National campaigns have brought the agriculture sector to the forefront of social media several times over the last few years, providing the general public with detailed insight and awareness on the industry and the problems it continues to face. However, the campaigning has also opened the doors to discovering the day-to-day routines of those who work within the agricultural sector, in an industry which may have been somewhat segregated from mainstream publicity beforehand.
1) Community– #forageaid – Probably one of the most prominent social media campaigns used by the sector in recent months. It was a Twitter campaign started by arable farmer Andrew Ward and has seen farmers and agricultural businesses rally together to support all those in the industry affected by severe flooding in the UK. This campaign has received national coverage and brought with it a sense of community and strength within the sector. This is also echoed through campaigns such as #SOSdairy – further highlighting the issues but strength in the rural community.
2) Awareness– @AgriChatUK – One of the main channels on social media for agriculture specific discussion. The sector is utilising the ability to have widespread discussions on a regular basis through social media, meaning that even those not related to the industry can contribute and discover successes & issues faced when working within agriculture and rural communities.
3) Promotion– The Felfie – The farming selfie? Visual images have become increasingly significant in the promotion of farmers & their day to day routines. The felfie (@felfie) can be found across multiple social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest. Comical photographs as well as those showing the gruelling routines some farmers undertake, became a national phenomenon in early 2014.
4) Engagement– Farming Banter – If you haven’t visited this Facebook page, you probably should. Giving a comical insight in to incidents and daily occurrences within the farming industry, it has over 116k likes as of May 2014. Social media pages and profiles such as these give a light-hearted insight in to farming as well as reminding us of the significant community aspect that is so important to rural businesses. Pages such as these allow anyone to contribute to their posts, thus increasing engagement and communication within the sector.
5) Educating– @FarmersOfTheUK – If you are in any doubt as to the daily routines and lives of farmers and rural businesses, you must follow this Twitter account. The profile is hosted by a different farmer each week, allowing insight in to the varied types of lifestyles and farming throughout the UK. The profile receives recognition from not only the industry itself, but also from a wider general audience for educating them on the up’s & down’s of farming life