By Chelsie Calliham
Across the United States in 1994, there were only 1,755 known farmers markets. Fast-forward to 2012 and that number rapidly increases to 7,865. The large growth of farmers markets not only proves that they are thriving, but consumers also want to see more of them.
Word-of-mouth is a great tool when promoting your farmers market booth, but it can only take you so far. Your local customers know and trust you, but what about the consumer who has no idea you exist? Adding new-media technology to promote your farmers market booth can boost your business and reach a new demographic that was not possible before!
Take a look at the following ideas to connect your social-media marketing with your offline business at farmers markets.
With new features on Facebook and Instagram, it’s simple to go live and give customers an authentic look into your business. Live video feed has become very popular after Facebook launched Facebook Live, a live video streaming service that lets anyone broadcast from their mobile devices or computers straight to their Facebook Newsfeed on April 6, 2016. This recent development gives virtually anyone the chance to capture followers’ attention via video live from your home or office and potentially reach millions of people all around the world who are completely new to your page.
Pro-Tip: Living in the moment is what Facebook Live is all about and to no surprise, it creates more 3 times the engagement that normal video posts do. New to Facebook Live? Check out our previous blog, Your Guide to Going Live- Tips and tricks to using Facebook Live.
If you’re not completely comfortable going Live yet, try your hand at micro-storytelling. Stories allow you to share disappearing photos publicly, with your followers, or to an individual friend. This gives you a chance to show your customers an inside look into your business and showcase what makes you special. The brand pictured above showcases how you can utilize the Farmers Market hashtag and promote customers sending in their own photos.
Pro-Tip: Luckily, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook all have incorporated this feature. To decide which app is right for you, take a look at last week’s blog for details: A Guide to which ‘Story’ is Right for You.
Spread the Word
Whether it’s your first farmers market or your booth is no stranger to the scene, start showing everyone you’re ready for business. Facebook and Twitter are two great sources to re-share community events or advertisements for your next farmers market stop. Team up with the official farmers market Facebook page to promote your booth.
Pro-tip: Offer a discount to any customer who mentions the online promotion you previously posted. Not only will this promote your business but drive online views.
Use Text Messaging or E-mail
Speaking of promotions mentioned at check-out, try your hand at text message or email offers and updates too. A quick sale notification or location update is all it can take to encourage customers to come see your booth.
Make Mobile Payments a Possibility and Create Customer System
In order to send text message updates or let your customer know about social media accounts for your business, you have to get their information. Using your iPad or cell phone makes this simple. The possibilities are endless!
Set up your iPad on display so customers can sign up for your e-mail or texting list on the spot. This is also a place you can showcase your social media accounts and entice them to follow you.
Since you already have your iPad or mobile device out and ready, why not turn it into your cash register too? Square and PayPal let you accept mobile payments.
Pro-Tip: The Square Register for iPad allows you to have item level reports. This means you can know how much you sell of each item at your farmers market.
Take on your next Farmers Market Booth!
The food business is a tough business that requires lots of word of mouth marketing, but there is no better way to generate traffic than combining this with social media.
Once you’ve convinced your socially- savvy customers to help you promote your business by sharing about your products, the community will know about you in no time. Are you ready to make your booth the most popular booth in town?
Already have ideas on what new-media you are going to incorporate to showcase your farmers market booth? Tell us – what has been successful for you?!