Social Media, an Entrepreneurial Opportunity for Agricultural Based Enterprises

Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1028-1045
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
Volume24
Issue number4
DOI
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2017
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Abstract

Purpose
This study analyses the current use of social media in agriculture. The primary focus of the research is to understand the messages and compare social media adopters with non-adopters. The paper addresses wider questions of the use of social media to support on farm entrepreneurship and business and considers what barriers to take up exist within the industry.

Design/ Methodology/Approach
The paper adopts a case study approach utilising qualitative and quantitative methodology; combining survey data on Welsh farms and semi-structured interviews to gain a deeper understanding of social media use. The research is further informed by online documentary evidence gathered from agricultural Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. The discussion section develops a conceptual model that provides a novel perspective on social media usage in agriculture-based enterprises and discusses the potential for further uptake.

Findings
The paper identifies barriers to adoption of social media by agriculture-based enterprises. In conclusion, although there are barriers and objections to social media use, its mass influence provides opportunities to engage with stakeholders and develop more entrepreneurial activity. The risk aversion of some users prevents them from moving from the observational mode into one of engagement.

Originality/Value
This paper brings an insight into social media’s potential to assist agriculture-based enterprises in dealing with the tensions between pressures to improve core farming practice and other entrepreneurial activity. The paper raises important implications for policy approaches that might seek to promote a complementary approach to farm technology adoption and entrepreneurial stance.

Keywords

  • Social Media, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, AGRICULTURE, Technology Adoption