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Farmers Need to Get Online and Tell Story


Schindler on social media

Don SchindlerThose in the Indiana dairy industry got a handful of social media ideas recently from Don Schindler, Senior Vice President of Digital Initiatives at Dairy Management Inc. His message focused around the need for dairy farmers and others in the industry to tell what they know so the facts can counteract the fear and fiction already being spewed about dairy and other types of farming.

“There’s been a lot of conversations on the opposing sides of ag practices in farming and the way to get our story out and to give out insights on how farming has changed in the past 50 years, using this is one of the best vehicles,” he told HAT. “Plus it’s inexpensive and there’s a high level of trust for farmers that we see in our research. When they are online and chatting with individuals, they have a great bond with people vs. the marketers going out there and doing the talking for them”

Schindler encourages those of all ages to get engaged online. One of his current favorite mechanisms is Instagram, overtaking Twitter and Facebook. But blogging is effective too, and now longer rather than shorter blogs are preferred.

“People are looking for more information than just the blip. Google is actually penalizing sites that just have a blip. The consumer is going out there and looking for some in depth content and they’re taking the time to do those searches. They really want that information and the problem they’re running into is they’re running across very sort content and really it’s kind of fluff. So if you can give them more in depth articles, talking about 1,500-2000 words, that’s great. Even YouTube videos that are over 4 minutes are getting more play time now than they used to in the past.”

ADA Indiana logoTwo minutes or less used to be recommended but better technology means faster downloads and more data in the hands of consumers. Schindler says the dairy checkoff can help you get started.

“American Dairy Association, Indiana is a great place to go, so if you go to www.winnersdrinkmilk.com you can contact Jenni Purcell and her group. They can do a lot of individual training with you in social media to get you started. To keep you encouraged, and to give you the best practices that we’re teaching at the national level.”

Schindler spoke to Indiana leaders in nutrition, agriculture and research at American Dairy Association, Indiana Inc.’s Scientific Advisory Panel dinner last week. He previously served as a marketing director and digital marketing strategist at MediaSauce and a managing director for University Communications at the University of Notre Dame.