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At our June Networking event we heard from deer farmer and social media expert Sophie Hansen from My Open Kitchen. She engaged the audience and showed how farmers can embrace social media to tell their story, the art of the #felfie, and how they can create an open dialogue to build trust in online communities.

Just in case you missed it on the night ‘#felfie’ is a farmer selfie, a photo of a farmer, by a farmer, shared on social media, and there are currently over 50,000 felfies on Instagram alone!

We wanted to share some are some of the key benefits of social media and take aways presented by Sophie at the event:

  • Social Media is not all about creating new business opportunities for us farmers. Just as important are the social and mental health benefits; farming is a lonely business, sometimes farmers can work for 8-10 hours without having a conversation with anyone. But what if you had a community in your pocket? A tribe of followers, peers and supporters who are only ever a message away. It’s not about ego – it’s about supporting each other.

What happens when we have connected, engaged farmers using social media strategically and confidently?

  • They are better able to grow their businesses; connect with new customers, suppliers, peers and media.
  • They will be more connected, open to new ideas and technologies and kept more up to date with research, ideas and relevant news as they break.
  • They will receive daily endorsement for what they do and encouragement to keep doing it.
  • They will collectively inspire hundreds of thousands of people to seek their produce out, cook and share it with joy and care.

Sophie poses that social media isn’t the answer to all our problems BUT it is an affordable, achievable and powerful way to connect, increase transparency, trust and support. She finished her presentation with a powerful quote by Simon Sinek, leadership expert and the man behind ‘the concept of why’ and the second most watched TED talk of all time ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.

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