Attract More Customers with a Strategic Farm Presence Online
Are webpages still useful? Does Facebook drive sales in real life? What do hashtags do? What kinds of photos do customers respond to? What are good strategies for low-cost online sales/marketing? What is Square and should I be using it? If you’ve been struggling with questions like these for your farm, this course is a great starting place for you. Taught by farmers and other ag professionals, you’ll get real-life, practical ideas and explanations to help you build a successful online presence, grow your customer base, and sell more product.
This course is for aspiring, new, or experienced farmers, but it assumes participants will be beginner to intermediate social media/online marketing users who are interested in polishing and expanding their skills for increased social media traffic and online marketing for farm businesses. Students should have basic digital proficiency, including use of email, internet searches, and may already have some personal and/or business social media accounts set up, including Facebook, Instagram, etc. The course is not geared to advanced online marketing users and/or those who anticipate the majority of their farm sales to come from online sources.
The course is designed to improve your understanding of social media, online marketing ideas and tools that may increase sales and increase awareness about your business. From experienced farmers and farm service providers, you will learn:
- Some of the more common tools and strategies to attract followers online,
- How to drive customers to sales locations (online or real-life)
- Marketing planning activities, including distribution, pricing, customer demographics and sales region.
- Tips for improving photos, videos, graphics, memes, and more.
Webinar Activities & Topics
This five-week class will include content by instructor/s, including marketing planning, photography, and more. The classes will feature three farmers who will share experiences in building a farm business and how they use social media/online marketing in business. Two to three agri-service professionals will provide overviews of social media, online marketing, digital sales tools and strategies.
Live instruction next begins Thurs Jan 12, 2023 from 6-7:30pm Eastern, with the final webinar on Thurs Feb 9 (5 weeks). While we encourage live attendance so you have the opportunity to
engage with the presenters and ask questions, all webinars are recorded and
posted in your online classroom for students to watch anytime. Once you
have enrolled in this course, you will retain access to all
materials indefinitely, and can return to participate in the live
webinars in future offerings of the course if you wish.
Rebecca Schuelke Staehr owns and operates Cayuga Pumpkin Barn, a seasonal vegetable farm and roadside stand in Springport, Cayuga County, NY. Rebecca and her husband Ed own an operate a grain crop farm, Staehr Family Farm. Corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and more and grown using conventional farming practices, certified organic, and certified non-GMO farming.
She has worked for Cornell Cooperative Extension and the NY Farm Viability Institute. She is a past chair of CADE, the Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship. Rebecca serves on the board of Cayuga County Farm Bureau. She has taught classes in business planning, time management for beginning farmers, starting a farmstead cheese/dairy value-added operation, and more.
StartWeek 1 Webinar Link, Slides, and Recording
StartFORUM: Introduce Yourself
StartACTIVITY: "Does my farm business need a website?"
StartAdditional Reading: Choosing a social media platform to promote your farm
StartAdditional Reading: How Farmers Are Using Social Media, and Why That Affects Your Agribusiness
StartAdditional Reading: Examining farmers markets’ usage of social media: An investigation of a farmers market Facebook page
StartAdditional Reading: "Demographics of Social Media Users and Adoption in the United States"
StartAdditional Reading: Find Your State Land Grant University & Cooperative Extension
StartWeek Two Webinar Link, Slides, and Recording
StartFORUM: Social Media Used By My Farm
StartACTIVITY and FORUM: Identify Major Goals of My Marketing Approach
StartAdditional Reading: "Make a Marketing Plan," US Small Business Administration
StartAdditional Reading: "Small Business Marketing Guide," Business News Daily
StartAdditional Reading: "Pricing Farm Products" Cornell Small Farms Program
StartAdditional Reading: "Pricing Your Farm Products," University of Vermont
StartAdditional Reading: "How much does it cost to grow or produce your product?" University of Hawaii
StartAdditional Reading: "How to Determine Your Cost of Production," University of California Small Farm
StartAdditional Reading: "How to Develop a Marketing Budget," Business News Daily