Webinars to show value of social media

Farmers and agri-business professionals in Illinois are invited to participate in a series of free, online training seminars to learn how to best use social media to engage in conversations about farming.
Whether they are brand new to social media, or have already started using applications like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB) hopes that farmers will  participate in upcoming webinars.
The first of the monthly seminars will be this Thursday at 10:30 a.m. The session will be the first webinar of the National Corn Growers Association 2011 Social Media Training Program. The program is sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business.
“Like it or not, there’s been a revolution in the way people expect to receive information and carry-on conversations,” said Scott Stirling, a corn farmer from Martinton and ICMB chairman. “There’s nothing magical about social media. These applications are just another way to deliver good information and encourage conversation.”
The format of the training will be a webinar, which is essentially a seminar that is viewable over the Internet. Participants will need a computer connected to the Internet to view the presentations, and a telephone line to connect to the audio portion of the seminar.
The Jan. 20 webinar will address the goals of the series, and why growers should take the time to participate. Presenters will define the objectives and review the “return on investment” of engaging in social media and how it fits within the context of agriculture. Instructors will also review how it is being used successfully by others in the industry, and show participants how they can track their personal social media success.
Follow-up webinars are planned for Feb. 17, March 17, April 28, May 19, June 16, July 21, Aug. 18, Sept. 15, Oct. 20, Nov. 17 and Dec. 15. Times for the follow-up webinars will be announced prior to their scheduled dates.

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