Hello and welcome to the first in a series of ‘social media tips’ posts I’ll be sharing every week here on the blog. This week it’s all about telling people your why…..
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” This is the core message behind US-based ‘leadership expert’ Simon Sinek’s now famous TED Talk in 2013 (see the video at the foot of this post). And it should be the core message behind everything we farmers and producers do online.
Social media is a fantastic tool for finding new customers and supporters – but if we aren’t telling and selling them ‘our why’, we will never really connect with them. By this I mean – tell your followers/community what gets us out of bed in the morning, why you are so passionate about what we do and what you believe in. Maybe your why is giving your kids a country upbringing and an understanding of where their food comes from, maybe it’s to make the most delicious, seasonal foods in your city cafe, maybe it’s to produce the healthiest, most sustainable grass-fed beef on the market. Whatever your why is – tell us! We want to know. We are here and interested.
Never before have consumers been more interested in the stories behind the food and fibre they are consuming; turn on the television any night of the week, pick up a magazine or book at any cafe and odds are, the content will be about food.
And now, thanks to smart phones and social media – we have all the tools we need to capitalise on this interest, engage with our customers and supporters in a very real way, and tell them our ‘why’ through a series of posts and stories. It’s just about having some basic skills, confidence and a good understanding of who you are talking to and what you are saying.
The beauty of social media is that it lets us really sift through the millions of people online until we find our tribe – a group of people who share the same beliefs and values as we do. And once we find them, and tell them our why – they will become our fiercest advocates and supporters.
Here are five ideas for social media posts that help tell your ‘why’
- Do a regular ‘behind the scenes’ post every morning or week, sharing details of life on the farm that people don’t usually see ie early morning milking, feeding at dusk, harvest, setting up at the market.
- Introduce your ‘team’ (or in the case of most small farmers – your family) with a ‘speed round of questions. Do a series of posts introducing everyone involved and having them answer the same questions each, make at least one or two quite fun or personal (coffee or tea, last great movie you watched, etc). It sounds a bit TMI (too much information) but people love to hear about other people, especially those behind their favourite foods and fibres.
- Tell your story in parts. Explain, in a series of posts, why you got into this gig in the first place and what you get out of it.
- Do a weekly ‘favourites list’ – Things that happened on the farm that week, things you read, things you ate/discovered/loved/whatever…people love lists and these sorts of posts are a great way to share your personality and beliefs at the same time.
- Let your images do the talking – head out at dawn or dusk (best light for photos – hands down) and just snap a beautiful image of your farm/set up, post it with a simple caption expressing how lucky you feel to live in the country, doing what you do. Sounds schmalzy I know, but these kinds of posts are always lovely to see pop up in your feed.
If you’d like LOTS more inspiration and help figuring out how to tell your story online and how to create beautiful content that will draw your community’s attention and engage them in your posts, please check out the My Open Kitchen e-course. All the information and testimonials about my 6-week self-paced course can be found on the e-course homepage
This article was first published as part of my regular monthly contribution to Smart Farmer magazine, free on the third Thursday of every month in the Land Newspaper.