Hobby Farms

Farm Fresh


Marketing Advice

If you think you’re too busy to bother with advertisin­g, you might want to think again — particular­ly if you hope to sell your farm’s products regionally or even nationally online. To find new customers (and keep them coming back), you need to be able reach a wide audience over a sustained period of time. A carefully executed, strategic advertisin­g campaign can help you to do just that.

Specializi­ng in gourmet beef from grass-fed cows, Dan Kaplan owns Heartstone Farm in Charleston, Maine. He ships his products to customers as far away as Chicago. “We use UPS Ground and dry ice, so, especially when it’s not in the middle of the summer, we can handle shipments that take up to three days,” Kaplan says. He advertises via Google and Facebook to break down geographic barriers and target consumers who are specifical­ly interested in grass-fed beef.

“Our approach from the beginning was to try to use the internet to connect with prospectiv­e customers who would value the kind of quality that we were producing wherever they lived,” he says. So far, Kaplan’s efforts have paid off. His sales’ volume is up, and between 40 and 50 percent of his business comes from repeat customers. But getting to this point has taken time, patience and avoiding some common pitfalls along the way.

Dos & Don’ts

“In the beginning, Facebook would send me messages saying, ‘Lots of people are liking this [post.] You should boost it.’” Kaplan says. “Well, maybe I’ll get more likes, but I’m not sure that translates into [sales.]” With a quick click and just a few dollars, boosting a Facebook post may seem like an easy and inexpensiv­e

 ??  ?? Advertisin­g on social media is a great way to drive new business to your farm.
Advertisin­g on social media is a great way to drive new business to your farm.

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