Social media is such a powerful tool which in many circumstances is underused in the agricultural sector. But over the past 5 years, there has been a big push, especially by the younger generation to show off the industry to the world. With now even larger companies taking on specific rolled staff to target social media and digital marketing. For farm businesses moving forwards into the future using social media platforms is key! But why? Social media allows you to market your farm and its products to a much larger audience and many people that would never have heard of you. A great way to find new customers and create a brand name for yourself. Plus, it is often more affordable than traditional farm marketing channels such as print advertising.
So where can you get started? First of all, you will need to decide which social media platforms will work for your business. There are loads to pick from, and you can’t be on all of them effectively so it is worth taking time to consider which platform is the best option for your farm business. These include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Linked In and Snapchat. These are the most popular apps in general and depending on what you’d like to use it for will allow you to choose the right one for you.
We find the most common platform to start on is Facebook, many business owners start here when promoting their new business venture. Creating a business page on Facebook is very easy and Facebook is the most popular social media platform with 78% of 13+-year-olds having the app. However, the sheer size of Facebook means it can be a tricky platform to get traction on. When you start out your audience will be very small and it can be hard to grow this on Facebook in the early days. Using Facebook adverts does help but this needs to be done strategically and with the correct targeting.
Facebook also benefits from personal interaction and engaging outside of your page in Facebook groups and similar. This allows you to hit a wider audience and you can get visitors and friends to share photos and comments on your page to increase your audience and page views.
People are really interested in what goes on behind the scenes on farms. Therefore, small things about your daily life and processes can really pull interest. Other apps are less generalised and have more specific users. For example, Twitter is generally used to discuss topics and ideas by professionals looking for opinions. With Instagram, an app is used to share photos and small videos. Currently, Instagram is seeing the largest rise in popularity as there is far less ‘SPAM’ and a more inviting platform for people to show and discuss what they get up to daily. The main two we would recommend for a farm business would be Facebook and Instagram. If you are looking to network with other professionals or get your products into shops, hospitality or retail then LinkedIn may be the app for you.
Once you have nailed down the platform of your choice you will need to think about planning your content. When marketing your farm business, you will need to keep content interesting and fresh. At the end of the day if you write content that no one is interested in no one will read it. Here are some top tips.
Now we move onto what content a farm business should post on social media. As a business, you should post about the products that you produce and sell but you should also post about your day-to-day life on the farm. The combination of the two will build relationships with your target audience as well as inform them about what you do and sell. By providing a selection of content that is not purely focused on direct sales messaging you avoid people becoming blind to your farm marketing messaging.
Blogs can also be a great help; they should be well researched and based on improving the online visibility of your website as well as attracting new sales leads. If you have topics that you want to discuss you could write longer format blogs and then split them up and shorten them with links to the original to gain more interest in your main websites and it will also mix your posts up. Don’t be afraid to reuse content. This doesn’t mean reposting the same thing every week but if you have content that is a few months old but still relevant don’t be afraid to spruce it up with a new photo as your audience and new people to your platforms will be interested.
Most importantly, consistency is key. You need to post regularly with good quality content or else you will not get the engagement required. Social media is not a quick fix to marketing your business but if you put the time and effort in you will see a huge benefit from using it on your farm. If you can do a quick post every day, it will draw people in and keep people engaged. People can get bored very quickly with channels so keep them interested by posting regularly and with good quality content.
Here at Flame Marketing, we offer opportunities where we can help you along the way with your social media and or do it all for you if you require that extra hand. We offer full-service packages and bespoke packages with a range of different options from blog writing to social media management and even marketing coaching. As well as this we offer a free initial marketing consultation where we discuss all of your questions regarding social media marketing. To get in touch find our details below.
Here is a link to a recent talk on social media marketing for farm diversification