Leveraging Social Media for Farmers

Farmer in his field


Many farmers use social media to communicate with citizens. And in their experience, you can reach so many people so quickly, especially if you get an SMM Panel to help you with social media marketing. They hope to narrow the gap between farmers and citizens, but then you have to do it right.


While farmers want the best for their animals and want to put a product on the market in the best way, there is a lot of criticism from citizens about farmers, Wageningen student Rianne van Zandbrink observed.


In the relationship between farmers and citizens, there is a gap that has arisen due to a growing distance between farmers and citizens, due to a lack of knowledge among citizens, and because critical organizations sometimes paint a wrong picture of agriculture.


In her Bachelor Thesis, the student observes that many farmers use social media to communicate with citizens. She wanted to know what farmers’ motivations, experiences, and strategies are for using social media. In a summary of her thesis, she discusses her findings.



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She interviewed Dutch farmers who are active on social media: five dairy farmers, a pig farmer, and a goat farmer. These entrepreneurs use Twitter or Facebook. Those farmers use social media because they want to develop goodwill.


They want to inform citizens about their sector, they explain how they treat their animals. Sometimes they also use social media to explain why they want to expand or why government rules bother them.



The experiences of most farmers are positive, writes Van Zandbrink. The farmers see that you can quickly build a network, but there is also a downside. Social media is also anonymous. A critic can easily be anonymous and give annoying reactions. In addition, the speed and brevity of the medium sometimes lack nuance, causing a message or photo to be misinterpreted.



Most users see Facebook as a medium to reach citizens. On Twitter, they mainly meet other farmers. Farmers see this more as a platform to share knowledge or to keep abreast of what is happening in the sector.


Her conclusion is that farmers like to use social media. They think it’s a good way to communicate with citizens, provided you do it right.