Newvine Growing social media best practices for NAFDMA convention


Published on

From the North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association convention in 2014, this session gives tips on building engagement with social media marketing.

We will discuss practical tips for building community, engaging customers and making sales using major platforms like Facebook and Twitter and smaller platforms like Pinterest and Foursquare.

Whether you have never tweeted in your life or you are glued to your smartphone posting photos and videos, we will share pointers to improve your use of social media — including highlighting some successes of fellow NAFDMA members.

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Business
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Before we talk about how to use social media, let’s start with what I think is the most important question: What do you say?We’ll talk later this afternoon about what’s in it for you, but you don’t want to lose sight of what you are doing for your current and potential customers to make them want to buy from you.No matter what tool you’re using – Facebook, Twitter, email, photocopied fliers – you want to start by asking:Who am I talking to?What do they want or need?Think about who you’re trying to reach – your existing customers or potential new customers? And who are those people? Middle-aged moms in your town? Teachers who organize field trips? Young brides with affluent parents?When you have a sense of who you want to talk to, think about:What content they need Like what apples are available this weekend? If you want them to visit your farm, what information do they need?What content they want? Like recipes or cute animal photos?Are you giving them discounts?Are they getting something special? Something exclusive they couldn’t otherwise get?If you want people to be regular customers, how can you get them excited about coming back?If you want them to tell their friends, what’s the specific next step you want them to take?What kinds of things should you post?Hurds Family Farm told us in their best of social media nomination, they give away prizes, post about the current weather conditions, the current variety of apples we are picking, recipes, pumpkin carving and activities. So it’s both real-time useful information– what’s the weather, what kinds of apples can I pick – and rewarding users for their time, with prizes and recipes.Similarly, the Twietes told us it has always been hard to spread the word when they need to close due to the weather. They wrote, “We hold off until one hour prior of opening and use the following, closed sign at main gate, phone recording, and facebook posting which is also on our websites home page and a constant contact post. “ These combined announcements have worked better for them than in years past.WHAT DO YOU SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
  • This is not that different from the old days of a printed newsletter that you copied, folded, stuffed and mailed – you had to decide a schedule for what to say and set aside time to do it.But with social media, instead of a one-way announcement, you can have a two-way conversation.You can get data on how many people did something with your newsletter – did you ever know how many people put your newsletter on their fridge?It’s easy for your fans to share with their friends – how many people do you think made copies of your printed newsletter and mailed it to their friends?
  • Once you’ve decided WHAT you want to say, let’s talk about HOW to say it.How many of you use Facebook personally?And how many have a Facebook page for your business?If you do nothing else in social media, I think Facebook is the place to start – it has the biggest number of users, and it’s the easiest to get started. So let’s get you going.Set up a page – not a profile, not a group. When you create your page, you can choose from designations including local business or brand. Facebook prohibits businesses from using personal profiles. If you previously set up a profile instead of a page, you can convert it.
  • Fill in the “about” section. So many businesses don’t take advantage of this obvious place to answer visitors’ basic questions about who you are and what you do. Manage your page’s settings. Click on Edit Page, then Update Info and you can customize the name of your page to something like . You can also set up email notifications when users comment, and get the ability to either post under your business name or as a person.
  • Post a mix of content. Photos pop visually in your fans’ news feed, links can direct your Facebook fans to content on your website or blog, questions let your customers know you care what’s on their minds. Variety lets you see what your visitors respond to, and keeps you from sounding monotonous.
  • Check your results.Facebook Insights gives you data on how many people your page has reached each day and what kinds of results each of your individual posts got. You can get an overview by clicking OVERVIEW (click)Here I’m showing you some interesting data when you click POSTS (click) -- it shows when your fans were on Facebook by day and time, so you get a better idea of when your posts will reach more people.
  • You can program posts ahead of time – do your sharing when you have the time
  • Tag other users and businesses – use @mentions to let people know when you’re talking about them
  • Reposition photos – show the best slice of a picture by clicking “reposition photo,” then slide up or down
  • Highlight important posts – guide visitors to your best content by clicking “highlight” or “pin to top” to keep something at the top of your page, even when you add newer posts
  • Integrate apps – you can add a MailChimp sign up, Shopify e-commerce and contests, among others, to the top of your page
  • Are you on Twitter?Do you tweet regularly?Maybe once a week?How about once a day?Do you know the basic idea of Twitter? It’s sometimes called microblogging – posts are limited to 140 characters, including spaces. So it’s little bursts of content, purposely constrained to be short.One of the most common criticisms I hear is that Twitter is just a bunch of people talking about what they ate for lunch. Just like if you’re watching bad TV, it’s up to you to change the channel, I do agree there’s a lot of noise on Twitter – but there’s also good content people are sharing.For example, Hopcott FarmsTold us they aim to use Facebook and Twitter to share their experiences on the farm, both the positive and the challenging with their customers. They said, “We hope to help educate people about how their food is being produced and engage them in conversations about local farm products and experiences.”So besides promoting their products, specials and activities, they’re using social media to teach people about what their farm life is like.That’s a great way to use social media, since you don’t want to just use it to sell. People want to be part of a conversation, not on the receiving end of a telemarketing call.Here are some specifics for getting started.Set up your account – Go to Twitter and fill in your name, email and password. On the next screen you choose your user name, sometimes called your Twitter handle. If you’re new to Twitter, I recommend using your personal name so you can experiment without attaching your business name to your trial and error. Because Twitter users communicate with each other by using handles, choose something short and easy to spell. JessSmith is better than Jessica_Lynn_Smith-Kluczyk, for example.
  • Add a photo and a description. Your Twitter photo, also called an avatar, helps identify you with your tweets. Your photo and profile description both help create a credible presence, and demonstrate you’re real, as opposed to the spambots you will encounter.See how Bishop’s Orchards photo shows up here in the left? That’s how that avatar follows you around Twitter as people see tweets from you and others.You can also see here how their user name @bishopsorchards looks when someone else mentions them.
  • Set up saved searches. Sometimes people will mention you on Twitter by name – they’ll use that @mention we just saw – and when they do, you’ll get a notification.But sometimes they might mention you without knowing you’re on Twitter or thinking to find your handle. Or they might just talk about your general business, like apple picking, but not mention you specifically.You want to hear them, too.Start with the name of your business, then any related ways people might talk about your business or product, to scan Twitter for what people are already saying about you. Enter a term at the top of the page, then click the gear on the right of the results screen to get the option to save. Your saved searches will appear when you click your cursor in Twitter website’s search box.
  • Follow people. The quickest way to learn is to watch others.Try following some of Twitter’s most popular accounts, some of Time magazine’s best Twitter feeds, and use Twitter’s profile search or a directory like to find people with your interests.You can start with friends, with businesses in your town and other NAFDMA members. Then watch who they follow.
  • engage with your fellow NAFDMA members …One easy way is to follow this list I’ve created of people tweeting about NAFDMA. If you tweet during convention using the hashtag #NAFDMA, I’ll add you.
  • Talk to people. Twitter can initially feel like you’re talking to yourself. The easiest way to make sure someone is listening is to tweet at another user. When you see an interesting tweet in your saved search or news feed, click “reply” and Twitter will insert an @ symbol ahead of that user’s handle, letting him know you’re answering. RT means retweet, sharing someone else’s tweet with your followers, and MT means modified retweet, generally because you had to shorten it to make 140 characters. Be sure to read your own @ replies so you know when someone’s talking to you.
  • Some of these pointers apply across multiple platforms:Use hashtags – You’ll hear that term a lot this week. Does everyone know what a hashtag is? It’s a word or string of words with the pound sign in front of it, like #pumpkins or #halloween, intended to help other users find you. It can get #annoying #fast if you #overdo so use #wisely.Post regularly – Tweets disappear into the stream pretty quickly and it looks bad if you haven’t posted since June.Because most people aren’t on Twitter 24/7, you can tweet the same content in the morning and the afternoon, or today at 9 a.m. and tomorrow ant 3 p.m. Relatively few people will see both. If you’d like to word it slightly differently, for the benefit of people who might come straight to your Twitter profile, that extra minute or two of tweaking might be nice, but not mandatory.Respond to people who mention you – Let them know you are listeningAsk people questions – Just like in real life, asking questions is a good way to start conversations. For example,“do you have a favorite apple pie recipe?” then retweet good ones.Do you want to try doing one of these right now? Take out your phone and write a status using our conference hashtag #NAFDMA14? Or go to Twitter and set up a saved search for your business name to make it easier to see what people are saying about you?WHAT WORKS FOR YOU ON TWITTER?
  • Dan Zarrella analyzed data on more than 1.3 million posts published on the top 10,000 pagesLearn more:
  • Late afternoon into night is most active for shares and likes
  • These are the top 20 words or phrases in retweets – when you ask for a retweet, people are more likely to retweet
  • These are the top 10 social media platforms as ranked by Pew Research, based on a survey of 170,000 users across 32 countries.We’ve covered Facebook and Twitter. CLICKThe top black line is accounts, the blue line is active users – you can see that Facebook is so much bigger than anything else.Do you recognize the next eight? CLICKYouTubeGoogle PlusLinkedInInstagramPinterestMySpace … remember MySpace? It wasn’t that long ago that MySpace was a dominant player, so one lesson from this ranking is that sites come and go, so focus on your communications strategy and your customers without getting too attached to any one site.Orkut – also owned by GoogleTumblrThe New York Times reported a few years ago that YouTube had become the second biggest search engine in the world, behind its parent Google. YouTube reports that More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each monthLet’s take a look at some of these tools and talk about how you might use them in your online marketing.
  • Pinterest: create boards around themes like what’s in season, recipes, costume ideasPinterest is a visual-centered social networking site – it’s all driven by the photos.There’s a stat that gets thrown around a lot that about 80 percent of pins, as it’s called when a user shares something on Pinterest, is a repin – it’s something another user shared before you grabbed it to share with your followers. Once you’re in this ecosystem, things ricochet around.Use tags and captions to make it easy for people to find you in searches.
  • Instagram: post your own photos, ask others to tag their photos withyour business nameInstagram does have a website, but it’s really about mobile– you snap a photo on your iPhone, maybe add a funky filter or effect, then post on the go to Instragram and maybe Facebook and Twitter.Photos get a lot of engagement on Facebook, as we’ll see in a few slides, and Instagram is a popular app for creating them.I’ll leave the real discussion of mobile photos to the next session. I will say that while Flickr still shows up on the top 10 list of social platforms, I think Instagram has more buzz, so if I was going to pick one to try, I’d start here … but I defer to Kerry Engel and her expertise on that.Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market & Winery told us in their social media nomination “We have had a number of events in the past few months where we have posted hashtags (#) for people to use when posting photos from the event.    Great exposure and advertising for us!”So they’ve been successful getting other people to share photos AND to use their hashtag.
  • YouTube, as I’d mentioned, is a huge search engine, in addition to being a video sharing platform.YouTube: post your own videos, then share on your website and other social channelsNotice how Bishops includes their name in each video title to make it easy to find them, not only if you’re on this profile page, but if you’re just searching for them elsewhere.I could also find them if I search for “fall apple picking,” or “fall harvest.”
  • LinkedIn doesn’t get the headlines of a Pinterest or Twitter, but as we saw on the rankings, it’s still enormously popular – especially for business to business use.If you’re courting wedding planners, caterers or restaurant owners, for example, LinkedIn could be a great place to have some of those conversations.LinkedIn: Participate in groups like regional wedding planners or elementary school teachers
  • Foursquare is the dominant location-based service, based on users checking in wherever they are and sharing that information with friends via Foursquare, and possibly Facebook and Twitter.As a business, you can offer coupons and incentives to people to “check in” at your business or if they become mayor, which is a competitive function built in to indicate who has checked in most at a certain business.They’ve recently revamped their service to make it more about recommendations and tips, not just where your friends are – I think they’re eyeing up Yelp as a competitor.Why would you tell Foursquare where you are? Maybe because you hope your friends will meet up with you for a drink or maybe you’re hoping for a discount for checking in. Carolyn’s noted “Our experience has been Midwesterners felt uneasy about being what they viewed as being “tracked.” However, Carolyn’s is consistently evaluating which investment of our time and energy gives the best return with am impact on the bottom line.” So this is a case where it depends on your clientele. College kids coming for a corn maze might have different comfort level than midwestern moms.You don’t have to do everything, and Carolyn’s has experimented and found Foursquare isn’t for them. That’s totally fine.The future of this is likely to be something called geofencing: I tell the service I need to go to the dry cleaner, then when I’m within five minutes of my dry cleaner, my phone’s alarm goes off to remind me to pick up my clothes.
  • I’ll be honest – I don’t love Google+. I wanted to, but I just don’t find I get much engagement there.But recently I’m not counting them out yet. In part, because I keep hearing people talking about how Google’s real reason for launching Google+ wasn’t to challenge Facebook as much as to improve its search business.We’ve been experimenting with posting more links on Google+ to see if it boosts search engine results.One of the features of Google+ I do think is interesting is that it’s built on the premise of circles – that you don’t want to share the same content with everyone. You might want to share summer vacation photos with your friends and family and your farm pictures with customers, for example. It lets you put each person you connect with in one or more circles.(Facebook has a similar feature, by the way. )Try Google Hangouts and archive to YouTube
  • Tumblr is a blogging tool sort of like Wordpress or Blogger, but it is more visually focused and it has a huge culture of sharing -- so it takes the elements of liking on Facebook or retweeting on Twitter, combines that with the visual nature of something like Pinterest to make its own blog approach.This is the Tumblr of Target, and you’ll notice they make it easy to share on Tumblr with the “reblog” button in the upper right, but I can also easily share on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook, so it’s very interconnected with other platforms.You could blog quick-hit stories, maybe those visually driven, maybe on a single theme like farm life
  • I purposely haven’t talked about particular features or functionality of any of these other platforms.The concepts are the same, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or some new tool that launches tomorrow and becomes the darling of 2014.If you want engagement, share content you think your audience will like.Talk with people, not at them. Ask questions, reply, Comment on other people’s profiles – don’t just wait for them to come talk about youShare photos, graphics and videos – visuals catch people’s attentionUse descriptive words and hashtags– help people find your video, blog post, etc. Think about the phrases people might search for.Include a call to action – tell people what you want them to do nextYou don’t have to do it all – usually at about this point, at least some people will feel a little panicky – I’m not using Foursquare, I’ve never even looked at Instagram, how am I supposed to find the time to do all of this.The answer is, you don’t. Use the platforms that work for you, and in the ways that are manageable for you.For example, I’ve heard of several farmers who take photos around the farm on their smartphones and post to Facebook or Instagram when they’re in the tractor. Kerry will give some pointers on how to do that, and maybe that fits into your day and interests you.WHAT OTHER TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR ANY OF THESE PLATFORMS? What’s worked well for you?
  • This tip warrants its own slide. It’s such an important part of using social media well.Social is right there in the name. It’s about engaging, not about putting up a billboard on the side of the highway.Talk with people not at people – people expect prompt responses on social media, so if someone posts on your Facebook page or tweets about you, for example, they’re looking for conversation. Don’t just toss your marketing messages out there and walk away.Social media users expect responsiveness to questions and complaints. Ignore them at your peril.Answer questions promptly – if one person has a question, answering publicly might save you numerous emails and calls about the same thing. Saying thank you is polite and encourages your fans to talk you up.Use saved searches to monitor mentions of you – people might not always come directly to you with issues, and if someone posts a great photo of your farm, you’ll want to see itAnswer but don’t be defensive – acknowledging concerns gives you the chance to explainRespond publicly, discuss privately – show your concern in your community but don’t feel you have to engage in a visible debatePamela is going to go more in depth on responding to people and addressing criticism in her talk, so I’ll just say quickly – ignoring online snark is hazardous.
  • Just as you can’t ignore your phone or email, it requires attention.Schedule it into your day –try blocking out 10 minutes each day to quickly post and respondBreak it up into bite-sized pieces – snap photos on market day to have them ready to post laterMake smart use of your downtime – activate mobile posting from your phone, post while in line or on holdMake tools work for you – HootSuite lets you schedule posts in advance for multiple services, for example. Don’t try to do it all – This just bears repeating, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Think of it like starting to go to the gym. You start out doing a few minutes on the treadmill, you don’t begin by running a marathon.If you have limited time or are intimidated by technology, I recommend starting with Facebook. Once you start to feel comfortable with Facebook, you can ask your customers what tools they use and consider adding another.One thing some people do to try to be more efficient is to connect all their social media accounts – they write one post and it goes to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr … Each of these platforms has a different style and a different culture. For example, on Twitter you can only write 140 characters but Facebook gives you almost unlimited room. So what’s efficient on Twitter might look terse on Facebook.To me this is like going to Spain and speaking French. Your French might be perfect, but you’re using it in the wrong place. Speak the right language in the right country.I suggest you pick a day and time to engage with social media, and treat that appointment the same as you would meeting with your accountant or lawyer – it’s part of doing business, not an optional “if I have time.” Start with 10 minutes a day or 30 minutes once a week to maybe set up some advance posts to Facebook, review comments and questions on Facebook and Twitter … to engage. However it fits into your routine.So let’s pull out our phones right now and pick that day and time. When can you make time for social media?
  • Could you do a webinar with one or more of farmers talking about their farming practices? With a cooking demo? What do you know that the public might find interesting?This is a webinar I did with Farmers Market Coalition. It’s now archived on YouTube.
  • There are lots of ways to use incentives – giving a prize to everyone, selecting the best contribution, rewarding certain behavior, giving a coupon or discount.NOTE: Facebook has eased its contest rules. Thanks to the NAFDMA crowd for clueing me in to that.
  • Or just put up a photo and answer the comments and questions that people post – that’s not complicated, right?Kerry will show you how in the next session.
  • You can find me at – I will post this PowerPoint there, using a link to Slideshare.If you already use Slideshare, you can go straight there and find me at
  • Newvine Growing social media best practices for NAFDMA convention

    1. 1. Colleen Newvine Newvine Growing Social media best practices NAFDMA 2014
    2. 2. Our agenda  Tips and tricks for Facebook and Twitter  An overview of LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, Google+ and Tumblr  Broad suggestions that work regardless of platform  Ideas from fellow NAFDMA members  Your suggestions and questions
    3. 3. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing
    4. 4. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing First, what do you say? Consider your audience: o What information do they need? o What information do they want? o What’s the specific next step you want them to take? o What’s in it for them?
    5. 5. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Like a newsletter, but better
    6. 6. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Getting started on Facebook Five basics for marketing on Facebook:  Set up a business page
    7. 7. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Getting started on Facebook Five basics for marketing on Facebook:  Fill in your “about” section  Manage your page settings
    8. 8. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Getting started on Facebook Five basics for marketing on Facebook:  Post a mix of content
    9. 9. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Getting started on Facebook Five basics for marketing on Facebook:  Check your results
    10. 10. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Getting better on Facebook Five advanced tips for Facebook:  You can schedule posts ahead of time
    11. 11. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Getting better on Facebook Five advanced tips for Facebook:  Tag other users and businesses
    12. 12. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Getting better on Facebook Five advanced tips for Facebook:  Reposition photos
    13. 13. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Getting better on Facebook Five advanced tips for Facebook:  Highlight important posts
    14. 14. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Getting better on Facebook Five advanced tips for Facebook:  Integrate apps
    15. 15. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Getting started on Twitter Five basics for marketing on Twitter :  Set up your account
    16. 16. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Getting started on Twitter Five basics for marketing on Twitter :  Add photos and a description
    17. 17. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Getting started on Twitter Five basics for marketing on Twitter :  Set up saved searches
    18. 18. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Getting started on Twitter Five basics for marketing on Twitter :  Follow people
    19. 19. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Start by following NAFDMA
    20. 20. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Getting started on Twitter Five basics for marketing on Twitter :  Talk to people
    21. 21. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Getting better on Twitter Five tips for marketing on Twitter as you get more established:  Use hashtags but don’t overdo it  Tweet regularly  Tweet content more than once  Retweet and respond to people who mention you  Ask people questions
    22. 22. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Likes Photos win Facebook Comments Shares Photos Photos get the most likes and shares, and do well with comments
    23. 23. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Time of day matters Likes Shares 6-8 p.m. Late afternoon into night is most active for shares and likes
    24. 24. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Weekend use spikes Likes Note the spikes in likes on the weekend – and the dip on Thursdays Weekends
    25. 25. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Clicks Same is true on Twitter Thursday, Saturday, Sunday Clicks 4 a.m. 2 p.m. Click through rates are higher later in the week and later in the day
    26. 26. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Clicks Clicks How you say it matters The length of your tweet and where you put a link affect engagement
    27. 27. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Calls to action work When you ask for a retweet, people are more likely to retweet
    28. 28. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Top 10 social media sites
    29. 29. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Pinterest – virtual scrapbooking
    30. 30. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Instagram – mobile photos
    31. 31. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing YouTube – video sharing
    32. 32. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing LinkedIn – business networking
    33. 33. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Foursquare – location x3
    34. 34. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Google+ - tied in to search
    35. 35. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Tumblr – blog and reblog
    36. 36. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Regardless of what tool Improve your engagement on any platform:  Focus on what your audience wants and needs  Have a two-way conversation  Share photos, graphics and videos  Use descriptive words and hashtags  Include a call to action  You don’t have to do it all
    37. 37. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Be responsive Social media users expect responsiveness:  Reply promptly whether it’s positive or negative  Use saved searches to find mentions  Set notifications so you don’t miss mentions  Answer complaints but don’t be defensive  Respond publicly, discuss privately
    38. 38. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing How can I do all of this? Social media does take time:  Schedule it into your day  Break it up into bite-sized pieces  Use your available time  Make tools work for you  You don’t have to do it all
    39. 39. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Ideas for engagement
    40. 40. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Ideas for engagement
    41. 41. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Ideas for engagement
    42. 42. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Ideas for engagement
    43. 43. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Take this talk home
    44. 44. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Newvine Growing Marketing strategy and tactics for farmers, farmers markets and farm-to-table restaurants