The agricultural industry has seen a rapid increase in its prominence on social media channels over the last couple of years. A reoccurring national campaign that has once again, somewhat unfortunately, come to light in the last few weeks is #forageaid
#forageaid is a fantastic example of the power of social media and how it can create vast online communities of support. For those of you who are unaware of #forageaid – it is used as a communicative tool by farmers in crisis, currently with regards to the Somerset and South of England floods. The social media campaign #forageaid has created an extensive community of rural workers alongside non-agricultural workers alike. The strength of the campaign has seen aid from around the country being sent to the affected areas of the UK and is a great example of just how important social media can be in the agricultural industry.
Another campaign that assisted in gaining national coverage of issues within the farming sector was the #SOSdairy campaign in 2012. Farmers faced pay cuts for milk production which threatened to force entire farming businesses to close, however the community united and the issue was heard by millions, through the engagement of a greater audience on social media.
However, social media isn’t just used for damage control by the agricultural industry. Rural businesses and the agricultural sector have received a lot of media attention in the last few months for their fantastic social media campaigns to promote the working life of the industry. #felfie has become a nationally known social media phenomenon, with non-agricultural workers becoming increasingly interested in the day-to-day running of a rural business. @FarmersOfTheUK has also allowed a greater audience to have an extremely detailed insight into the life and work of a farmer, by allowing a different farmer to take over the Twitter account each week.
Farmers of the UK was set up by Simon Haley, a valued member of the SocialB team, who has also been cited as an industry expert within a Nuffield Scholar Report on ‘Harnessing Social Media in Agriculture’. The discussion of the value of social media within the agricultural industry has been continuous but, especially in the last year, there have been significant advances in the use and knowledge of farmers on social media. The promotion of services, working lifestyle, produce and daily routine have engaged with audiences outside of the agricultural world and allowed valuable insight into just how diverse the rural sector is.
Have you harnessed the potential of social media? SocialB has worked closely with the industry to guide and facilitate successful progression of social media campaigns and we have expert social media trainers to help assist you in your endeavours.
Defra and RDPE support SocialB’s ‘Social Marketing for Rural Businesses’ training courses, please click here for more information