A baby goat stares innocently at the camera. A turkey poses with a farmer. A frog is perched on a log. These are just some of the images on the Instagram account of Copper Tail Farm.
But the precious pictures of goats, birds and other outdoor creates do more for Copper Tail farm than just elicit “likes.” The Instagram and Facebook presences they’ve curated gives them a platform to connect with existing and potential customers outside of the farmers market.
“With people really wanting to know where their food comes from and wanting to know their farmers, [social media] is a good way for them to kind of feel like they know us without having to be at the farm every day,” said Christelle McKee, who owns Copper Tail Farm in Waldoboro with her husband, Jon.
Copper Tail Farm is not alone in embracing social media. Leigh Hallett, president of the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets, said that increasingly farmers markets and individual farmers are using social media to get information to customers and generate a broader following.
As an organization that seeks to promote farmers markets in Maine, Hallett said that the rise in markets using Facebook to advertise changes or new vendors is especially beneficial to the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets. Through social media channels, the distance barriers between Maine’s large web of independent markets are broken down. While Hallett said she might only be able to get to a farmers market in Down East a limited number of times a year, following the market on social media allows her to maintain her connection with that market and its vendors.
“I would not be able to do this job without social media. I can follow what markets are doing all over the state and can have a good idea of what’s going on,” Hallett said. “There are markets I might only visit once or twice a year and I’ll meet farmers there, and if I interact with them on social media, I can then keep in contact with them throughout the year.”
As with any tool on a farm, different social media platforms serve different purposes. Facebook in particular is useful in posting updates and alerting a farm’s followers what they can…