Social Media CRM: 4 New Ways Farmers are Talking to Consumers
3. Building awareness. Various efforts are already in progress to create a conversation between farmers and consumers. For example, the blog on MarketMaker, which is "a national partnership of land grant institutions and State Departments of Agriculture" that's backed by the University of Illinois Extension, East Moline, Ill., and dedicated to finding new markets for farmers.
But it's just possible that more consumers know about YouTube than such niche efforts. A YouTube video by the Kiowa County Media Center interviewing Minneapolis, Kan., Farmer Tom Tibbits at the Kansas State Fair has him laying out social networking suggestions about spreading the word to consumers on Twitter. Tibbits, @ksfarmboy, uses Twitter to connect with farming magazines and market analysts, find up-to-date weather and soil conditions, and interact with consumers. "It's a good way to stay connected to the outside world," he says.
4. Helping each other. The Ohio Farm Bureau Guide to Social Media also suggests that farmers and ranchers like and follow each other and agricultural organizations and share information, not only through social media but through email.
Direct marketers of local food can help each other by comparing their marketing plans to those of other producers, says Julie Fox, Ph.D., co-author of the OSU survey and a direct marketing specialist at OSU's College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Dairy farmers and advocates can share advice and experiences in myDairy, a private online community launched by Dairy Checkoff—which is run by Dairy Management, an organization that works to build demand for dairy products. The site also provides messaging ideas for positively portraying the dairy industry in blogs and on social networking sites. "Sharing is now what drives the Internet," says the Ohio Farm Bureau Guide to Social Media, "and the impressions made upon people who use it"