As an industry, we have gotten fantastic at preaching to the choir, so to speak. We love to share dairy content online and through social media; however, a lot of the time, we as producers enjoy it as much or more than the intended target audience.
A few years ago, I attended a conference where we were challenged to “stop writing love letters to ourselves.” It was the truest statement I had heard in a long time. We love sharing what we do and we are good at doing it, but many find it extremely hard to bridge the relationship gap between the farm and table.
I have found that I am much more apt to “like” a page on Facebook that I can relate to, even if it’s not a genre I would normally follow, if the content is relatable to me personally. Once I have decided to follow the page, then it opens the doors for them to share other content that is relevant to their business or purpose.
Now more than ever, we see tons of farm pages, advocacy sites, and even food manufacturers sharing what we do on the farm, but more often than not, the majority of their audience is other dairy farmers. As a producer, I love seeing what others are doing, and I will be the first to “like” and share a cute, funny, or informative post from another farm page even though I know I am not the intended audience.
I know it can be difficult to break the ice and figure out what others outside of dairy find interesting enough to view. There are a few ways of doing it, though, which are a lot easier than you would think.
Be you. Remember, we are all human. Dairy producer or not, we all have feelings, likes, and loves. Many of us have children or pets that others love to see. Others have hobbies that include off-roading, camping, music, art, technology, fitness, or humor. All these things are relatable and fun to share!
Be diverse. It’s always good to add facts to your pages, but not every post has to be about cows and farming. Post about what you find fun; you may be surprised by how many people agree with you!
Have fun. When crafting your pages, remember to have fun. If you are having fun doing it, others will find the joy in it as well.
Tyler Ribeiro is a fourth-generation dairy farmer born and raised in California. He is currently partners with his father at Rib-Arrow Dairy in Tulare where they proudly ship their milk to Land O’Lakes. Tyler is actively involved in the dairy industry, holding leadership roles in various organizations locally and across the United States.