Our February topic for A3 is Social Media. The book we are reading is “Likeable Social Media” by Dave Kerpen. Being a complete novice, I appreciated the appendix in the back that explained several social media sites and how they work. I have also been getting more savvy at delegating social media jobs to folks that love to do them.
One of our primary goals in 2016 to is to a better job of marketing Stone Coop Farm. Right now it is word of mouth and an occasional newspaper article. I recently did a presentation at The Brighton Garden Club and there were at least 60 folks there. Less than 5% of the group had even heard of Stone Coop Farm and we are only 5 miles from where they meet!
February Goals - MARKETING
1. Sell Out of All Our 2016 Shares and create a 2017 Waiting List. This challenge came out of our coaching session with Noam on February 9th. I hesitated to actually put this in writing in my blog – it’s a huge challenge – but why not be brave, and use this as a written confirmation of my vision. I need a strong marketing plan to sell these shares.
Working Shares (Deadline 2/28) Goal: 35 Sold Out
Market Shares (Deadline 6/30) Goal: 125 Sold: 28
Spring Shares (Deadline 4/1) Goal: 25 Sold: 5
Summer Shares (Deadline 6/1) Goal: 25 Sold: 6
Market Shares (Deadline 6/30) Goal: 125 Sold: 28
Fall Shares (Deadline 10/1) Goal: 25 Sold: 0
2017 Waiting List – Offer 2017 shares in August and start taking deposits immediately.
2. Marketing Strategy - Develop a Marketing Strategy to motivate our future members to buy their shares. I want to sell out of our shares and also sell out all the classes and events we offer. I will finish Likeable Social Media and generate action items for this by the end of February. Things that will be included will be: Increase Facebook likes, increase The Weekly Beet email contact list, generate engaging YouTube videos, get our events listed on local community calendars, and other items that I have yet to identify.
3. Embrace Social Media and Update our Internet Presence – Updated Facebook, Eat Well Guide & Yelp. Waiting to hear from Trip Advisor, Local Harvest, and Real Time Farms to update those sites.
4. Create Stone Coop Farm YouTube site – Done! Angie and her kids (one of our Working Share families) did an awesome job filming, editing and producing our first SCF How to Video! They also set up our YouTube account. Check it out! - How to Harvest Spinach. They will be coming each week so we can have a weekly video! Hurray!!! AND we will start showing these videos to our working share members for training. That will allow us to share a consistent training message with everyone that works here. The spinach video will be shared the first week of March when our 2016 Working Share members start. We have an iPad that we can take out to the fields and hoop houses to share the videos.
5. Create a New SCF Brochure – I need to decide when this will be used and for what purpose. Is a paper handout a good marketing tool these days? If there is value, then it needs to have a “Call to Action”.
6. Farmers Market Presence – We are in the process of creating a better image and presence at our farm store where we do our Wednesday markets and at Brighton’s Farmers Market that starts in May. We are tying in our brand, mission and tagline (Friendly Famers, Caring Consumers) into visual images and experiences that our clients will have when they come into contact with us. It has generated a lot of excitement with our staff and we are really looking forward to making it something special and memorable. We will also be incorporating these concepts into our events and classes too. The hand drawn pictures in this blog are banners created by Pomme Roi Creative to help us reflect our brand. We will be hanging these 6 foot tall beauties at both of our markets.
Recommended Reading and Viewing: It’s time to start dreaming and planning for that wonderful garden you will be growing this year. Seed Savers Exchange and Baker Creek Rare and Heirloom Seeds are both great companies that focus on saving rare and heirloom seeds. We like to support them and other small seed companies that provide 100% NON GMO seeds and that offer certified organic seeds as well. Here are links to the other seed companies we support: Johnny’s Select Seeds, High Mowing Organic Seeds, and Burpees.
If you would like to attend our Grow Your Own Garden Series here at Stone Coop Farm, the first class starts on March 12th. We will also be growing seedlings for purchase such as tomatoes, peppers, kale, chard, parsley, basil and others. We will be offering them starting in April. If you want to know when these plants are available, please sign up for our Weekly Beet email or check our website under the Weekly Beet in April when we will have all our plants listed.
Did You Know that for a seed variety to be considered an heirloom it has to meet certain criteria? According to Seed Savers Exchange “An heirloom variety is a plant variety that has a history of being passed down within a family or community, similar to the generational sharing of heirloom jewelry or furniture.
An heirloom variety must be open-pollinated, but not all open-pollinated plants are heirlooms. While some companies create heirloom labels based on dates (such as a variety that is more than 50 years old), Seed Savers Exchange identifies heirlooms by verifying and documenting the generational history of preserving and passing on the seed.”