By Clint Thompson
Social media can be a farmer’s best friend when marketing their fruits and vegetables. That’s the message Marlee Moore, multimedia content director at the Alabama Farmers Federation, is conveying to Alabama producers.
“I think in general, produce is suited for selling on social media because it’s more of a seasonal thing. When it gets to be spring and summertime, people are looking for those fresh fruits and vegetables,” Moore said. “When they see that someone is selling something like sweet corn or peaches or something else, that triggers in their head, ‘Okay, it’s time for me to buy this. I want to go support this specific farmer.’
“I think it’s been something that’s been growing for several years now, finding people to buy from on social media. But COVID, being stuck at home, wanting to take those safe outdoor trips, that definitely helped.”
Moore will be sharing her social media experience during the Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (AFVGA) annual conference and trade show on Nov. 18-19 in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Social media provides farmers an alternative outlet to selling produce that may be just as effective as the older marketing options available.
“That’s what’s so fun to me about social media, figuring out what people want to see, what type of content they want to see and what works. Giveaways really work, I’ve found for people who sell produce or fruits and veggies. Say it’s the fourth of July weekend and for some reason you’ve got some extra cantaloupes on hand or extra watermelons. Invite people to come down to your farm market,” Moore said. “If they buy $25 worth of produce, they get something free. Tag somebody on Instagram that you would share this watermelon with. ‘We’ll choose a random winner, and they’ll win a $25 gift card to our farm stand.’ Things like that.
“That’s what is cool about social media. You get to interact with people, and they get to put a face to a farm.”
Advantages of a Smartphone
Moore said that it is just as common for a farming operation to utilize a Facebook page than to have a website. Also, nearly all producers now have a smartphone device that can be quickly turned into a marketing resource.
“Chances are you’re taking a picture to send to your wife or your husband or your grandkids or whoever. You’re taking pictures of what the crop is that day anyway that you’re harvesting. So why don’t you post that to Facebook. Show people what’s happening out on the farm and get them really excited about sweet corn season or whatever it is?” Moore said.
“You’re paying all this money anyway for a device that you used to just call people on the phone. Well since you’re already paying for it, why don’t you just use it to the fullest extent that you can and actually help your business?”