Are you making the most of your business’s social media presence? When you’re in the farm, food, or drink sector, your message and values can personally resonate with your reader. However, it can be a challenge to find your rhythm to post effectively for your audience, whether that’s Facebook, Instagram, or other platforms.

Social media is not a one-and-done marketing strategy. It takes commitment to do it right, and it takes time to nurture the channel to grow and engage your tribe.

To help you build a more robust and attractive social media presence, we’ve compiled a list of typical mistakes that can be avoided with some focus. Get on the right track and you should see more activity on your social accounts.

Let’s dig in to those blunders you should avoid.

1. Not Having a Plan

Without a content and posting plan, you will fall into the trap of “OMG, what am I going to post on Facebook, today?”  That often leads to no posting at all, or an excessive amount of time wasted trying to find something post-worthy.

Start a library of website links, Facebook Pages, or Instagram accounts to follow, all resources to get ideas for posting. It’s perfectly acceptable to share other people’s posts on your accounts, if they add value to your business message and community.

Think of topics related to your business that you could use on a regular or rotating basis. Although each business is different, you could assign certain topics for each day of the week. Include events or markets you are at, seasonal focus on certain products, who you partner or associate with.

Here’s a cheese producer’s example for daily topic ideas:

  • Monday: Farm/Operation focus – animals, equipment, production, staff, etc.
  • Tuesday: #TuesdayTips – Serving cheese – recipes, photos, pairings, health benefits, seasonal highlights, etc.
  • Wednesday: Product promotion – highlight product, promotion, where to buy, etc.
  • Thursday: Promote weekend events in business or community – aligned with your business values.
  • Friday: #FunFriday – facts, history, jokes, quotes about cheese
  • Saturday: News/articles/resources – about cheese, the industry, innovation, people, etc.
  • Sunday: Farm Family – fun outside of business – show personality, interests that resonate with audience

This formula can be adjusted for any type of business. And with resources and a plan in your back pocket, you’ll set yourself up for success.

2. Overly Promoting

Don’t make your posts all about you. On social media, if all you do is sell, sell, sell, people will stop following you. The world is tired of being bombarded with ads and promotions. This is about being social after all.

You want to try to engage your reader, to start a conversation, even if it’s brief. Try providing value-added content that is educational or entertaining – something related to your industry, business, products, but not a direct promotion. It’s okay to promote yourself, and about 20% of the time seems to be an acceptable number.

By sharing and presenting non-promotional content the other 80% of the time, it can position you as the expert, or leader in your field. It shows what you know and how you are connected in your industry.

Be the friendly folks who people want to hear from.

3. Not Being Consistent

Calendar image showing days dates and months

You have probably heard the term ‘algorithms’ as related to social media. They refer to the processing, calculation, and manipulation of data on a social media platform. The end result is which content actually gets delivered to your audience’s newsfeed.

Algorithms change all the time. So, to keep up with them and have a better chance of your posts being seen by your followers, you should consistently post every day. If you do that, the social platforms will deem your sites important enough to serve to your audience.  If you don’t post regularly, no one will see your content.

This can seem daunting at first, but as mentioned earlier, if you build a library and have a plan you will get into a groove of posting consistently.

4. Too Much Jargon

African American man looking at laptop holding his head in confusion

Speaking of ‘algorithms’, it’s a term many people have no idea what it means, but is thrown around the social media world. It is a form of jargon and every industry has some type of it.

Think of those words or descriptions that are specific to your type of business, but not readily recognizable for the general public, or your target audience. They would need some kind of explanation for the reader to find relevance.

Try to keep your language simple, so it’s easy to read and quickly understandable. People are scanning online content, so will be scanning your posts, too. Easy to digest vocabulary keeps people’s attention versus what appears to be complicated or unfamiliar jargon.

Here are a few simple examples of words that might confuse, from a –

  • Winery – “terroir”. A connoisseur may know what that is but your weekend wine lover likely does not.
  • Dairy Farm – “silage”. Your audience has interest in feed-options, but are unfamiliar with the term.
  • Market Gardener – “Scoville Scale”. Produce buyers may not know this tool for measuring heat in hot peppers.

Think about using your social media posts as an opportunity to educate folks on what that language is, if it’s appropriate to selling your product.

5. Not Replying

man in suit reaching out to shake hands

If someone on the street said ‘Hello’ to you, or gave you a compliment on your new glasses, you’d respond, right? The same goes on social media.  If someone provides a comment, leaves you a review, or sends you a message, the polite and professional thing to do is to reply.

People who engage with your account by commenting or otherwise, are partaking in a conversation based on what you posted. This is the best thing you can hope for in Facebook’s or Instagram’s eyes, as they see your account as important because of the interaction. The more interaction, the more often your posts will be shown in people’s newsfeeds.  Otherwise, the potential for your posts being seen is very minimal without advertising.

So, if someone comments, be sure to reply and further engage them. Even something simple as “Thanks for your comment” shows you are being sociable.

6. Trying to Be Too Funny

People love to be entertained and enjoy a good sense of humour, but be careful. Your humour may not be aligned with your audience. What you think is funny may seem off colour, or offensive to others.

It’s okay to post some light-hearted content – cartoons, quotes, videos, etc. – but make sure they align with your brand’s personality. The usual applies – no religion, sexuality, politics, etc.

7. Unedited or Unproofread

Before you hit the ‘publish’ button, be sure to proofread and edit your posts accordingly. It only takes a few more seconds. You don’t want to look like you’re showing up with lunch stains on your shirt.

Sure, there will be the occasional spelling or grammar error. We are all human and thusly imperfect. But, you are posting to represent your company, so look sharp!  Look professional. Proofread your material and edit it as required.

Final Thoughts

Social media takes commitment and planning. If you are using it as a key marketing strategy, consider avoiding the mistakes in this list. Start developing new habits to elevate your online presence.

When you need help to improve upon what you are currently doing, or would like to establish a social media strategy, consider how that might fit into an integrated Marketing Plan for your business. At Farm Food Drink Inc., we specialize in Creative Marketing, and would love to discuss what a marketing plan project would look like for your business. Contact us for a free consultation.