Benefits of Social Media for Farmers
Social media for farmers is changing the way people are interacting with those who grow our food. Where Wall Street used to control crop prices, farmers are now able to take complete control of their business through selling direct to customers.
Social media such as blogs, Facebook, and Twitter are a big part of this change. Although word of mouth is a prominent influence in how people shop, people often check the web, or social media for extra information about companies and individuals before making final decisions. Social media provides a great way for farmers to easily share information about products and services, network with new people to build a loyal customer base, and stimulate market traffic.
Using social media for farmers allows us to put a face on how food is grown. We share photos and stories about the real people behind the food and how farms are operated. This along with farmer’s markets, allow for a personal connection with consumers. Social media also plays a huge part in educating consumers about agricultural issues and equality. Primarily Facebook and Twitter are used for activism or to support local growers and the sustainable food movement.
Farmers can also connect with other farmers and share ideas about crop, pest control and marketing strategies.
The Key for Effective Social Media for Farmers
The key to success is in knowing your audience and being aware of tools available to us which are imperative in boosting business. If used properly, social media can be one of those tools.
To use social media successfully, authenticity is the most important factor. If you love what you do and believe in your product, that will shine through when communicating to customers and provide great customer service. This passion will attract customers, who want to participate and support your business.
Authenticity combined with caring about customer satisfaction, the quality of your products and the experience of your customers will make your farm unstoppable. People want to know where their food is coming from and want to get involved. Using social media as a microphone to make this possible, you can invite people to your farm. You can also share your values, successes, and even failures through social media. A strong social media presence will make your customers will feel like a part of your farm.
Best Social Media Options for Farmers
Benefits of Facebook for Farmers
If you only have time for one social medium, make it Facebook. As the options for social media for farmers, Facebook will give you access to the widest range of your audience.
As of March 2019, 2.8 Billion people worldwide use Facebook, up 8 percent over 2018, as a social networking website to communicate with others through photos, text and personal interest.
Farmers can use Facebook to promote products, educate, engage and network with potential or existing customers. It can also help you learn about their needs and preferences. It’s a great way to build a connection with your customers in a way that big farms can’t. Check out my favorite Facebook strategies for farmers.
Benefits of Twitter for Farmers
Twitter is another social media for farmers. Twitter allows posts up to 280 characters or less. The lifespan of a “tweet” or post is only 14 minutes, so it’s best for farmers who post several times a day. It’s used for timely, but brief updates. It was popular among news outlets to get the word out in critical situations. This history makes it a good way for businesses to generate news. Twitter is known for communication in a casual, conversational way and provides a platform to tell your story about your farming operation. Twitter makes it easy for people outside your network to find out about your produce. Check out my favorite Twitter strategies for farmers.
Before you sign up for a Twitter, decide whether you want to start a company or personal account. A company account represents the company and is used to inform the public about news, events, and products. A personal account for an employee is more personalized, used to build relationships and act as a liaison for the farm.
Benefits of Instagram for Farmers
Instagram focuses solely on photography, so it has huge benefits for those involved in the food industry. Food lovers, fitness coaches, and fashion bloggers have made their careers through Instagram and farmers could have similar benefits. If you want to focus on the younger portion of your audience, Instagram is where you want to be.
Instagram also allows you to have a personal or business account. The other thing to consider is that Instagram works predominantly on a mobile app. Although you can search and browse online, you upload pictures on the app, which could be a drawback for some. Check out my favorite Instagram strategies for farmers.
Benefits of LinkedIn for Farmers
LinkedIn is beneficial for professional networking. It might not help you connect with your traditional customers, but it could help you connect with chefs, produce buyers, or other farmers to share information. There is specialized groups within LinkedIn that can help you connect with your target audience or fellow farmers for advice. Depending on your marketing focus LinkedIn might be your least attractive option, but it would always be helpful to set up an account and post occasionally. You can also set up a business page through LinkedIn.
Learn how to set up your LinkedIn account.
Benefits of YouTube for Farmers
YouTube doesn’t necessarily qualify as a social media for farmers option, but it still is a good tool that has social functions. YouTube is the ranked the second search engine in the world, second only to Google. There’s a lot to see that goes into the farming operations, and your customers are likely interested in learning more about that.
YouTube is the best place to share quality videos of your business. Professional-looking content is tough to acquire, so this social medium isn’t for every farmer. But if you have a good phone or decent camera and time to edit, you can yield big rewards on YouTube. Amusing or interesting YouTube content is often shared widely over other social media platforms.
Social Media for Farmers
So in the end, there are many social media options for farmers. Social media can help connect with customers, put a face on the growing process, teach consumers where their food comes from and how to best use the vast amount of produce in the yummiest ways.
Facebook is the social media for farmers as it allows connection to a diverse audience with various content types.
In the upcoming weeks, we will discuss each social medium in more depth with tips to best use each medium.
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