By Marlee Moore, Multimedia Content Director, Alabama Farmers Federation
Art + captions + sincerity = effective social media interactions
I’m not a math person. But digging into social media graphics, memes and photography that successfully engage Alabama Farmers Federation members has led me to believe there are three constants on the left of our equation.
Art: A picture is worth a thousand words. Photos should tell a story. That doesn’t mean they have to be works of art. Do a little filtering, crop, and work on your caption. At the Federation, social media art ranges from ag facts to holiday memes to farmer features to plays on pop culture to follower reposts.
Comment on photos, follow commonly used hashtags, or create a hashtag people love. #FarmingFeedsAlabama is ours, and I repost daily from people who use it. It encourages a healthy pattern of interaction. A double whammy is using photos from members for memes. The sweetest words are “insert your name here.” People want to see their name on things — or the name or face of someone they know. That works wonders for engagement. Create memes featuring your members and their farms, not just stock photography.
Note: Our “Yellowstone”-esque meme used a stock photo and was popular. Using your own photos isn’t a hard and fast rule.
Captions: Find your voice. Is your organization clever? Use puns. Are you serious? Adopt a more somber tone. Are you playful? Be jokey. Or combine techniques. No matter how good your photo is, it needs language. To better engage people, ask questions. Post a photo of a pasture and say something like “We’re grateful for green grass, blue skies, cattle and the sunrise. What are YOU thankful for?”
People love a play on words. One of my favorites is a re-posted photo of cotton with the caption “Locked and loaded.” (Bolls have locks of lint)
Comment when people tag your organization. On Instagram, my go-to is a red heart. Taking that extra step may make a member’s day and encourage them to interact further. Tag accounts in or relevant to your posts.
Sincerity: People want to know you’re genuine and care about them. Even if you don’t have room in your schedule to share posts directly to your account, share it in a Story. That gives some love but doesn’t throw your schedule off.
So leave the calculator behind. This is so simple even an ag communications grad can do it.