When agriculture meets social media in rural Vermont
Posted by Arman
What happens when agriculture meets social media? So far, from the all lessons learnt and stories that we have been getting, the results can be outstanding, regardless of whether we are talking about Farms using cutting edge technologies in Vermont USA or small holding farmers connecting to their markets through text messages.
Follow this link to read the full exchange between Hootsuite and Alison Kosakowski when they connected to discuss why teaching farmers the value of using social media to promote agriculture is important and how HootSuite can help.
Alison Kosakowski comes with a background on PR where she championed advertising and communications campaigns for international brands like Playtex, Hasbro, Sharp Electronics, and Maersk. She moved to Vermont and is now learning and sharing her adventures on the farm using the social media. She is currently the Marketing and Communications Director for the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, managing events, PR, and all of the Agency’s media channels (print, web, social). Her job is about building a brand for Vermont Agriculture.
Excerpt from the interview is given below:
SM: Why is it important for farmers to learn how to market themselves, especially in social media?
AK: If you are selling directly to the public, you need to build awareness for what you offer. What makes you different and why should customers choose you? 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.
On a very practical level, social media is an affordable way to reach consumers. The margins in farming are tight, so paid media is not always an option.
SM: What are you teaching them to share in social media?
AK: The first step is to communicate what’s for sale and where people can buy it. This seems basic, but if potential customers don’t know what you have to offer, and where they can get their hands on it, you won’t see any lift from social media.
Beyond that, every farm has a story. If customers wanted anonymous food, they’d go to the supermarket. I encourage farmers to talk about what makes their products special, to share information about how they farm and to allow their farm’s personality to shine through.
Many farmers are brand new to social media, so my first task is usually helping them understand and set up the basic channels, like Facebook and Twitter. I help them identify a voice for their business, create a basic “editorial calendar” for posts, and understand the ways in which they can use these channels to create customer loyalty, grow awareness for their business and drive sales.
The whole interview is practical, full of great pointers and laced with humanity. It gives you an insight into the people at these farms that she is promoting… quite an achievement in my view. Take the time to read the entire article, its well worth it 🙂 and you can follow Alison on Twitter
Posted on June 24, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged advertising, Agriculture, Alison Kosakowski, building brands, Business, Customer, customer base, Facebook, Food, Food security, hootsuite, Maersk, marketing, markets, PR campaign, social media, Twitter, USA, Vermont, Women. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.