Myths of Social Media Marketing for Small Farmers


Marketing  a farm is not an easy task for every farmer. In this post, we present seven common myths about social media.

Myth 1: Marketing means spamming people.

Many farmers avoid social media and other marketing because they don’t want to be perceived as a source of spam. We’ve all experienced annoying advertising that intrudes and bothers us. Some farmers wrongly assume that this is the only type of marketing there is,  but how you approach marketing is your choice.

Two important factors that are usually missed about marketing:

1) Marketing is about your approach. You can offer value instead of spam. 

2) When people decide to follow you, there are willing to see your posts, and ultimately, your value propositon. 

Here is an example of how we offer value while engaging with our audience @ZipGrow.

Myth 2: If people don’t click on a post the first time, they won’t ever.

Say you have 300 people following your farm on Facebook. You post a link to a farm update describing the new crop selection and farmers market appearances. Only 20 people click through. Many farmers take this as a sign that 280 of their 300 followers don’t care.

This assumption doesn’t take into account all the factors and can be destructive to your view of your farm and your customers.

If you think only 20 people are sincere about your farm, it becomes too easy to give up or ignore your whole audience. This can make you blind to opportunities and sabotage your networking.

The truth is: even if someone doesn’t click one time, that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to ever. Also, social media feeds can move very quickly, and sometimes people just miss your post.

Myth 3: You have to be extroverted.

Both sales and marketing suffer from the myth that you have to be extroverted to succeed. This causes many farmers to write off both efforts because they think that they’re inherently inadequate for success. 

But marketing is about human relationships, not just extroverted relationships. 

Start with the easy conversation. Then apply it to the next person. (What topics were they interested in? Talk about that topic again. What caught their eye? Make a comment on it.)

What does it mean to keep things relevant. It’s simple: don’t talk about stuff they don’t care about! They didn’t come to your farm stand to talk politics, religion, or to hear your sustainability rants. They did come to hear about your farm and your produce. Most people will want to talk about the same group of topics.

Here is an example on how we keep our talk relevant on social media.

Myth 4: You can get by with a flip phone.

When it comes to social media, you do need to use the proper technological tools. You need to be able to get online, get to the platforms and navigate them. Luckily, platforms like Facebook are accessible from a computer, but others, like Instagram, require the use of a smartphone.

Myth 5: People don’t care about your story.

Some new farmers believe that social media marketing is unproductive because people don’t really care about their story. What they don’t know, is that pretty often, local food and the values behind it are a strong way to connect with people. They want to know your story and how it affects their life. 

Don’t turn them away when they want to know more.

Myth 6: It’s better to not try than to try and fail publicly.

Everyone who first started on social media had an awkward first few posts. They were talking to the wrong audience, they used a link wrong, or they missed out on opportunities to use the platform well. Let’s be honest – you’ll probably make a mistake or two when you first start!

But the great thing about social media is that it moves quickly, and a few small mistakes just don’t carry much weight in the grand scheme of things.

In the end, the fact of the matter is that you’ll never get good at social media if you don’t start somewhere.

Myth 7: You have to spend a lot of money.

You can buy online ads and “boost” posts with money, but this isn’t necessary. Most social media platforms are free, so you can participate and get the benefits without spending a lot of money or any at all.

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