As you may know, I have been traveling a lot lately, and I realized that I didn’t record a podcast while I was in Japan, but I want to talk about what I did while I was there. My wife is Japanese, so we go to Japan every year mostly for pleasure, but I always mix a little business in. I did two events while in Japan, and I want to share those experiences with you because I think it really gives a clue as to what you need in social and where you might be going wrong with your own social program.
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In This Episode:
- Here’s the background: there’s a province or a state in Japan called Kumamoto and one of their primary industries is agriculture; Japan is still full of family owned farms that have been passed down from generation to generation
- This is an area where they feel they can raise the value add in their economy and they call it the sixth industry: getting farmers away from selling their produce in mass to huge distributors, and slowly starting to market their products directly to consumers
- In Japan, buying fruits and vegetables over the internet has become quite popular
- Japanese people are foodies and they love good food and after the Fukushima disaster, people wanted to know where their food was coming from and to buy it directly from provinces that were farther away from where that happened
- So the challenge then was how to teach these farmers the potential of social media to help them reach out directly to these consumers, to create relationships, and to maybe even grow specific produce to meet their needs
- When I was over there I was really helping them understand the social trends here in the U.S. and giving them advice as to what they can and should be doing to develop a brand to represent their farm on the internet in digital media
- Facebook is by far the most popular network there, so the first step is how do we get these farmers on Facebook and derive value from it and how it can be a viable future for them
- Since my presentation there, the use of Facebook has skyrocketed in this community, so the first step is done, because the first step is the education
- The second step is the strategy: finding your target user, creating your content strategy, what platforms to play on, who’s going to do the work, and so much more
- Because these farmers are coming in with an objective other than just interacting with friends, they’re coming in wanting to connect with consumers and represent their brand, they have a bit of a disadvantage, right? How are they going to create a presence that is authentic and engaging? What they need is content
- What these farmers needed for their content was stories – the medium doesn’t matter – and these farmers had them
- The last thing they need is the system: sticking with a schedule, monitoring for mentions, responding to people, investing a little bit of time every day into doing this
- This last step is where most companies break down, and this is, I think, where these farmers are going to break down, so my next project is getting back there and leading them through this process and creating this system
Resources & Links:
- Make your storytelling content worth sharing.
- Read about my Japanese approach to social media.
- Check out the 10 best practices in content marketing strategy I learned from Tsunagu Japan.
- Looking to skyrocket your Facebook page engagement? Start with this 9 step process.
- Read my blog post about speaking at the workshop.