The TikTok train doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, and that’s good news for farmers who want to reach out to younger generations, either to get them interested in agriculture in general or as potential customers. (Reminder: The youngest Millennials are now in their late twenties. That means the oldest of the Gen Z population have some spending money.)
At an impromptu roundtable discussion at this year’s NAFDMA Convention, producers shared the tricks and tools they’ve used to make TikTok work for them.
First, use a trending song. That’s been garnering views for Patterson Farm Market and Tours (@pattersonfarm) of Mt. Ulla, NC. However, note that if your account is labeled as a business account, you may not have access to as many songs as a personal account.
Another farmer suggested making a longer Facebook video, then taking the highlights from it for Instagram Reels and TikTok. Several people recommended using Splice to create and edit videos; even though there is a cost for the app, they swear it’s worth it. And remember, shorter is better. Wired Magazine said the optimal recommended TikTok video length is under 60 seconds, even though it now allows videos of up to three minutes. If you have more content, you can always say “follow for part two.”
Next, add local tags (such as your town, county or region) to draw in those looking to adventure in your area. You may even be able to partner with your local Chamber of Commerce to further your reach. Ask your visitors to tag you in their content so you can share it as well.
Amir Maan, director of Maan Farms (@maanfarms) in Abbotsford, BC, Canada, said the key is to figure out what people want from the farm and then create it. “What’s big for us are how-tos, educational videos,” he said. “We want to tell our story but be true to us. We want people who love us, not just a big follow number.” (They have over 5,200 followers but their top pinned videos have more than 26,000 and 37,000 views.)
When asked what makes a post go viral, there is no magic formula. Maan Farms did a video about a pumpkin crop they lost to Pythium, and it was so popular it got picked up by national news outlets. (That video has more than 114,000 views.)
He noted that being consistent with your look is important. “It doesn’t matter how often you post if you don’t have good content,” he added. “Do what’s easiest for you.” The app’s goal is to get people to open it, and they see what they like.
“The audience ages with each platform, but the audience is still there,” Maan replied to a question about the perceived waning popularity of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. “It’s all about authenticity and attention. [TikTok] is not yet monetary, but it could get there.”
And, as always, there’s something new lurking on the horizon. Speakers at the roundtable said YouTube Shorts are next. Check out youtube.com/watch?v=J38Yq85ZoyY to see what that’s all about.