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Tool kit helps co-ops with social media, newsletter efforts

Like marketing communications specialists at many local cooperatives, Stephanie Hess is always searching for farm-friendly messages to post via social media. “We’re always looking for new content that’s relevant to farmers in our area,” says Hess, who works for CHS Elburn in Sycamore, Ill.

That’s why Hess has begun using advertising materials from the Value of the Co-op Tool Kit to tell the cooperative story in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. She started by posting a brief 15-second video from the tool kit on her co-op’s Facebook page along with a simple “We are here for you!” message. 

“It’s always good to have video that we can post on our Facebook page. We got about 250 views pretty quickly,” according to Hess. “I liked the video the first time I saw it, and I knew it would be a good way to spread the word that we’re here to work together with our local farmers, including the next generation.” 

The kit also contains thought-starters for social media posts, along with email headers and digital website banners in addition to more traditional advertising tools such as newspaper ads and radio scripts.

“The photos in the tool kit are helpful for everything from our social media posts to our internal employee newsletter,” says Hess. “They portray a down-home feel, which is important. Our cooperative is all about building trusted relationships with the local agronomist or grain originator who really knows your land and your operation. We want to reinforce that message with both our customers and our employees.”

Hess says she plans to use other materials from the tool kit throughout the year. For example, she anticipates using the “Stronger Together” newsletter article when she launches a new publication for customers.

The Value of the Co-op Tool Kit is available free of charge to all cooperatives. To download resources, visit yourco-opconnection.com.