Connecting with people who need our produce when we have it is a challenge. If we don’t get rid of soon enough, it can spoil before it reaches the market. However, these Facebook Strategies for Farmers can help us reach customers throughout the week.
Benefits of Social Media for Farmers
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.
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 use Facebook as a social networking website to communicate with others through photos, text and personal interest. This is 8 percent more users than 2018. Facebook is still growing and over 66 percent of their users login daily, so it can still provide huge benefits for market farmers.
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.
Facebook Strategies for Farmers
Decide your Facebook Goals
The top 3 reasons most businesses turn to Facebook is to increase:
- brand awareness
- community engagement
- sales and lead generation
If these are your goals then Facebook is an excellent tool. When you pick a goal then you can create a strategy to reach it. Without a goal, it’s difficult to decide if your strategy is successful. Pick one goal to start with and decide a numerical way to measure that goal.
While the previous goals are a good starting place, here are some common yearly goals for farmers.
- Increasing quality of sales: Through well-planned facebook strategies for farmers, you reach your target customer more efficiently. You learn what they need and how to better serve them. Work on what you know best and use Facebook as a source to improve your reach to get the word out about your produce.
- Adding more value to your product: Facebook can better nurture customers, improve awareness and provide more resources to you audience. Make Facebook your go-to source of information.
- Better pulse on the industry: Social media is a great way to find out what’s trending in the market farming world. Where are customers going to buy their produce, what new vegetables are there to try, what are the new buzz words being used. Look at local Farmer’s Market pages, other farmers pages, and local groups to monitor what your ideal customer is looking for.
- Tracking progress: Keep track of interaction through Facebook Insights. It can help you see what content was most popular among your followers, how many followers you’ve acquired and even some demographic information about your followers.
- Acquire Social Proof: Social proof is general term that refers to any piece of evidence from the peers of your intended audience that verifies some element of your claim. Before making purchases, people like to research their potential source, looking for this proof. They often look for reviews, but social media is often a good indicator for this, too. A business page with many followers and high post engagement is an encouraging sign for potential customers.
Check out other Facebook pages, those making an impact and those that aren’t. Check out the content with highest engagement. Is it pictures, videos, recipes, links to educational about food sources? Compare and contrast to find the best strategy for your customers.
It can seem overwhelming at first, but engaging with your customers can be as simple as asking a question such as “what is your favorite way to cook squash?” Not only does this question engage your customers, but it also gives insight about how they are using their product.
Use Facebook as a way to update customers about what produce is coming their way or other events coming up. Exciting things such as the first harvest of blackberries, when new animals are born on the farm, or getting first prize for the best pumpkin at the fair are sure crowd pleasers.
If you have a website or external sales page, you can share this information occasionally to encourage sign-up for CSA shares or other offers.
Diverse content is an integral part of Facebook strategies for farmers. Content can also include giveaways, Facebook specific discounts, customer-generated content (recipes, a picture of your produce prepared or reviews), video, stories or clips. Diversity in content is key. The more your content resonates with your audience, the more likes your page ‘should’ receive, and the more people will see your page. This will boost your page’s presence in the Facebook’s algorithm.
Don’t get frustrated if you don’t receive the engagement you were hoping for. Often people like the content but don’t engage for various reasons. Experiment with a variety of content and timing. Also explain to your customers when you see them in person about the benefits of following you on social media and what they can expect. You can also explain the more they engage, the more Facebook will show it to other potential customers.
Experiment with Timing
Facebook traffic is highest mid-week between 1 p.m. to 3 pm. On the other hand, a Facebook post at 7 p.m. will result in more clicks on average than even posting an hour before or after. On Thursdays and Fridays, engagement is 18 percent higher. Use this information to help determine the best time to post. Knowing your goal, such as website traffic vs. likes or comments, can help determine the best time to post.
Once you decide the best time for posting, consistency can make a big difference, both for Facebook algorithms and for your customers. The general recommendation is to post once or twice a day, using the Facebook scheduler for consistent timing.
Provide Good Customer Service
Just as customer service is important during face to face interaction, it’s also important on social media.
As part of any Facebook strategies for farmers, it’s important to respond to comments, answer or ask questions, and comment on content shared from your page. Encourage interaction on your page, and ask customers to share their favorite recipes, growing tips or pictures of their produce. You can even request for customers to post reviews. There is a special setting for this, so make sure it’s enabled.
Events are a great way to engage customers, generate buzz about your business, and show you’re actively engaged in the community. Even making an event to show when you’ll be at the Farmer’s Market can help bring attention to the market and tell your customers when you plan to attend.
Join Local Facebook Groups
Groups offer a wide variety of local Facebook strategies for farmers. Some of the best include:
- Listing and selling products
- Establishing expertise
- Offering great customer service
You can start your own Facebook group or join an existing group for your local community.
Groups allow you to build a micro-community that is hyper-focused on the subject of your choosing. But joining a group already for your community can allow you to network and sell (Depending on the rules for that group) to an established group.
Share Local Content
This beneficial for your place in Facebook’s algorithm and for your actual business. People love to celebrate local pride. Align your business with famous events, history, people, landmarks, sayings, and other nuances that are part of your city’s identity. Share content from local organizations that captures the essence of your locale and will interest to your audience. You can also share local events, tag local businesses that you network with, and share from local groups.
Tag Locations and Businesses
If you go to the Farmer’s Market, take a picture of your produce, make a post and tag the event or location where you are, in addition you can tag the Farmer’s Market itself, if they have a page. This links you to a variety of businesses and people within the Facebook web. It also shows your customers that you’re active in the community.
Encourage Foot Traffic
Local businesses, including farmers often struggle to convert online eyes into people who spend money. Here are a few tips to start turning Facebook followers into foot traffic that have revenue potential:
- Create polls and contests centered on popular produce and favorite recipes
- Run regular promotions for produce at your pop-up events or market attendances
- Build a shop directly on Facebook where your customers can purchase your products
- Align your page with causes your audience cares about
In order to get people from the digital universe to visit your physical business, you need to have a compelling message and offer they can’t refuse and capitalize on other events going on in the area.
Analyze the Results
As your page starts to grow, pay attention to customer preferences from feedback and interactions. You also can use reporting tools like Google Analytics to see what generates the most interest in your page.
Most importantly, don’t try to everything to everyone. Change your strategy, if it’s not working, but stick to your initial goals. Marketing is all about finding your key audience and being there for them. Find your voice and create a Facebook page that showcases who you are and what you have to offer.
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.
Facebook is a great tool and with a few tweaks to an existing strategy or using these Facebook strategies for farmers, you can greatly improve your conversion rate and customer engagement. Feel free to comment with a Facebook strategy you’ve learned!
Don’t forget to pin these Facebook strategies for farmers to reference later!