Episode 33: Social Media Tips and Tricks for Ag Businesses with Kayla Laubacher
AgCredit Marketing Coordinator, Kayla Laubacher, has a unique background in both marketing and agriculture. In this podcast episode, she shares her story of studying and working in marketing to marrying into a family farming business with a successful agritourism venture. With her passion for both fields, Kayla brings a wealth of experience to the table for anyone looking to build an online social media presence for their business.
Here are Kayla’s top social media tips and tricks:
1. Start with your why
When creating a social media page for your business, start with your “why.” Think about your goals, who you are trying to reach, and what problem you are solving for your target audience. “It all really comes back to your goals,” says Kayla. “Don’t create a Facebook page just to have one.” Ultimately, creating a social media page should serve as a tool to share about your business.
2. Choose the right platform
Selecting the right social media platform for your business should be based on your goals and your target audience. For example, while Facebook and Instagram are popular platforms, it’s crucial to consider the generational differences and preferences of your audience. You might reach a broader audience by being on multiple platforms, but the content you share on each platform should be tailored to fit that channel’s unique format.
3. Create content
“Literally anything can be content,” says Kayla. “What might seem boring and average to you may be interesting to your customer.” Take photos of what you are working on, share behind-the-scenes clips, and share your story. People want to know the person behind your farm or business, and it’s one of the best ways to create engaging content. “Social media gives you another platform to share your story, talk about agriculture, and educate people,” says Kayla.
4. Post consistently
The key to posting on social media is consistency. Whether you post once a week or everyday, a consistent schedule is ideal. Use a posting cadence that is manageable for you. Whether you use a hard copy calendar or a digital one, keeping track of what you want to post will help you in the long run.
5. Batch and schedule content
Batch content creation is a great way to create a bunch of content at once. By compiling photos, videos and content ideas for future use, you can save time when you go to create your content. This is also great for scheduling posts ahead of time. Using tools like Facebook’s Meta Business Suite or other social media scheduling apps, will save you tons of time, help you stay organized, and allow you to be more productive in other areas of your business.
6. Use free tools
One of Kayla’s go-to tools for creating social media content is Canva. Canva is very user-friendly and offers a free and paid version. With Canva, you can use pre-made templates to customize posts with text, graphics and photos. Additionally, this tool has a feature that allows you to resize graphics, which is super helpful for posting on different social media platforms. Canva even includes an AI writing feature that can be used as a starting point for writing content or gathering content ideas.
7. Handle negative comments
It’s important to respond quickly to negative comments. “Respond as positively as you can on the public post, but then take that conversation into a private message,” says Kayla. Taking the conversation “offline” will help you resolve the issue in a private and professional manner. It’s also important not to ignore negative comments. By taking the time to respond, especially in the agriculture sector, it gives you an opportunity to share why you do things a certain way and help people without an agricultural background understand better.
8. Create a website
Lastly, have a website and an email list as backup to your social media platforms. Create a simple one-page website with a brief overview about your business, its location, hours of operation, and include a way for people to contact you.
Here’s a glance at this episode:
- [01:44] Kayla introduces herself, how she got into marketing, and her background in agriculture.
- [03:31] Kayla shares the story of how she married into family farming and how their agritourism and pumpkin business started.
- [08:38] Kayla summarizes what social media is, the different social media platforms, and how to decide which ones to be on.
- [11:40] Answering questions on what to post on social media, Kayla presents some content ideas.
- [14:02] Kayla explains what the algorithm is and how it works.
- [17:01] Kayla gives advice on how often to post.
- [19:12] Kayla explains why having a website, a Google listing, and an email list are all important.
- [22:37] Discussing batch content creation, Kayla explains how this approach works so that you can schedule posts ahead of time.
- [27:46] Kayla shares some of the tools she uses to help her create and post content.
- [32:48] Kayla gives advice on how to best respond to “keyboard warriors” and “internet trolls.”
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Ep. 18: 5 Tips for Building a Brand for your Farm with Stacie McCracken
- Ep. 29: Creating Community through Social Media with Zoe Kent
Share questions and topic ideas with us:
Kayla Laubacher has been part of the AgCredit marketing team for 10 years. She also owns a pumpkin business with her husband and in-laws giving her experience in family farming, agritourism and social media for farm businesses.
Voiceover (00:08):Welcome to AgCredit Said It. In each episode, our hosts sit down with experts from all parts of the agriculture industry to bring you insights and must-have information on all things from farming to finances and everything in between.
Libby Wixtead (00:28):Welcome back to AgCredit Said It for another episode. I'm Libby Wixtead and I'm here with Matt Adams.
Matt Adams (00:33):And today, Libby, we’ve got really a fun topic. For one, happy to finally get one of our compadres here across the board. Today we are talking about social media. It's a broad range of stuff to cover today, so we're going to have a lot of great content here.
Libby Wixtead (00:56):Yeah, and this social media will be more for your direct marketing rather than branding your farm. And we will put in the show notes some of the other episodes that talk about marketing and we'll talk about that here a little bit later on. But we are so excited because we have our marketing coordinator, Kayla Laubacher, with us today and we've tried and tried and tried to get her off of the soundboard and a mic in front of her. So we are super excited to have Kayla with us to talk about social media. So welcome, Kayla.
Kayla Laubacher (01:30):Yeah, thanks for having me. I'm so excited. I know you guys have been waiting to get me on this side of the microphone.
Matt Adams (01:35):And now nobody's running the board. So this is going to be about as raw and uncut as it gets here, guys.
Libby Wixtead (01:42):We're all playing double duty here.
Matt Adams (01:44):But Kayla, you know the drill here. We're going to quiz you here. Tell us a little bit about how you came to get into marketing. Tell us some of your background and all that fun stuff.
Kayla Laubacher (01:57):So I actually have an interesting start to marketing. When I went to college, I actually went to college for pharmacy. Fun fact. Lasted about one quarter in that at Ohio State. And I was like, "Yeah, this is not for me. What was I thinking?" So I switched to AgBiz right away. And I had done DECA, the marketing program in high school, which is what got me interested in marketing. And so really once I switched to AgBiz, I knew that I wanted to work in marketing. And so I had an opportunity in college to intern with AgCredit in 2011. I worked with Connie Ruth at the time in the marketing department and I actually worked on the loan side as well while I was an intern and realized quickly that loan officer was not my calling, but marketing still was.
Matt Adams (02:37):Now what are you saying here? I mean, we're account officers here, are you saying that we're hard to get along with?
Kayla Laubacher (02:40):Oh no, I'm just saying you guys are just so great with the numbers and maybe the numbers weren't my thing or surprisingly just the... I'm outgoing I feel like with people I know, but not necessarily talking to prospects and that type of role in the lending. But when I graduated from Ohio State, there was an opportunity to come into a full-time marketing role at AgCredit. So I went with that. A few years later Connie retired so I was able to move up and take her position as marketing coordinator. And so this year I'll be celebrating my 10-year anniversary at AgCredit, which seems crazy. I was the youngest person here for so long and now I'm the middle-aged person, which seems weird.
Libby Wixtead (03:18):The tenured person.
Kayla Laubacher (03:19):Like legit ten yeared.
Libby Wixtead (03:20):Yeah, but that's hard to believe. Oh, congratulations on your 10 years and I know time flies by. I'm just a little bit behind you on that, which is hard to believe.
Matt Adams (03:31):And wait, before we go in for Libby, Kayla has not given herself enough due credit here. We need to talk about your operation at home too. I have heard about this. I have not ventured your way yet to see it, but tell us a little bit about the family farm.
Kayla Laubacher (03:46):So I married into a farm family, so that's fun. I was in 4-H and all that growing up, but definitely different than the actual production ag. So my in-laws have a grain farm and then they also raise cattle and then we have a pumpkin farm. Jason's Pumpkin Patch, in Oak Harbor, got to give a little plug for that. So my husband and I partner with his parents on that and it's the full agritourism deal. We have pumpkins, hayrides, a corn maze, and a food stand with donuts. We just added donuts, which were huge. Petting zoo.
Matt Adams (04:19):I do believe we need some samples next time.
Kayla Laubacher (04:19):Yes, definitely. We host a lot of field trips, but really we're that one-stop-shop in Oak Harbor for your fall agritourism activities. So I think that gives me a good perspective on what we're going to talk about today, which is social media because we use social media so much, not only at AgCredit but through that farm business to advertise and get the word out of what we're doing, events we're hosting and all that.
Libby Wixtead (04:42):Yeah. Did Jason's Pumpkin Patch start from an SAE project?
Kayla Laubacher (04:46):No. I don't think he was in FFA actually. His little funny story that he always tells people of how it started was he grew pumpkins in the backyard and sold them to his mom the first year. And then, I think she got really into it too. So it kind of just grew. They sold pumpkins out of their garage when I think it started in 2001 actually. So this will be our 23rd year technically, which is crazy. When I started dating Jason, that was the first year I think that they added hay rides. And it was funny because they had two hay rides a day on the weekends at 1:00 and 3:00. And now just to where we are now, we literally run hay rides from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM on the weekends back to back to back all day long.
Matt Adams (05:28):So the date nights were, "Hey listen, we need to go run the hay rides and work the pumpkin patch."
Kayla Laubacher (05:32):I joke about that and it's like how many girls want a fall date to the pumpkin patch? I'm like, I live in the dream, man.
Matt Adams (05:37):So I always get intrigued on especially the agritourism and just diversification from starting with the backyard pumpkin patch and selling to... Your number one person's your mom you got to sell to. What on average do you guys have now after being in this for, would you say 23 seasons?
Kayla Laubacher (05:57):Yeah. So we grow 10 acres of pumpkins now.
Matt Adams (06:00):10 acres?
Kayla Laubacher (06:01):Yeah. It's a lot of pumpkins.
Matt Adams (06:01):That is a lot of pumpkins.
Kayla Laubacher (06:03):And we actually plant, this is crazy, over a hundred, last year I think the count was 121 different varieties of pumpkins, gourds, and squash. And a lot of those are just, are orange pumpkins, but every single one is a different variety. So it has a different name and a different seed. And we hand plant them, we sit on the back of a six-row planter and hand drop them and switch seeds every so many hills and it takes a whole day.
Libby Wixtead (06:26):So are you guys into growing those ginormous pumpkins? Do you guys take them to any fairs or anything?
Kayla Laubacher (06:34):No, we don't do any shows. We do grow giants but we don't do any special care to them. But we still get some pretty decent-sized ones and we have some people that come every year straight to us just to get large pumpkins. We have a few regulars, and they'll even message us in September like, "Hey, save me the biggest one," and we have a few people…
Matt Adams (06:53):What's the yield looking like this year?
Kayla Laubacher (06:55):We'll take them out on the gator out to the field and let them pick it. 'Cause we're like, "We know you come every year, you like us for that, and that we're grateful that you come back to support us every year." So we'll give them the Gator ride which they think is cool and that is always fun. I think that's the most fun part about agritourism, the best and the worst part is sharing your farm. 'Cause when you're sharing your farm, you're going to get some negative people just that don't understand agriculture. And that's where we have the opportunity to share the story of agriculture. But it is fun to show it off too. On the hayride, we drive through the pumpkin patch and people just think that's so cool. We stop by the cow pasture and throw a pumpkin in and watch the cows eat the pumpkin, which is just for us, that's like everyday life. But for people coming to the farm, it's cool to show that.
Matt Adams (07:36):I look at that as kind of twofold. You said it's great because you're opening your farm up to the general public. The bad part of that is you're opening your farms up to the general public. But I think what we're going to dive into today is, I still feel that is one of the big struggles in agriculture as a whole is getting our story out there. And I think that's where social media comes in – with some of our different podcasts that we have people on and just different things we do here with the association. Social media is becoming huge if not growing constantly.
Kayla Laubacher (08:09):And really creating a Facebook page and a website when I, like I said, joined the farm, I created those for the patch and those after that, we just grew exponentially just, I think local people knew who we were just from driving by and seeing signs. But when you can get Facebook and start sharing posts and people share your posts, you know, get the word out there so much faster. So yeah, creating Facebook and it's free, just your time to create it, the posts and all that, it just, that's what made us grow for sure.
Matt Adams (08:38):So, Libby and I talked before we started this, she says "Matt, you know, you want me to take the lead on this?" Because she has seen me looking at the questions like, "I don't know anything about social media here." So that is my first question. When people talk about social media, what are we talking about?
Kayla Laubacher (08:56):Yeah, so obviously you're talking about all those different platforms that you hear about and there's so many of them. So social media, when you say it as a whole, can so easily become overwhelming so quickly. You know, your Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok is super popular right now. Twitter, what'd I miss? LinkedIn for your professionals and there's even more actually but those are the main pages that you know, but I would say for what we're talking about here, the direct marketing, Facebook I think is going to be your best bet. We do have an Instagram as well, but we definitely get way more traffic and interaction on the Facebook page. So just depending on what you're selling or what your goal may be for the social media page will help you determine what platform you need to be on. But yeah, for what we're talking about today, I think we're going to focus a lot on Facebook and Instagram.
Libby Wixtead (09:41):And I think it just depends too, it's very generational on what social media platform you're going to be on too. And again, like you said, your content is going to be a little different on each of them. Obviously, AgCredit has its own, and we're on certain ones for a reason too, and I think it's good to be on multiple different ones just to get those different generations. And who knows, with the next generation coming up, there's probably going to be another social media platform.
Matt Adams (10:09):It's just funny you say generational. My young daughters at home asked me, "Dad, are you on social media?" "Well yeah, I got Facebook and Twitter." Say, "Twitter, that's for old people Dad." I was like, "That was the first thing I was ever on. I really enjoy that."
Kayla Laubacher (10:27):Well, it's funny because my kids, even now, know that we'll sometimes we'll scroll TikTok at night and so they'll lay in bed and be like, "Can we watch a few TikToks?" They know what it is too. And they're like, "Wanna scroll through some TikToks before bed?" I'm like, "What? No."
Libby Wixtead (10:39):That's amazing. I will say for TikTok, I follow several farmers on TikTok and it just surprises me how many farmers are out there and they have traction. I mean they have several followers and it's just simple things of guys in the field when they're planting or harvesting and even I'm sure if the agritourism, I don't really follow agritourism that much on TikTok, but it's just amazing how much that's exploded with followers. And I think today we're talking more on just direct marketing, not necessarily being a social media influencer where some of these other farmers are probably being more like influencers but using it as advertisement.
Kayla Laubacher (11:26):I got a shout-out for an episode first if you want to hear about influencing. As a producer, my job is to market this podcast. So if you want to hear about social media influencing, go listen to our episode with Zoe Kent. It was, I don't know what number it was but I'll link it in the show notes.
Libby Wixtead (11:40):Well and also we have, so we're separating this too from branding your farm, which we had Stacie McCracken who is the true producer of our podcaster company, McCracken Co. And theirs is episode number 18. So that's more for your grain farmers or I shouldn't say grain farmers, but any of your traditional farmers who are looking to brand your farm and create some posts or websites or things like that for your farm just to get more land or grow your farm or just have a name for people to refer back to. So okay, going back to that before, had to give our shout on our episodes, their own little plug. I always struggle with what to post? Why do these people care about what I have to post? What content should I be sharing that would be interesting to people and share my brand?
Kayla Laubacher (12:36):Yes. This is the million-dollar question for people on social and even me working in marketing. I do social media as my job for AgCredit and I still get stumped sometimes on the pumpkin patch side and literally anything can be content. What you have to remember is what seems boring and average to you is interesting to that consumer. They don't work on the farm day to day. So take a snapshot of what work you're doing, take a little video clip and share that and explain what you're doing. For us in the pumpkins we're going to be ordering seeds so you bet I'm going to take some photos of all the catalogs out and I'll spread over our table of, "Hey we're ordering seeds today." 'Cause they don't realize either when you have a seasonal business that you're really doing that year round, it's seasonal for the consumer that's coming.
(13:15):But for us, we're thinking pumpkins all year round, we're ordering seeds in March so we're going to share about that. So literally just anything like that you can post any behind the scenes and then this is going to sound silly 'cause you'd think it'd be obvious, but post about what you're selling, if you're a fruit stand and you're selling fruit or ears of corn or sweet corn or whatever, post when you have fresh, post what's coming in, post what you're going to have, people want to see the product, they want to know what you have available. And like I said, that seems so obvious but you forget sometimes, you know you might post about it one time and think you're good but keep posting about it. With the algorithms on social media, not everyone sees every post so you can repeat posts, you can post similar things like over and over and each post will hit different people just depending on the interactions it gets.
Libby Wixtead (14:02):Hold on. Can you share what algorithms are?
Kayla Laubacher (14:04):Yeah, so the algorithm is kind of the behind-the-scenes of the social media where the platform, depending on you as the user, what you click on, what you're viewing, it'll kind of customize your newsfeed for what it thinks you're going to be interested in. So you know, depending on what ad you stop and watch what ad you interact with, what posts you like or comment on, it's going to kind of start serving you content based on that. So one post you create might not reach Libby but it might reach Matt cause just the way it was worded or what the picture is possible might relate with stuff he's been clicking on and vice versa. You could use that same post but maybe word it differently and it might hit Libby's feed. So it's interesting kind of how that works. And it can be frustrating too because you don't always have control over that.
(14:51):But another big thing I was going to say that's a good posting is your story, your farm story. Who are you as the farmer or the producer that's creating this? Before we talked about the story of Jason's Pumpkin Patch and how we started. So we shared that story, we shared a family photo because you're more than a business, you're an individual that's putting your time and efforts into this product or service or whatever it is. So talk about yourself; people want to know who's behind it. And that's something I think you could almost post at least once a month. You're maybe a little intro about yourself because hopefully, you're gathering new followers as you go.
Matt Adams (15:28):Kind of refreshing.
Kayla Laubacher (15:30):Yep. Exactly.
Matt Adams (15:31):So talking about that and why I was thinking to myself, I really thought it was interesting you said, what should I post? To me, your pumpkin patch, and that is very interesting to me, where I feel that if I would post something about where we are a traditional grain farm, why would you want to see me planting corn or loading trucks where possibly cattle producers may want to see that because they do not see the grain side of the operation or you get a lot of feedback from maybe non-farmers on that stuff. I mean you get questions asked when does it draw people to your thing that are they asking off-the-wall questions or are truly interested in what you're doing?
Kayla Laubacher (16:19):They really are; actually, I used to actually give hayrides back in the day. I have since been promoted and don't have to give hayrides anymore. We have high school kids that do most of that. But you know I really did get a lot of questions and you could really tell when people were interested and we have a little spiel we'll give on the hayride, we'll stop and talk about our operation and people really are interested or they'll say like, "Hey, I saw you posted about this so we had to come to check it out." And it's great because it gives you an opportunity to share more about that. And like you said, oh it's boring seeing corn being planted but a lot of people just don't know…
Matt Adams (16:50):They don't know what that is.
Kayla Laubacher (16:51):Yeah, exactly. Or the same with pumpkin planting. So social media just gives you really another platform to share your story to talk about agriculture and educate people.
Matt Adams (17:01):So when we start posting stuff, how often should a person post? I mean are we talking about something every hour, once a month, or once a year? I mean, believe me, I am probably nowhere going to... My wife has talked about wanting to do some type of social media thing for our farm, but how often do you see posting should happen? I'm sure it probably goes by season too. In agriculture at least anyways.
Kayla Laubacher (17:27):And so really the answer is just whatever you can maintain consistently. So you don't necessarily need to post every single day, but if you can post at least three to four times a week and that's something you can manage and do consistently every week, just do that. Say you're going to just create a schedule and say Monday, Wednesday, Fridays I'm going to post, you know, you don't want to be posting Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and then kind of go silent for five days.
Matt Adams (17:48):I'm sure your followers start getting used to when you're going to be posting.
Kayla Laubacher (17:51):Yeah, kind of your cadence. And the thing that's weird with social, too, is we go back to that algorithm sometimes. Even in my feed, I'll get a post from two days ago and I'm like, "Oh interesting." So just keep that in mind. If you have something coming up on the weekend, you might want to be posting about that a few days ahead, not on Saturday morning. So whatever you can consistently maintain, definitely go with that. But it doesn't need to be every single day. You don't necessarily need a post every single hour if most of your business is internet based, which that's different than what we've been talking about. But if you are trying to get sales through internet sales, you know you probably need to be posting more so that you're getting sales, but that's not your main avenue. We have a brick-and-mortar, so people come and buy pumpkins from us that's not relying on the internet just to make sales. So it's a little less.
Libby Wixtead (18:43):What you're trying to do there too is, if you have an ecommerce business, you're trying to drive them to your website so they are going through what your products are and purchasing things that way. If you have freezer beef and you're selling it... The more you're posting that, as you said, the more you can maintain it, the more it's going to drive them to your website or to whatever platform that you have where they can purchase those things. And I think that's the most important.
Matt Adams (19:12):That's why I kind of wonder with all the different social media platforms, is the traditional website still out there? We still want to send people there, but is that kind of maybe push the back burner a little bit because we're there, it's the end result. But yeah, it used to be your website was your big thing. I mean that's what you always promote. Where now it seems like most people, they'll put out their Instagram handle or their stuff to find, it's not our .com website that we're promoting as much anymore.
Kayla Laubacher (19:44):Yeah. Well, the thing to remember though is social media is a free platform but you don't own that. It could go away at any time. There was a time, it was a couple of years ago, when Instagram just blacked out for a day and it was like all these people had internet-based businesses or social media-based businesses and you can't do anything. So a big tip that's, we're going off the road a little bit here, but a big tip that marketers encourage is creating an email list.
(20:09):Working using your social media to collect email addresses because then you do own that email list. So if you would lose your social media for whatever reason, you have that email list that you can directly email your offers or what your services, your hours, or what you have going on directly to that email list. So I think you still can have a website, even if it's a single one-page website, just to have about you, what you do, your contact information, how people can reach out to you, your hours, is still important and you can do that pretty easily and pretty low cost yourself.
(20:39):There's a lot of really good WYSIWYG. What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get website builders out there. We used Wix for the pumpkin patch, which I don't know if that's the best one, but it worked for us and we were able to build our own site. But another place too is making sure your Google business page is verified. Because you can, I mean you think of when you're looking for a business, how often do you just go Google it? So if that Google business page is verified, you can add your own hours, and you can link your website and your socials there. People can post pictures and tag you. Importantly, people can leave reviews there, which is good and bad. But I think of it, I go look at Google reviews all the time, so having that page set up is huge too.
Libby Wixtead (21:21):And I think going back to that email list, I feel like that kind of goes, marketing just all goes together. It seems like driving from social media to the website and then where that email comes in is you're still staying in that inbox of that potential customer or that current customer and you're driving them back to your social media page or driving them back to your website. So I feel like that is all very important. So we are going to take a quick break here on AgCredit set and we'll be right back.
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Libby Wixtead (22:22):Welcome back to AgCredit Said It.
Matt Adams (22:25):So we're going to strap ourselves in here, Libby, we're going to get down to the nitty-gritty of social media here. So, Kayla, I hope you're ready for this.
Kayla Laubacher (22:33):Nervous now I know how you are with off the wall, rogue questions.
Matt Adams (22:37):So batch content creating, let's dive into that because I am getting all about this social media stuff here. So I'm an open book here. So just start teaching.
Kayla Laubacher (22:52):So batch content creating is just a great way to create a bunch of content at one time. One big batch of it. So sometimes you get so busy on the farm in your day-to-day you just forget to post or you don't have a, you're like, “Oh I need to post, but I don't have a picture. What do I do?” So at a time when you're maybe slower, if you're doing something, say we're planting like, "Okay, I'm going to take a whole bunch of photos and video clips just so I can start filling my camera roll with content." So anytime we're doing anything, just take extra random photos or like, Saturday morning before the pumpkin patch opens, I might just take a lap and just take a bunch of photos of everything when it's all nice and clean. And then it's just photos you have in your camera roll ready to go whenever you need something.
Libby Wixtead (23:32):Okay. Hold on. Can we stop for one moment? How should you take your photos? Is it different?
Matt Adams (23:36):Sideways? That's how my daughters say. The camera is half sideways, I can get about half my head in there, right?
Kayla Laubacher (23:42):Future content creator.
Libby Wixtead (23:44):Are there different sizes for different posts between Facebook, Instagram? Well yeah, I guess the other ones are videos. This shows how old I am, right? There we go.
Kayla Laubacher (23:53):But no, there is, it's sometimes annoying because you almost need to take both ways. You need to take photos horizontally and vertically.
Libby Wixtead (24:01):And that's videos and photos, correct?
Kayla Laubacher (24:02):Yes. So for the podcast, when I am producing on the other side and I'm taking video clips and photos, I take photos vertically, and horizontally. And I take videos both ways as well because just, depending on what you're posting on, they require different dimensions. So if you're trying to post your Facebook or Instagram stories, you're going to want to be vertical to fill the space. If it's a photo on Facebook, typically a horizontal is going to be better. Instagram, you can do some horizontal now, but typically square is the normal size. So you're going to want to make sure you can crop into the square. So as annoying as it is, you pretty much need to take all the directions just so you have options and can use those photos across your platforms.
Matt Adams (24:43):So, you look at photos, I guess here's a question I got. There are so many now that we got the reels out there, small video clips, or even YouTube where it might be a longer video clip. Do you see a better response from a video clip or a small video reel versus just a regular photo post?
Kayla Laubacher (25:00):Yeah, it's interesting. On Instagram, it goes back and forth. I actually spend a lot of time, personal time on Instagram. That's kind of my go-to platform. I mean it's been interesting to watch. I follow several social media people that teach you how to social media, how reels when they first came out were very popular, and reels, reels, reels. You had to be video or it wasn't showing your content. But recently it's actually shifted back to just single photos or carousels where you have multiple single photos that you scroll through with maybe information on each one or a series of photos or whatever.
(25:32):So really, right now, I think you can use that variety of them, but it is good to use all different varieties to just keep your page interesting. If it's just a single photo every time, that might get boring. But if you can incorporate a video clip here or there, sometimes a video clip can just share your message better depending on what you're trying to portray with that post. So you kind of just need to think about what you're wanting maybe the person to get from that post and think of what's the best way to deliver this content.
Libby Wixtead (26:00):So with the batch content creating and figuring out, taking photos, videos of all the different ways. So I have all of these and let's say, we're all farmers, but we all have full-time jobs. We're also parents. How in the world do we have time to fit this in? Is there some tool that we can use where it'll just post it for us? We do it once and it'll just go the entire week or whatever month, however you can do it?
Kayla Laubacher (26:35):Yes, I feel that, because, like I said, I'm the social media person at the patch and I don't know how many times or just you get so busy into your day you're like, "Oh I never posted today." So the biggest tip, try to schedule your content out ahead of time. If you have an extra couple of hours, some evening you can post your whole week, month, whatever. Actually, at AgCredit we post typically our whole month of content out ahead of time. And there are different tools for this. We use a paid platform for AgCredit because we're obviously a larger business, but Facebook or Meta. So Facebook and Instagram are owned by Meta. So there's an app called Meta Business Suite and I highly recommend it. So you download it right on your phone and you actually can then go in there, you can even create drafts of posts if you don't want to schedule them out yet.
(27:15):You can type your messaging, put your photo or video in there, save it as a draft or you can go ahead and schedule it like daytime when you want it to go. And it'll be in there and just automatically post when you scheduled it for. So that's a huge time saver. And once again, if you have that batched content, you know, you can sit down on a Sunday night and be like, "Okay, I have an hour, let's schedule the week." Pull photos up that you have and maybe even if you had some extra time one night, go in your notes on your phone and type in different maybe content ideas you had. Pull that up, plug it all in, and you're good for the week.
Libby Wixtead (27:46):Have you used any tools such as not necessarily an app or scheduling post, but something like a social media calendar where you're scheduling out for the whole entire... You're just creating a plan for the whole entire year. So, this is National Ag Week when we're actually recording this. So not to miss things like that that are very important to your business.
Kayla Laubacher (28:11):So I mean I think you can do that in any way that works for you. So for me, I'm actually a very, I like to have my hard copy calendar. I have my Outlook calendar at work that we have to have, but then I also have my hard copy that I just write everything out. And so just find what works for you. So maybe it is a printed, even just one sheet that has every month and you just kind of plug in those important dates so you remember, "Oh it's beef month, I'm a beef farmer, I should share about these specific things to celebrate beef month." But whatever works for you, even using your calendar app on your phone might be something that works, your Google calendar. Because I don't use Google Calendar, but I think you can create different calendars and kind of code them and stuff. So you could have a social media calendar and maybe plug in content ideas on there or like you said, different special holidays or so just kind of find what works for you and fits into your kind of lifestyle I guess.
Matt Adams (28:59):Just sounds like there are so many different tools out there. Just wondering where do you start?
Kayla Laubacher (29:07):I know, that's a big one. So I think first of all it's thinking of your business and what are your goals? Why are you wanting to create a page? Who are you trying to reach? And so I think if you start there and you decide you need a Facebook page, so just go make your Facebook page and then before you make the Facebook page, I guess, plan out your content a little bit.
Matt Adams (29:25):I was going to say you…
Kayla Laubacher (29:26):You want to create a little bit of a planned process behind that. Think of who's your ideal client, who are you trying to reach with this, and what do they want to hear about? What problem are you solving for that person? And then create your content around that. I think I want to say back in the branding one, we talked about content pillars, which is basically creating, I don't want to get too deep into that because I don't have the exact definition on those, but basically, it's your different platforms or different things you're going to talk about specifically on your page.
(29:54):So develop those. And like I said, it all really comes back to your goals. Don't create a Facebook page just to have one, but if you're going to actually use it as a tool in your business to share about your business, then do that. So yeah, go create your page though, and make sure you have a good profile picture of either your logo or for us we have a picture of our family in our Jason's Pumpkin Patch shirts and so we're in bright orange shirts and our little photo and we have the same photo for both Instagram and Facebook so that they match as part of your branding.
Matt Adams (30:25):That brand recognition.
Kayla Laubacher (30:25):Exactly. And kind of think out, "Okay, what am I going to post? What am I going to post?" And try to kind of plan that out.
Libby Wixtead (30:31):You talk about posting pictures and videos. Are there any other tools for social media that you can use for content creation? I know I've used Canva, which I think Canva is awesome, it's one of my favorite tools to use. But are there any other tools out there for that content creation piece of it?
Kayla Laubacher (30:55):Definitely have to talk about Canva because it is my number one favorite tool. We use it at AgCredit. We have a professional design team but we also use Canva just because it's so good. It's very user-friendly. There's a free version and a paid version, which we have the paid version and it's very affordable. I want to say it's like $129 a year. It's very affordable and the tools you have on that are just amazing. You can upload your own photos, you can use already made templates in there and just change the colors that fit your needs. The templates are huge because if you don't have a design eye you can just pull up something someone else made and use it and just customize it for yourself. But they actually have a lot of really good video and photo clips, and stock photos in there that you can use as well.
(31:38):And so yeah, Canva is one of my favorite things. If you have the pro version too, you can actually create a graphic and then resize it to whatever platform. So say you create a Facebook post, there's a tool in there where you can say resize for Instagram, it'll just rearrange everything and make it Instagram worthy for you. Or you can take a static post and make a reel out of it and it'll automatically do that and you can animate stuff. There's also a really cool tool within Canva that's newer that I've played with a little bit, but it's an AI writing tool.
(32:10):So if you're trying to write content for your post and maybe you struggle with the writing part of a post, you can kind of put in there, "Hey, give me three tips about pumpkin farming today to share." And it'll write something for you. The more I've played with it, you can't necessarily use it as is what it creates for you, but it gives you a really good starting point of some kind of content writing that you can edit to fit. So it kind of sounds like your voice but gives you a good starting point. So that's very cool.
Matt Adams (32:36):And guys, I want to say out there too, just a big shout-out to our marketing department with AgCredit. They do not get the credit they deserve sometimes for everything that they do for us. So we do want to thank you for that.
Kayla Laubacher (32:47):Hey, thanks. We try.
Matt Adams (32:48):So I’ve got a good question here. We talked about with social media and I kind of call it the keyboard warriors. I know we talk about negative comments you get out there, and I know how I would handle it, it's a good thing you guys don't let me handle things like that. But how as a social media person, how do you handle that stuff? And I mean I'm sure it's probably a lot of it that gets out there.
Kayla Laubacher (33:14):So that's one thing when you're a farm business and you're opening your farm up to the public, you're, of course, with any business, it does not have to just be farming, anything on social media can draw negative attention, negative comments, negative people. But the best thing to do is if you get something maybe negative, it gives you an opportunity to maybe explain the positive or explain why you do something. And I'd say the biggest tip though is if you get something negative, respond as positively as you can on the public post, but then take that conversation into a private message or into your direct messages or maybe it's in person if you know someone or write in an email, just something to take it off. But you do want to try to respond so it doesn't look like you just ignored negativity on your page. But definitely don't, you know, don't want to be getting in a fight.
Matt Adams (33:56):I’ve got to feel, especially on agriculture, so I think we all agree here that I would guess most of the negative comments you get are from uneducated.. I don't want to say uneducated people, people that just do not understand farming, they just don't understand what we're doing.
Kayla Laubacher (34:12):They don't have an ag background.
Matt Adams (34:13):They don't have an ag background.
Kayla Laubacher (34:13):Exactly.
Matt Adams (34:13):So the more of this stuff that we can do, don't get me wrong. I know you're always going to have…
Kayla Laubacher (34:18):Doesn't matter what you do.
Matt Adams (34:19):I may have a comment out there but…
Kayla Laubacher (34:22):Almost. But no, it doesn't…
Matt Adams (34:22):Almost kill them with kindness a little bit.
Kayla Laubacher (34:24):Exactly. And it just gives us as agricultural advocates to give the positive, share our story, say why we do things, this is how we do it. And just having that social media platform as a free space to share that information and try to educate as many people as we can.
Libby Wixtead (34:40):Yeah, I feel like we get told, share your story, share your story, share your story. And it's so hard to do to really put yourself out there. But if we're not sharing our stories, and I would say most of our farmers, I think that's why I love our job because every operation is so different and everybody has their story of, "Oh we're the seventh generation on this farm." That's so awesome. Just to understand where they started and where they came from and share that piece of it. I think there are a lot of people that are rich in history, especially with any business or they want to know your background and I think as farmers, it's just so important for us to continue that story and especially just share what you're doing. I feel like people have that connection to you and it makes them want to come to Jason's Pumpkin Patch rather than buy a pumpkin at Kroger. They have that direct connection with you and it just makes it so much more, such an experience. I mean we talk a lot about experiences too and that experience of it.
Matt Adams (35:51):It's a pride factor too. I mean any of us can sit here and any producer we work with, any producer out there, you are proud of what you do, you're proud of what you've accomplished and we can share it out there and just get that story and just inform the public.
Kayla Laubacher (36:04):Well, it's funny for us the amount of people that are newer, we still have people that have never heard of us. We're in our 20, this will be our 23rd season and they are like, "Oh you've been here for 23 years?" We're like, "Oh yeah." And they're like, "Oh my gosh, I live just a few roads over. Never heard of you."
Libby Wixtead (36:18):How did I miss you?
Kayla Laubacher (36:20):I did not know that. But it's interesting now that as my kids get older too, we'd share, "Oh Jason had a baby." Because it's Jason's Pumpkin Patch. So we always, we're partnered up, but we always tease Jason when we don't want to do something. Well, this is Jason's Pumpkin Patch, not Kayla's Pumpkin Patch.
Matt Adams (36:36):Look forward to a big remarketing thing here coming for next season, Jason's Pumpkin Patch.
Kayla Laubacher (36:41):But people do remember Jason when he was little and started it out when he was 10 or 11 years old and have watched him grow up himself and then see this, they come and they're like, "Oh my gosh, Jason has a kid." They enjoyed watching him grow and as you said, they're just so connected to our family and now it's like, "Oh we come every year because we had such a good time. We tell everyone about it." So it's cool to have that connection. It kind of, as a business owner, gives you your why, reminds you of why you do this when you get those people that come and are so excited to be there. So a lot of that kind of helps even out any negative. Luckily we don't get too much negative feedback, luckily, it's good. Knock on wood. But that positive stuff really outweighs it for sure.
Libby Wixtead (37:19):Well, Kayla, I think Matt and I both are so excited that we finally got you on a mic instead of behind the soundboard here. And we thank you for putting yourself out there for all of us to listen to you and listen to your story of Jason's Pumpkin Patch and share a lot of good content on social media and what people should be doing or could be doing. But we appreciate you being on here.
Kayla Laubacher (37:48):Yeah, thanks for having me. I'm excited to finally be on here and you didn't drill me too badly. So I see you guys in action for 30 - how many episodes? I know what you throw on people sometimes.
Matt Adams (37:57):So all of our listeners know, any comments you want to make will go right to right to Kayla. So make sure to email her directly.
Libby Wixtead (38:03):Marketing@agcredit.net.
Kayla Laubacher (38:07):Or if you do have any questions about social, like I like talking about social media. So if you do have questions about your farm business getting started on social, we're known for being obviously a lender and helping farms on the business side, but social media's part of the business so I'm always happy to answer questions if you have questions or need help getting started or whatever. Hit me up.
Libby Wixtead (38:27):We'll put her contact information in the show notes.
Kayla Laubacher (38:31):I feel like any public AgCredit email you find on our website comes to me. So email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, pretty much anything you send to AgCredit probably comes to me.
Libby Wixtead (38:41):Well, we'll also share about Jason's Pumpkin Patch too. So if you guys are wanting to visit their farm and go on those hay rides, you'll be able to find them there.
Matt Adams (38:51):A little smoother now since Kayla has been promoted, she's not the driver anymore.
Kayla Laubacher (38:55):I know Matt and Phil were kind of learning how to use the soundboard. So they're going to put me out of my job, they're going to learn how to work the soundboard.
Matt Adams (39:02):No, there is no replacement for you. You do a great job. Well, Stacie McCracken, she is our true producer that makes us sound good in the finished product, but you got to give it to Kayla. She takes some raw lumps of clay and she can mold something pretty good out of us.
Kayla Laubacher (39:19):Thanks. It's been super fun to work on this with you guys.
Libby Wixtead (39:22):Well, we enjoyed it. Definitely. That will be the end of this episode. If you guys liked what you heard, please subscribe on any podcast platform and follow us on all of our social media platforms that we just talked about and we'll see you guys next time on AgCredit Said It.
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