Jan. 31 2022 08:00 AM

If you want to pump up your agriculture advocacy game in 2022, consider these three trends that help connect farmers to consumers on social media.

Are you thinking about advocating more for dairy and dairy farming in 2022? That's great, and I highly encourage it. Dairy needs the entire industry (food companies, processors, co-ops, and, most importantly, dairy farmers) engaging with our consumers so they can get connected with where their food comes from. There is so much misinformation out there and so few in agriculture to combat it.

If you need help getting online and connecting with consumers, your local dairy checkoff is the first place to start, and you can find their information here. I highly encourage you to reach out and see what training and resources they have available for you.

Here are some online communication trends for 2022 that you should keep in mind as you begin advocating for dairy.

1. Video dominates user attention

It may be difficult to watch yourself on video the first time, but with practice, you'll get better and more comfortable. Remember that consumers are highly disconnected to the farm, and they really want to know what is happening with the animals, land, equipment, weather, and your lifestyle. It's all foreign and exciting to them if they live in urban environments and have never been to a farm. Live videos can be even more powerful — just make sure your phone can handle the connection. Check out the example by @iowadairyfarmer on TikTok.

2. Creators/influencers get real engagement and followers

If you consistently create video and share it daily, you are more likely to get more engagement and followers. It's important to use hashtags and consider what is trending on TikTok and Instagram if you want to reach the younger audiences. Have fun, share the good and bad, and be authentic. That's the most important piece. Sharing your world without the polish gets you real connections and responses. Check out the example by @newmexicomilkmaid on Instagram.

3. Who is customer service for dairy?

Customer service in social media is a rising trend, and you have to wonder where customers go when they have questions about dairy. Do they go to the brand or the farmer? What we know is that all farmers are highly trusted — more than brands — so getting out there and answering someone’s dairy farming questions on brand pages or in public or private groups can help bring attention to you as an expert especially when you are being specific about how you farm. Check out an example by @tdfhonestfarming on Facebook.

I hope you take these trends into consideration as you start your journey as an advocate for dairy. If you ever have a question about advocating online, you can always reach out to me at don.schindler@dairy.org.

To learn more about your national and local dairy checkoffs, visit www.USDairy.com or send a request to join our Dairy Checkoff Facebook group.

Don Schindler

The author is a Senior Vice President of Digital Initiatives at Dairy Management Inc.