Over the last decade, social media has emerged as one of the most valuable communication and sales tools for coffee producers. It offers an opportunity to build a brand, connect with partners, and interact with markets around the world.
Social media can also be useful for keeping up with the latest coffee trends, as well as showcasing work to roasters and seeing what producers in other coffee-growing regions are doing throughout the year.
Why should coffee producers use social media?
Although it may not seem as important as nurturing coffee trees, harvesting cherries, or fine-tuning processing methods, social media plays an important role in your business.
Social media presents an unparalleled opportunity to directly connect with consumers and reach corners of the market like never before.
There are currently more than 3.7 billion active users on Instagram and Facebook alone. Coffee producers who tap into just a small percentage of this total will be able to reach vast numbers of consumers with whom they can share information and open discussions.
What type of content should you post?
If you’re active on social media, you’ll notice that businesses post a wide variety of “content” everyday. Content is any type of digital media you share online with your audience, whether an image, a video, a link, or some text.
As a coffee producer, social media can be used to share unique and engaging content with your followers. Not only will this provide them with a reason to continue following you, it will also help build your brand identity and attract new users to your profile.
While there’s no secret trick to creating great content, there are some basic guidelines that will help you improve its quality and help it resonate with your audience.
How can you create content with limited resources?
As a coffee producer, you may feel as though you don’t have the time or the resources to produce regular social media content for your followers. However, it can be done in just a few minutes with a couple of simple tools.
Use your phone
The most valuable tool you have for creating content is your smartphone. Using little more than the camera to capture moments of your life and work will allow you to create content that’s authentic and engaging.
The camera apps on many smartphones offer different features, such as portrait mode, filters, time lapse, slow motion, and zoom. With these features, you can diversify and enhance your content, making it more interesting and unique for your audience.
Use social media tools
Another great resource for your content are the social media platforms themselves. Each platform offers countless ways to filter, edit, enhance, and add additional features to your content.
Whether it’s adjusting the lighting and contrast on a photo, or adding a poll to an Instagram story, these features are designed to help you improve your content creation from the palm of your hand.
What makes “great content”?
If you’re active on social media, you’ll notice a lot of accounts have a similar voice when it comes to copy. Their language, tone, and context is often repetitive and unoriginal, which means users will start to scroll down their feed without noticing it.
Creating original copy that captivates your audience and “pops” will not only improve engagement, but also help you stand out from the crowd. When planning what to write, try to think “outside the box”, taking note of what excites people rather than what they’re used to seeing.
In particular, asking questions at the end of a post is a great way of keeping the conversation going in the comments section and encouraging people to take a moment to reflect on their own experiences.
Although each social media platform varies, most of the major platforms encourage the use of visual media, such as photos, videos, and GIFs. For platforms such as Instagram, visuals are a key aspect of your content.
This doesn’t mean that you always need a professional photographer to create your social media content. But it is important that your visuals are unique, while at the same time reflecting you and your business.
Avoid using stock images or images from other accounts, and instead focus on the aspects of your life, work, and business that make you different.
If you’re unsure how to capture nice photos and videos, take a look at some other accounts. Ask yourself, how do they take their photos? How long are their videos? Which content is most popular? What generates the highest number of likes and comments?
This will help you determine the kind of content to produce and inspire you to be more creative with your own visual content.
Design is becoming an increasingly important part of high-quality social media content. Easy-to-use platforms such as Canva allow social media users to produce high-quality, eye-catching designs that can help you define your brand and stand out.
If you’re not confident using design software or websites, it may be worth hiring someone with design skills to help you with your branding and social media.
Although this might seem like an unnecessary expense, having professional and consistent design across your social media accounts will undoubtedly benefit you in the long term.
What should you be posting on my social media?
It’s important to post a variety of content on your social media to avoid becoming repetitive or predictable. If every single one of your posts is an image of coffee cherries, for example, your followers will quickly get bored and stop engaging with your content.
An effective way of keeping things fresh is to devise a rota of images that capture different aspects of your day-to-day life, including your farm and its surroundings, processing methods, harvesting, transportation, and cupping.
See our blog post ‘Planning your social media content’
How do you encourage engagement?
Posting an image or text is one thing – but getting your followers to engage with it is another challenge altogether.
To increase the number of followers who like, save, share, and comment on your posts, one of the most important things is to include prompts. This will help not only to determine what your audience wants, but also to improve engagement on your account.
For example, instead of posting a photo of cherries with the text, “New harvest Pacamara”, you could rephrase your caption as, “Our new harvest of Pacamara is underway. Who’s keen to try it?”
This will encourage your audience to comment on your posts, increasing both the engagement and the number of potential new followers who see them.
Provide unique insights
As a coffee producer, you are the leading expert on your coffee and how it’s produced. This means you’ll be able to offer unique insight on everything from harvesting to processing.
Remember, a large percentage of the people who consume your coffee will be from a different country with little to no experience of what it’s like to work on a coffee farm.
Therefore, sharing videos, images, and stories of what goes on around you will keep your audience interested by bringing them closer to the experience of a coffee producer.
Connect with your audience
If you’re already using social media, you’ll notice that there are features you can use to search for other accounts and users. If you’re posting photos or videos that feature any friends, partners or products that are related to other users, make sure you tag them. Likewise, you can also add location to your content, so that social media users are able to see where you are.
In addition to these features, there are a few other things you can do to improve the reach and engagement of your social media content:
Social media users don’t only post images, captions and videos – they also use hashtags to categorise and share their content with a wider audience. Instead of searching for other social media users, search for hashtags that will interest you and your audience (such as #coffeeroaster , #coffee, and #coffeefarm).
Interact with other users
Social media is a collaborative tool, and a way for people across the world to communicate. It’s no use having a social media account if you’re posting but not interacting with others, as you won’t be able to make a significant amount of new connections or grow your following.
By following other accounts relevant to you and your work, you’ll encourage other users to follow you back. You can also comment on other posts or, if your content is relevant to other accounts, you can tag them in your posts.
Virtually all social media platforms are built using algorithms based on factors such as post frequency and engagement. In other words, if you share content consistently, the social media platform will improve the visibility of your posts to users.
But this doesn’t mean you should post 50 images per day. Rather, you should aim to devise a routine and stick to it, whether it’s daily, every other day, or solely at weekends.
Ultimately, the most important thing is that you’re posting consistently with content that looks good and encourages engagement.
Interested in learning more about improving your social media presence? Get in touch with a member of our team to start building your content and growing your audience.