If you are selling directly to the public, you need to build awareness for what you offer. Social media can help farmers develop a relationship with their customer base by allowing them to tell their farm’s story, share experiences and communicate their value proposition.
Every farm and agriculture firm has a story. They can use social media to talk about what makes their products special, to share information about how they business and to allow their personality to shine through.
Here are 3 agri firms using social media to the best of their strengths:
1. AGCO – Effective social media planning
This global agricultural firm owns a wide range of brands and deal in the delivery and manufacture of farm machinery used around the world.
The manufacturer can attribute much of its $10 billion in sales to its social media strategy, which was created in order to connect the business to farmers and dealers.
The success of their strategy has much to do with the fact that there was effective advance planning before opening their accounts on Facebook and YouTube.
It analysed and listened to its target audience and observed their social behaviours to see what was already being posted on social media and YouTube.
Most of their YouTube clips include farmers making use of the equipment within the videos. Once this valuable information was at hand, it started reaching out to customers through various social media platforms.
Today, the company has managed to attract more than 180,000 fans on Facebook, 3,000 YouTube subscribers and 10,000 Twitter followers.
Sue Otten, AGCO’s Corporate Marketing & Brand Communications Worldwide
Comments: “You need to know what your customer is saying about you, no matter if it is on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook or other digital outposts, like forums and blogs. And social media puts speed on your side. You can be much more responsive to customers.”
2. CACC – User Generated Content
CACC (California Agricultural Communications Coalition) built an online story portal called Know A California Farmer, that includes videos, photos, written stories and other content about growers of everything from onions to tomatoes.
The surprising part is the fact that not a single work, picture or video was created by CACC. Instead, they conducted dozens of social media and content creation training sessions, bringing farmers out of the fields and onto laptops and mobile devices to learn how to shoot and upload content.
This means teaching 80,000 farmers on how to create and upload content!
The stories at Know A California Farmer are therefore authentic and engaging and 100% created by farmers.
In addition to the Know A California Farmer site, individual growers were taught how to create social outposts for themselves and their farms on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and elsewhere.
3. Farmingselfie.com – farmers taking felfies
Farmingselfie.com, a blog set up by Essex farmer William Wilson, a self-described “farmer’s son from the U.K.”, collects the latest felfies from around the world – showcasing rural working lives everywhere from Finland to Argentina.
A felfie is a selfie taken in the farm, and it’s been proven to be a huge success by connecting farmers across the world in a profession that can be very lonely sometimes.
Wilson comments: “We have had over 15,000 views to date from the most incredible places: Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand, Finland, Denmark, Canada, the UK (of course) and Ghana to name a few.”
Gareth Jones, a farmer based in Wales has been posting pictures of his daily struggle to make a living on his sheep farm, including picking up dead sheep in the rain. He comments about this blog: “As farmers we need to get out and share our lives. We are fantastic at producing food but not very good at selling.”
Farming and agriculture are in a very visual industry and by using this blog farmers can post images of themselves and their farms and then connect on other platforms like Twitter, with other farmers and also customers.