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Social media is a powerful tool and can help farmers to cultivate relationships and grow their market share. By investing a small amount of time each day into social media efforts, you can reap significant benefits—from connecting with your local community to attracting new customers.

This article provides a number of practical ‘best practice’ recommendations for growing your digital ‘reach’ in a way that will align with your farm’s values, helping you to share your farm’s story and connect with your community.

Learn from competitor data

Conducting a competitive sweep is key for successful social media marketing, whether you have already created your accounts or are just getting started. It will also enable you to learn from others in your field and help to refine your own strategy. Let’s focus on Instagram and Facebook for now—still among the most popular social media platforms.

Start by listing down all the local and national farmers you know, then follow them on social media and subscribe to their emails or newsletters for reference and inspiration. For social media posts, note details like follower count, ‘likes’, and how frequently they post.

Check which posts receive the most likes and comments, and try to identify why they are so engaging. What are the topics discussed, the images shared, the tone used, the hashtags, and the comments left by followers? Consider following and observing engaged commenters who may be potential customers, and record the noteworthy characteristics of their profiles.

Advanced strategy: Once you feel more confident, it is worth exploring free trials on platforms like Social Blade and Hootsuite, as they can automate this process for you.

Lean into your community

Connect your farm with online communities that share your principles and methods to naturally build support. Start by listing your farm’s key attributes and practices, such as being Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Regenerative by AGW, or organic. Then explore similar or relevant accounts on Instagram and Facebook using the platform’s search and recommendations feature. Stay actively engaged with like-minded accounts to enhance visibility and community participation, liking and sharing their posts, where appropriate.

Advanced strategy: Where possible, reach out for potential social media collaborations, offering your products or discounts as incentives.

Apply insights for effective engagement

Use the information you have gathered to emulate successful strategies used by top-performing farmers and influencers:

  • Identify common themes among successful accounts and consider how you could fuse their topics and approaches with your own.
  • Generate your own posts incorporating these themes, topics, tone, and length.
  • When posting, always ensure your photos are eye-catching, location tags are added, and your profile is public and business-oriented.
  • Review online advice on improving your visibility.

Advanced strategy: Consider piloting a giveaway to increase your audience.

Email marketing

Email remains a cornerstone of effective marketing. By developing an email strategy that nurtures your relationships with customers, you can keep them engaged and eager to support your farm. Well-crafted emails can turn casual readers into loyal patrons, and loyal patrons into brand advocates.

Start by streamlining your email strategy by selecting 1–3 types, like newsletters and promotions. This helps manage customer expectations and simplifies content planning.

It is best to begin with a monthly newsletter that covers business updates, events, and sales information. From there, you can send out occasional promotional emails like holiday sales, bundles, or partnerships.

A commonly recommended approach is to schedule a newsletter for the first week of each month and promotional emails for the third-to-last week. You can take cues from the email frequency of farms you subscribe to.

Ideally, assign specific days and times for each email type and avoid weekends for better open rates. Test your schedule for 2–3 months using your own email platform or a free trial from MailChimp.

Finally, always ensure subscribers can unsubscribe at any time, and manage all personal information securely.

Advanced strategies: To improve your social media and email strategies, begin by identifying your top-performing posts and emails. After 2–3 months, assess which email types and schedules are delivering the best outcomes. Use digital marketing tools like MailChimp to hone in on metrics like open and click-through rates, and use these insights to adjust your content and send times accordingly. Additionally, explore the benefits of leveraging AI tools like ChatGPT to enhance the language of your existing emails or generate new content, comparing their performance with your original material.

Digital success

Each social media post and email invites your audience to engage and participate in your business journey.

With focused effort and a strategic approach—and by learning from competitors, staying aligned with your values, and applying key insights to refine your online strategy—you can strengthen your connection with your community and grow your network of supporters, helping your farm to thrive and distinguish itself in the busy digital marketplace.


Engaging social post ideas

Almost everything you do on a day-to-day basis will be of interest to followers. Use these possible topics as a guide:

  • Livestock—especially young animals!
  • Various crop growth stages over the season
  • Wildlife and biodiversity on the farm
  • Educational content about your sustainable farming practices and how it’s different
  • Meet the team—who’s who and what they do
  • Farm machinery and how it is used
  • Seasonal landscapes and activities, including harvest showcases
  • Your products—and where to buy them
  • Customer testimonials
  • Upcoming community events
  • Behind-the-scenes farm tour (videos)
  • Live Q&A sessions


Newsletter content ideas

Try to keep your email newsletter short and succinct. Images will help to capture attention but make sure they are low resolution. Consider using some of the following content ideas:

  • Personal farm stories and seasonal activity updates
  • Product spotlight and seasonal recipes using your food ingredients
  • Valuable farming or growing tips for readers
  • Upcoming events and community activities
  • Customer spotlights and testimonials
  • Exclusive subscriber offers


Author: Founder Francesca Ciacchella and Anne Marie Herring form the team behind Yama, a customer research and marketing company serving farmers and regeneratively sourced brands. Visit


Originally published in the Summer 2024 issue of AGW’s Sustainable Farming magazine.


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