I was asked a great question recently by someone who hadn’t jumped into the social media world of Twitter. Here’s the question: “What do I tweet about?” My answer was simple: “Tweet about what you’re doing at work.” This elicited a humorous response — “People don’t want to know what I do!” — but the point was understood.

If you’re part of an organization and you want to connect with the public and build a relationship, the public needs to understand what you do. We’re not talking about tweeting about having a coffee at Starbucks. Think in terms of the three keys to building your social media character that will, in turn, encourage interaction and relationship-building:

  1. Your role
  2. What you do
  3. Why it matters

In the agriculture sector on Twitter, I follow @eekfarms, located in Ontario’s famed Holland Marsh. Eek Farms is a brilliant example of what to tweet about and how to connect with audiences. I’ve never personally met the folks at Eek Farms (although I’ve driven through the Holland Marsh area thousands of times). But on Twitter,  I never tire learning that Bill is heading out into the fields on his tractor, or which crop is being picked at which time of the season. I can ask questions about crops, the wildlife they see at the farm, the workers who make the harvest possible, or get insights into issues affecting our farmers.  Plus, I like asking how the carrot and onion crops are doing! And Eek Farms always responds.

Eek Farms grows agriculture knowledge — and very likely, farm advocates — among its entire large following. That’s extra important nowadays as consumers want to know more about the food they eat and where it comes from.

“I’ve heard through the grapevine that onions are now $9.00/bushel–not a bad price, another $1.00 would be good too though,” Eek Farms tweeted recently in 140 characters or less.

Why is all this tweeting so important? Here’s what Eek Farms tweeted to me in a message: “Farmers have a great message to get out there, ppl WANT to know how food is produced–win/win mix.” It sure is!

Eek Farms has 1,300+ followers on Twitter. That’s impressive for a farm.

Remember, you have a story to tell about what you do. And there’s an audience out there on social media that’s interested in YOU and wants to interact with YOU.

Eek Farms may not be increasing its sales, however, it is educating people about agriculture. After all, people ARE talking about farming on Twitter. And Eek Farms is right there, joining the conversation with fellow farmers and consumers.

Now that’s how you grow a relationship on Twitter!