Anna Truesdale | Success of #Farm24
Unless you exist under a (rather large) rock, you’ll have heard of #Farm24.
#Farm24 is a day where social media COMES ALIVE in a celebration of all things agriculture. Where the general public (and other farmers alike) get a peek inside milking parlours, farrowing houses, sheep sheds, vegetable fields, combines and calving pens (to name but a few places!) to see just where British (and Irish) products come from.
The campaign has been running since 2015 and this year was definitely the BIGGEST celebration yet. I was delighted to see just so many farmers and food producers ‘take the pledge’ and get involved on the day. Social media became a hive of positivity, buzzing with excitement about our agricultural industry. With folk the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland, opening up their farms and explaining (in a fantastic amount of detail) the processes that go into food production.
The day highlighted the passion, enthusiasm and FIRE in the bellies of all those who tirelessly rise, each and every morning, pull on their wellies and get to work. Understand however, that although #Farm24 showcases just one day, there are 364 other days in the farming calendar where exactly the same passion, enthusiasm and fire exist.
I was truly delighted to see so many new faces pop onto social media on the day, with many folk plucking up the courage to post stories of them chatting (a lot more nerve-wracking than it sounds) and so confidently explaining their side of food production.
I feel privileged to experience Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter on the farm and I feel even more privileged to be in the position where I can showcase MY side of food production to the world. Because you see, education is key.
It is one of THE MOST powerful weapons that we, as farmers, have against the constant niggle of negativity that faces our industry. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that, sometimes, those in the ‘high up’ positions within agriculture simply don’t do enough to educate the general public on the benefits of eating fresh and local. Social media is OUR opportunity to deliver that much-needed education, directly from producer to consumer. Bridging the gap, not just for 24 hours, but every single day, between those who produce our food and those who eat it.
TOP TIPS FOR SHOWCASING YOUR FARMING LIFE
My Instagram (and now Youtube) has grown extremely well by sticking to some simple rules. We (probably) all carry a mobile phone with us on the farm, 99% of my content is shot on my iPhone, you don’t need any fancy equipment to get started, half the battle is taking the first picture!
- One of my biggest tips, and you’ll laugh at the simplicity of it, but WIPE YOUR LENS – I don’t know about you, but my phone lives in cow dung. Wiping the camera before I take any pictures or videos instantly upgrades the quality.
- Take multiple photos at once – use the burst mode or just take numerous clicks of the camera. I take my iPhone photos in either ‘Portrait’ Mode or ‘Live’ mode, portrait puts a slight focus on the main element of the photo whilst live allows me to choose a still from a live image (I find this good for capturing moving subjects, like livestock!). This means you have lots of different pictures/angles to work with when it comes to posting your content.
- You don’t have to edit anything straight away. If you’re busy doing something on the farm, snap a few quick pics and then save them to your camera roll. The next time you’re dandering from one place on the farm to the other, a passenger in the farm jeep or waiting on a slow milker, you can edit and upload (add a time stamp if necessary for context!)
- MAKE USE of all the features on the social media apps. Instagram has the option of GIFs, Music, Geotags, different fonts and animations on stories, use them! Develop your own recognisable style and take inspiration from other people BUT DON’T COPY – there’s truly nothing more annoying than seeing your stories regurgitated on someone else’s page!
- KEEP IT SIMPLE – remember not everyone in your audience will be from a farming background. Keeping your posts simple, concise and easily understood means they can be enjoyed by everyone.
- BE CONSISTENT – social media algorithms will push regular content producers to the top of social feeds, consistency is key.
Thanks for reading!