Today’s consumer is often far removed from the farm. They moved away, have kids of their own or sometimes it’s their parents that moved away and the kids never see food grown. The disconnect is pronounced but as agvocates take to social media it’s easy for people to connect with farms. Farmers can make use of this form of social media in several ways.
Many of these are with video, while others are written. Some share photos and some include all of these as a means to show their story. From beef cattle to dairies to cotton fields to the infinite expanse of agriculture farmers are blogging to tell their story. There are a great many bloggers in the ag world seeking to connect with customers far removed from the farm.
Farmers may share terminology and general farm and food education. Favorite recipes, food polls (especially involving the food they produce!) and day to day operations are favorite fodder for ag blogs.
A blog gives a more detailed look, a bigger chance to connect with others than Twitter or Facebook. Popular and easy to use blog hosts include Blogger and WordPress. Once set up you add information daily, a few times per week or weekly.
The big thing about blogs is make it personal. Each person needs to find what works for them but be real. Don’t just say what you do – explain in layman’s terms why you do it. Some blogs are 150-200 words per post while others are typically 300-400 words.
The use of keywords can help your blog rank higher. This is a word or phrase that people might look for on Google or other search engines. Work the keyword into the title and a few times in the body of the post.
While information is important keeping your blog interesting keeps people coming back. One way to do this is follow animals from newborn to adulthood – posting treatments, what they’re eating, why you do what you do with them.
Engage your audience. Ask questions. If you’re a dairy farmer talk about milk, then ice cream and what kind is the reader’s favorite. One blog took a look back at baby bunnies, growing up and eventually the baby bunnies from a doe the readers saw grow up. Chicks are another option from day old to layers.
Look for seasonal topics. Show the equipment you use and what it’s for. The possibilities in blogging are endless! Show what the animals eat and tell how you take care of them. Think like a 5 year old – why do you do something? What is that? Basics from ear tags and tattoos to fairs and issues are all topics.
Above all else talk with your reader not at them. Draw them in, encourage them to come back with “mini-series” or other regular features. This need not take a great deal of time and can use photos from inexpensive digital cameras or even your cell phone.
Telling your ag story is easier than ever with today’s social media tools. A farm blog can teach more people than you could accommodate on your farm. Make it count…make it personal.