Social Media Toolkits for Farmers and Local Food
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Social media has grown in popularity over the years and can be an extremely beneficial tool in promoting your classes and programs, sharing educational tips, and connecting with community members or other organizations. It can also help farmers and producers market their products and connect with customers. But social media can be tricky to understand how to use and to balance the amount of time and effort you should put into the platforms when trying to juggle all of your other tasks and responsibilities. You can find a variety of social media information, tips and tricks, suggested posts and hashtags, and other useful resources with a quick internet search, but having some specific to local food, farming, and Extension can really make social media quick and easy to use. We are sharing four toolkits that we think you might enjoy!
- First up is the Social Media Toolkit for Farmers & Agricultural Producers created by the Maryland Farmers Market Association. Though not a NC resource, this toolkit does a great job of making social media really simple and will make sure farmers and producers don’t feel overwhelmed when getting started on social media or trying to improve their platforms. From a glossary of the most basic terms, to understanding the difference between posts and stories, with protips and posting guides, this toolkit is a great resource to share with your farmer and producer contacts!
- Next is the Brand and Marketing Toolkit created by the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. This toolkit shares the importance of a strong brand and marketing plan to help boost your business. It shares how to create meaningful content, how to work with partners to collaborate on social media, and case studies of successful platforms. A resource specific to “Managing Your Online Presence” is coming soon this year.
- For those working with parents and children, the Farm to School Collective in California has created a Social Media Calendar Toolkit. Although created for Farm to School this toolkit shares social media messages and graphics for food and nutrition related holidays throughout the year, making it great for FCS as well! Posts come pre-written with hashtags, tags, emojis, and pictures making it easy to “plug and play” posts to maximize your time spent on platforms.
- Last but not least is the Appalachian Grown Farmer Toolkit created by ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) in North Carolina. With a section of the toolkit specifically designed for Branding and Marketing, farmers and producers can find storytelling tips, photography tips, a social media guide, and more! The social media portion helps farmers understand things like how often to post, how to schedule posts, how to interact with followers, advertising and analytics.
Whether you are looking to boost your Extension social media presence or help farmers and producers better market their business and products, these guides offer a multitude of helpful information and ideas!