For me, marketing is one of the biggest challenges of farming. Working all day in the hot sun? Moving heavy things around all day? No problem. Finding new customers at the same time? Now Iâ€™m daunted.
Marketing our farm is constantly on my mind. Restaurants change chefs, people move, incomes changeâ€”your customer base is one of the few things that’s entirely out of your control, but it doesn’t have to be.
One great way to stabilize your customer base is to make all potential future customers aware of you by having a robust social media presence. Certainly this can be taken to the extreme, but it doesnâ€™t have to be a burden. Iâ€™ll give you some basic tips for an easy approach to daily social media and you can choose the ones that work for you. After that I’ll give some tips for how to employ your plan.
Post One Daily Photo
Use your Instagram (or, if you don’t yet have an account, join Instagram, then use it) for exactly its purposeâ€”lovely photos. The goal is to build an attachment to your farm through social media, so show people the animals (especially baby ones), the farmers (again, especially baby ones), the gardens, the food and any â€śfarmyâ€ť stuff you’re comfortable showing. Facebook is great for this, too. Donâ€™t know what to caption? Just tell a story from that weekâ€”no lack of those on the farmâ€”but always make sure to caption. Posts with captions encourage people to engage.
People love to know what to do with your food. So whether the recipe comes from you, or from somewhere else, as long as it has relevance to your farm I say share it on social media.
Make Videos For Your Customers
Not long ago, I wrote about making farm videos. We recently had a CSA event at our farm and the members confirmed for us that the videos were among their favorite resources. Videos are not hard to make, and you do not need much equipment. (Obviously, the more specialized video equipment you have, the better the videos will turn out, but itâ€™s not necessary.) Make videos on social media that are good enough, and who knows? Maybe YouTube could be another income stream for you.
Make A Schedule
If you are the kind of person who likes lists or schedules, then I recommend looking at your week and giving every day a different type of update. Mondays could be â€śshare a recipe day.â€ť Tuesdays could be video day (yours or one you like from YouTube, sans politics, of course). Inspirational efforts such as â€śWe Got This Wednesdaysâ€ť could be fun. You could plan for â€śThrowback Thursdaysâ€ť with older pictures of yourselves or the farm. Have fun with it. Make a plan for every day. Plan special posts for the holidays ahead of time. You can post on the weekends, though interaction is not always highest on Saturdays and Sundays.
Donâ€™t feel overwhelmed by the idea of posting every day, but posting regularly will garner you more attention in your community and give you more reach when you want to expand your customer base.