Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Social Media Handbook for Agricultural Development Practitioners

The future is already here- its just not evenly distributed” reads a William Gibson quote on the Social Media Handbook for Agricultural Development Practitioners and one previously extracted from The Economist , December 4th 2003

Its one quote that well applies to the world of social media, a field that is constantly evolving with each passing day. And with agriculture being a very vital sector for the global population, it becomes paramount for it to adjust to the changing world.

The handbook, prepared by Dustin Andres and Josh Woodward with the help of USAID and FHI 360, is intended for use by agricultural practitioners interested in the social media use for their projects with more specification for those in sub Saharan Africa or other low bandwidth environments around the world. It goes without say that the same is also applicable to any person interested  in learning or expounding their knowledge on social media as the applicability of these tools cuts across various sectors. 

With a lot of current social media interventions in  agriculture targeting  large scale farming, agribusinesses and agricultural practitioners, its hoped that, with the onset of mobile technology, this handbook will be of greater use to the smallholder farmers who form the bulk of Agriculture in Africa.It’s intended to provide a clear view on the benefits that accrue from using social media and the related limitations from the same. A plethora of all social media platforms and the corresponding social media tools has also been provided.

The handbook will also provide you detailed  information as entails:

  • The definition of social media and its importance in agricultural projects. 
  • An overview of the global state of social media,
  • The general requirements/ considerations before embarking on using social media for your projects
  • Challenges one might encounter in using social media in agricultural development.
  • A brief overview of the top 11 global social media platforms,their categories, tools and their most common uses.
  • The ongoing and potential applications of social media in agriculture and in low bandwidth environments using in depth case studies from several agricultural projects around the world.
  • The steps to undertake while planning to use  social media in your projects
  • How to develop content for your social media postings.
  • How to measure your social media effectiveness
This is not a stick to it guide.As i mentioned earlier the social media field is highly dynamic and keeps changing every now and then. Also not every tool might be applicable so its more of choosing the most applicable ones in ones case. As a rule of thumb, its usually beneficial for one to try the tool in question on a personal capacity before applying it on a profession level.

The Social Media Handbook for Agricultural Development Practitioners 

What tools do you use personally and professionally? Why do you use them? Feel free to drop your comments below.

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