RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) – Social media platforms are helping small farming businesses promote and retain customers.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok allow farmers to share their stories, market products, and publicize their business without having a major impact on business bottom lines.
For example, Jay Yankey of Prince William County didn’t have a Facebook page 10 years ago, but his wife Sonja convinced him that their farm, Yankey Farms, needed one. Since then, he has amassed over 10,000 subscribers.
Yankey Farms offers U-pick strawberries and pumpkins, provides fresh fruits and vegetables through a Community Supported Agriculture subscription program, operates a roadside produce stand during the summer months and markets beef directly.
Social media posts have included announcements about the opening of a self-service pick-up patch or products available at the roadside stand.
Another example is Maggie Moomaw and Irvington Spring Farm in Lynchburg, which has a variety of flowers.
Moomaw has gotten 7,000 followers on Instagram by posting several times a week, and she started using TikTok less than a year ago and already has over 12,000 followers on that platform.
She says that when used well, social media platforms are another way to build trust and connection with customers.
“People come to the farm and they say, ‘I didn’t even know you were in Lynchburg. I saw you on TikTok,” Moomaw said. “Over the past two years since I’ve been posting regularly and building a brand for the farm, we’ve seen a significant increase in our sales, which has been wonderful.”