% of agrinauts on social networks (1/3)
The 50th edition of agricultural centre opened on Saturday February 23. For two weeks, nearly 700,000 visitors will flock to the aisles of the show to tour the exhibitors, see the cows, or eat and drink by eye.
Far from the cliché of man cut off from civilization, farmers are now ultra connected… Social networks, mobile applications, techno objects… FrenchWeb takes stock of the place of digital technology in agriculture.
81% of farmers use the Internet daily for their job. This is what reveals the Agrisurfeur 2012 survey carried out by BVA with Isagri, and published in the September 2012 issue of Terre-net magazine. 38% of them log on once a day and 43% more than once. Note, however, that in 2010, only 50% of farmers had Internet.
First observation : the enthusiasm of farmers for the social. Indeed, 42% of them frequent social networks, or 5 points more than in 2011. If Facebook, Copains d’avant and Twitter remain at the top of the uses, networks dedicated to agriculture have emerged. these last years.
This is the case ofAgrilink, a social network for farmers but also for all professionals in the agricultural sector ecosystem (agricultural work companies, agro-suppliers, agricultural students and teachers, experts, etc.), which offers both a personal space and a place for professional meetings . Agrilink now has more than 5,700 users, of which 1,500 are active.
The network Pardessuslahaie.net, launched in August 2011 by Trame, allows farmers and their advisers to reveal their actions, disseminate the results of experiments and studies, present their ideas, share their innovations, etc. Its purpose is to be a collaborative tool which “allows you to get in touch with other agricultural employees or farmers, but also with enthusiasts of their production throughout France, to participate in forums, to have access cutting-edge information that other colleagues will want to share, ”explains Trame.
The communities get started too. For example, the agricultural union of Charente decided to teach the professional use of Twitter to more than 200 farmers in the region. Training offered by the union to boost farmers’ expertise in the field. The Morbihan Chamber of Agriculture, meanwhile, began to develop a presence strategy on social networks by releasing the budget for the creation of a community manager position. The latter has thus been managing his Facebook page (172 fans to date) and his Twitter account (2,600 subscribers) for the past year.
In this cluster of social platforms, dedicated to agriculture or not, we must not, however, put aside the forums, veritable mines of information for farmers. Indeed, nearly 50% of them consult forums mainly to discuss their profession and agriculture in general.
They follow agricultural news, learn about agro-suppliers or agricultural organizations and discuss their personal experiences. Most even go there just to read current topics, without participating in conversations. Among the most famous forums, we can cite those of Agriavis, Terre-net, web-agri, or Pleinchamp.
As for newcomers, such as Tumblr, Pinterest, or Instagram, it seems that they are not yet popular with farmers.
The problem today, in agriculture as in other sectors, is that many professionals throw themselves headlong into the management of social networks, thinking that they will, with a few well-placed tweets and messages, their bring more sales. An error which pushes them to quickly give up these platforms, which however are full of resources.