Many people are drawn to urban farming because it presents what they see as a more straightforward way of life. It’s a way to get growing, to become self-reliant and to connect with nature — to find a spiritual purpose and the satisfaction of building something positive for yourself and your community. I’m with you on this. However, there are lots of ways to find a community of friends, which is an especially great option if you don’t know anyone who is into urban farming. Some specific tips include:
- Make a Pinterest account and boards: Pinterest is for those of us who have a journal of garden clippings, images of plants cut out, and years of leftover seed packets. Use this social channel to create and share digital scrapbooks which include pictures (called pins) of farm life, sources of inspiration and even products you love. Connect with other farms and potential customers and share pins from their boards as well. Check out our boards here.
- Join Twitter and participate in chats: A Twitter chat is where you log on for say an hour at a predetermined time to meet up with like-minded folk for a moderated discussion. Some of the Twitter chats I participate in include #gardenchat run by Bren Haas and #herbchat run by Geri Laufer. Usually, the host will have a set topic to discuss, sometimes will have a guest moderator on, and it’s always a lot of fun, and you learn a lot from your peers and pros who have seen it all. There’s also #plantchat, #seedchat, and many more to consider.
- Share farm successes on Instagram: Instagram is a simple platform to get into. Take your camera phone out onto your land and start sharing images of your crops. Film an impromptu live video of yourself planting seeds, or of cutting your first harvest. Share pictures of preparing to go to market. Instagram helps farmers give a glimpse of what life is really like on the land.
- Monetize it: When planning a social media strategy, you want to think about the best ways to acquire and engage potential and future customers, gain recognition both via search engines and in your industry, and also how to monetize your efforts on social. There are many ways to do this, but here are a few tips.
Make sure you have a website and an Amazon affiliate account so you can either drive traffic to your website or to Amazon links that give you a small portion of the proceeds when someone makes a purchase. When sharing your images on Pinterest or Twitter, make sure that image is linked. Instagram posts don’t allow links, so getting people to engage in other ways is critical. For example, you can share a short video of harvesting crops and say “check out our latest produce, link in bio”. Then people will know what you have available that week, and will visit your website to get more information.
About Wildflower Lab
Wildflower Lab is a small sustainable urban farm in Lakewood, Ohio, founded by Anne Nicholson, a gardener with experience in organic practices and turning lawns into edible gardens. Contact her at email@example.com to learn more about urban farming and small business marketing tips.