SBE with Guest Nicker Weber - How Monsanto Creates Customer and Employee Advocacy

How Monsanto Creates Customer and Employee Advocacy


I met this week’s featured podcast guest, Nick Weber, earlier this year through the Social Media Strategies Summit in Chicago. As the Global Social Media Strategy Lead at Monsanto Company, Nick provides a look at how they’re empowering customers and employees to advocate, or as they call it agvocate, for the brand.

In 2003 Monsanto Company was spun off from the original Monsanto (established in 1901) as an agricultural unit. Between 2008 and 2009 Monsanto Company recognized the need to have a presence on social media so they could respond to consumers. Tune in to hear how Monsanto Company is leveraging their biggest advocates, their customers, to help tell their story.


Nick shares his advice for brands dealing with controversy on social media

On this episode you’ll discover:

  • When people started talking about their food in 2008 and 2009 Monsanto was spurred to get on social.
  • Why Nick said The Harvest of Fear, In Defense of Food, and Food, Inc. prompted Monsanto to take notice of social media and the need to to tell their side of the story.
  • How there are 2 million farmers in the U.S. out of a total population of 320 million.


  • When first starting on social media, Monsanto kicked off their America’s Farmers program in 2009 to raise brand awareness and empower farmers.
  • What is involved in their America’s Farmers Grow Community campaign and how it makes the farmer the hero.
  • That Monsanto’s America’s Farmers program provided an avenue for farmers to get their message out there.
  • How when Monsanto realized that their customers – farmers – were their biggest advocates they started creating more content for them to share.

“We wanted to advocate for our customers, but we found out our customers are our biggest advocates.” @n_webTweet: Tweet This

  • That Monsanto’s content strategy allows them to answer questions, debunk misperceptions, inform consumers on how farmers are employing sustainable practices and what they should know about GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).
  • That Monsanto has a social listening function to monitor conversations and a content development team that publishes stories for their consumer facing blog.
  • How Monsanto’s internal communications team of 4 or 5 searches for stories from their 20,000 employees on their internal connections website.
  • How Monsanto is empowering employees to share their content with their internal site Agvocate.
  • As part of their Integrated Digital Newsroom, Monsanto holds a daily meeting to discuss recent articles and how they can share, re-purpose, or engage with it to tell their story.
  • How in one day Monsanto created a popular pepper taste testing video after seeing the Google doodle around the Scoville Scale.

Featured On This Episode:

There are TWO WAYS you can listen to this podcast with Nick Weber

You can click the Listen Now button at the top of this page… Or, you can listen from your mobile device’s podcast player through iTunes or Stitcher.

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