Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team
Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with and educating a mass of like-minded people — and farmers are recognizing the value these platforms provide. Farmers are actively engaging with social media sites with the purpose of delivering useful, informative content where people can virtually participate in the world of agriculture.
Nowadays, social media is an important marketing resource for farmers to use to connect to their customers and create a community — which brings their farm to the public eye and ultimately leads to a more successful business. From educational videos on YouTube to daily posts on Facebook, we’ll walk you through how utilizing social media can help attract customers to your farm.
Farming has come a long way thanks to many technological advances, and with it so has the way in which farmers market themselves. Promoting your business used to be done by word of mouth, but technology has paved the way for farmers to have a digital presence for consumers to get to know them and their work.
If you’re new to the social media world, you’ll be happy to know that it’s not that difficult to get the ball rolling. In fact, getting started is as simple as signing up. To decide which tool(s) to use, write down your objectives and research social media platform(s) that best align with your goals. Take the following into consideration:
Once you’ve answered these key questions, you can begin your search for the right social media platform. Our advice? Choose one tool to begin with and build that out before committing to multiple platforms.
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are three popular social media sites that farmers use to benefit their farm presence in the virtual world. We’ve highlighted how you can use each to promote your business.
Over 900 million users are connected on Facebook — imagine how many people could learn about your farm! Facebook is a simple, straightforward tool you can easily use on a daily basis.
You can use Facebook to:
Facebook makes it super easy for your followers to engage with the posts on your page and for you to respond. This interaction creates a more personal experience for the user and will help you develop better relationships between consumer and farm.
YouTube is a visual social media tool where people can share videos on their channel and gain a large following. Unless you set your channel to private, anyone can stumble upon your page and view your videos — which is great because YouTube is the second largest search engine! The more people who can find your channel, the more people will learn about your farm. Make sure you’re using keywords for the titles and descriptions that are relevant for better visibility in search results.
Why use YouTube for your farm?
YouTube allows you to easily track the performance of your videos, which is helpful because you can see how well your content is performing and learn what your audience likes and doesn’t like. For instance, you can see how long someone watches. Did you post a six minute video but people are only watching two minutes of it? Now you know to make a shorter video.
You can also use videos to direct traffic to your website — leave the video with a “cliffhanger” or call to action that drives them to your website to learn more about your farm.
If you’re a “to the point” kind of person, Twitter might be the right outlet for you. Twitter is a form of social networking where a user can post a maximum of 140 characters per post (a.k.a. tweet). You can also utilize the power of hashtags, which are keywords or phrases that categorize a tweet’s topic or theme. For instance, you might use the hashtag #farming in your tweet, and someone who searches ‘farming’ on Twitter will get a list of tweets within that topic.
Why use Twitter to promote your farm?
Twitter is becoming a popular place to get quick answers. Instead of searching Google, people are heading to Twitter to get insight directly from people who live and breathe farming. You can become a reliable, sought out source for questions about agriculture and farming.
Now that you know how each of these social media platforms can connect you and your farm to the outside world, there are some important things to remember when using social media.
Be positive. It’s important to maintain a positive presence on your social media pages. If someone leaves a negative comment, don’t take it personally. Instead, try to promote a civil conversation. Know when it’s worthwhile to engage and know when it’s time to move on. Remember, you’re a link between farmers and the outside community — so a positive reputation is key.
Be passionate. People will get excited about your farm if you’re excited about it. What motivates you? What do you find interesting? Share your passions and people will be drawn to what you’re doing.
Be consistent. Your followers are following you for a reason — they want to hear from you. It’s not necessary to post multiple times every single day, but if your cohorts don’t hear from you on a consistent basis, they’ll most likely lose interest and unfollow you.
Be authentic. Find your voice and use it consistently. Speak about what you know is true to build a brand that people trust. You’re promoting your business and livelihood, so present yourself in a confident, reliable voice that people turn to as a resource. This will help you establish yourself as an authority on farming in the world of farm social-media.
Be interactive. You’ll retain more followers if you show interest in who’s following you. Social media is meant for connecting — it’s a two-way street. Most platforms make it quick and simple to send a response. At a certain point it might be nearly impossible to keep up with all the comments. After all, your goal is to have a large following. In this case, just be sure to show appreciation for the support you’re receiving.
A successful virtual presence begins with the right messaging, knowledge of a topic and passion. By taking advantage of social media as a farmer, you can form relationships and cultivate a following of people who appreciate the business of agriculture just as much as you do. #happyfarming