Do You Have #FarmFans? If Not, You Should

Christina Herrick

Christina Herrick

I have fond memories of Septembers in my childhood rooting on the Cleveland Indians on another Major League Baseball postseason. And for those of you who have seen me bundled up on a snowy and cold NAFDMA or IFTA tour, you’ve likely seen me sporting my Indians’ winter hat.

I still try to catch the Tribe in action a few times each summer. This year is no different, except for one thing. This year, I decided to try a different approach to attending the game. I wanted to be a part of the game.

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I applied on the Cleveland Indians website and was selected to attend an Indians game as a member of #TribeLive, where fans get share their experience of attending a game through social media. I picked a very specific day — Sandy Alomar Jr. jersey giveaway — because I met him as a teen when he came to sign autographs in my hometown.

Although this might seem unrelated to your businesses, it’s not. Much like my June column where I described how bloggers can visit your farm market and host their own contest, this is something you can easily borrow and make your own.

How easy would it be for you to boost your Twitter followers and social media exposure by having select visitors Tweet their experiences at your farm?

I was asked to capture every experience at the ballpark. So, I naturally had to get my picture taken with the jumbo C (for Cleveland not for Christina, sadly).

I was asked to capture every experience at the ballpark. So, I naturally had to get my picture taken with the jumbo C (for Cleveland not for Christina, sadly).

Pretty Great Perks
The instructions for my stint as a live tweeter were fairly easy. I was to explore the ballpark and share my experience on Twitter — good or bad — using the #TribeLive hashtag. In return I got two tickets to the game and $4 in concessions. I also had access to an exclusive new section of Progressive Field with other live tweeters and some pretty great views.

Tweeting wasn’t all that time-consuming or distracting as I worried it might be. I didn’t have my head down, focused on my phone the entire time, neglecting my friends who joined me. It seemed natural.

As for you and your business, it would likely cost only two passes — so your tweeter wouldn’t come alone — and perhaps food vouchers to sweeten the deal. If you have enough to keep them busy, the tweets, Instagram posts, etc., would keep flowing through the day and evening. I’m sure if you checked on Twitter during your busy times of the year, visitors are already posting about the experiences. So, why not use this exposure to help promote your business?

How To Turn This Into A Home Run
Based on my experience live tweeting from the game, here are few pieces of advice:

      • Make some guidelines. I was expecting a minimum amount of participation (how many Tweets I needed to have in order to fulfill my obligation that night). I was told that my social media activity would be criteria for if I wanted to apply and attend again next year, which was a little vague. Personally, I would have benefited from a minimum Tweet count, typically when I should begin tweeting for the day or at least some guidelines so I didn’t think I was doing it wrong.
      • Make it a social experience. If you decide to offer this type of experience to bolster your social media exposure, have some place or event where all the guests live Tweeting can come together and meet. Although I met some of the other guests for the day, we gathered in a standing-room only section and it was hard to mix and mingle.
I even got a scoreboard mention as a #TribeLive tweeter of the game.

I even got a scoreboard mention as a #TribeLive tweeter of the game.

      • Make it enviable and exclusive. Whether it’s an exclusive fire pit, seating area, hayride, T-shirt or lanyard to indicate their Twitter handle, have some area that is set aside for these special guests to not only make them feel good for spending the day at your farm, but also to help drum up more interest in having other guests participate. You could even designate a chalkboard or other sign as people buy tickets and come in indicating who your tweeters of the day/weekend are. Encouraging them to follow the live tweeters and your business.
      • Make it a low-cost expense for you. You shouldn’t have to invest a lot in order to make this work. Although every farm is different, you will likely be able to come up with some inspiration on how to take this idea work for your individual operation.

As with any agritainment offering, if you make this feel very special to participants, and take steps to ensure their experience will be positive, you will reap the rewards.

As for me, if they’ll have me, I’ll join the #TribeLive team next year. I just hope I lived up to their expectations!