Twitter Tips for Produce Pros

A few years ago, I made it my mission to crack the code on how to grow a following and interact with people on Twitter. I had about 100 followers at the time, which made me feel a little sheepish considering I was a social media professional. I have over 4,000 followers now (mostly social media marketing and produce industry folks) and I’d like to share my very simple Twitter tips with you. 

Step 1 – Make your first impression count!

User name – Pick a good user name.  If your name is available – lucky you! If not, you will need to get creative. My name was taken, so I added the initials of the state I live in @AdrienneYoungCA. Other ideas for a username include adding a "AskMe" or ItsMe" to your handle like this: @ItsMeAdrienne or @AskAdrienneYoung. Make your Twitter name easy to remember and don’t add numbers to the end of it (ex: @AdrienneYoung1973).  Numbers are generally harder for people to remember than words.  

Profile photo - Your profile photo should be friendly and professional. This is not Facebook, so you should shy away from couple or family pictures. A professional photograph is ideal, but if you don’t have the resources for one, enlist a friend or family member to take a nice headshot of you. And make sure to smile! You want to be friendly and approachable (just like in real life). Update your photo pretty regularly, people should be able to recognize you in person after seeing your Twitter photo.  

Bio – For your bio, let folks know who you are and what you do. Some people like to include a fun quote or hobbies.

Here are a few example bios for someone in the produce industry:

Sales and Marketing manager for Acme Produce Company, specializing in citrus sourced from CA and shipped all over the globe. 

VP of Promotions for the Produce Institute, passionate about increasing nationwide consumption of fruits and vegetables

Cover photo – make sure this relates to what you do. In the produce industry, we are fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful products. Your profile photo could be a field shot, a produce display at a farmer’s market, a wholesale market, or just close-up shots of the fruits, vegetables and flowers you market.

My Twitter Profile

My Twitter Profile

Step 2 – Develop a content strategy

Don’t let this step overwhelm you! First, decide what type of content your potential followers would be interested in. This could include any news articles about fruit and vegetable consumption, trade issues, recipes, facts about produce, links to Packer or Produce news stories, etc.

You can find great content on trade industry websites and publications.

What else do you think would interest fellow professionals? How about articles on leadership, management, and other business stories. Your Twitter followers are probably also interested in social media (why else would they be on Twitter?), so articles about what’s new on social media might interest them as well. 

Now, where do you find all this great content to share? One great source that I use is All Top, an aggregate of top stories around the web where you can look for articles by category. Another great source is Buffer because you can find great content and they’ve already done the work for you by formulating tweets that you can simply schedule out.

Once you find your content, you can use Hootsuite to schedule your tweets. You don’t have to log in to Twitter five times a day to tweet all the content you find. Instead, you can schedule your tweets days or weeks in advance all at one time. 

Step 3 - Grow your following

What’s the fastest way to grow your following on Twitter? Find people in your industry with similar interests and then follow them! Chances are, they will follow you back!

So, how do you find produce professionals? You can start by looking at who is following popular industry accounts like @PMA or @thePacker or @UnitedFresh. Take a look at their followers and follow people you find relevant to your industry and business. But watch out, if you follow too many users in one day Twitter will lock down your account. It’s called follower churn and following large amounts of people at a time is frowned upon.  Try to only follow up to 20 people per day. 

Another great way to grow your following is to use hashtags because they allow people to search for content by interest. If you tweet a business article you can use hashtags like “#biztips” or “#business” or “#startup.” For social media articles, use “#socialmedia” or “#Twitter” or “#Twittertips” (if you are tweeting about Twitter). 

Take advantage of conferences that you attend and use the conference hashtag to tweet while you’re there. Oftentimes the group putting on the conference will retweet your tweet, which exposes your account to more people. Tweeting about the conference before you attend using the hashtag will also help you connect with attendees. 

Step 4 – Use Twitter Lists!

Twitter has a great feature called "Lists" that will help you keep track of people you follow by topic or group. Because I follow thousands of people, important tweets can get lost. You can add people to lists and then Twitter will group their tweets together. Here are some examples of lists that I made:

1.     Social Media Professionals – this is where I keep all my favorite social media thought leaders and fellow practitioners. I use this list to find great content that I can share.

2.     Awesome Produce Professionals – this is where I put all the awesome produce people that I want to keep track of. Since I like to have conversations with fellow produce professionals on Twitter, this is a great way for me to find their recent tweets quickly.

3.     Locals – I’m from Fresno, California, so I like to keep track of what the locals are up to and find out what people are talking (or rather tweeting) about in my hometown.

I can browse each list and check in when I have a few minutes of downtime during the day (like when I’m in the carpool lane picking up the kids from school, waiting for a dentist appointment, having coffee, etc.)

I will look through my lists so I can try and start conversations with people. For example, if a Packer writer just tweeted a new article they wrote and I found it useful, I can reply to their tweet “Great story, thanks for sharing.” Think of interacting with industry folks via Twitter as a digital networking opportunity.

My Lists

My Lists

I hope these Twitter tips helped you out in some way! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment on this post or email me at adrienne@poppysocialmedia.com. Or better yet, tweet me!

 

 

 

 

 

Selling out a nationwide dinner tour

Our client at Certified American Grown Flowers, came to us asking if we could help promote and sell tickets to a nationwide 10-city dinner tour that would bring attention to the idea the flowers on your table should be as fresh, local and sustainable as the food on your plate.

 

Our objectives were to sell out each dinner and obtain as much press and blog coverage as possible.  We were promoting dinner in local flower fields or greenhouses, hosted by flower farmers with jaw-dropping floral designs from local florists.  And to top it off the dinners included a feast prepared by a local chef using all fresh, local ingredients.  The swoon-worthy affairs took place during a 10-month period starting in California and traveling through the country to Brooklyn, Washington D.C, Seattle, Portland, and Detroit (to name a few). The event planner and lead vision keeper Kathleen Williford, managed all ten events (plus a few in between), with efficiency and grace.

The first dinner was in an Orchid Greenhouse in Carpinteria, California in March of 2015.  To promote the dinner, we publicized in the local media, on local event calendars, developed a landing page for the dinner series and used digital ads to target locals.  We used social media to reach locals, and enlisted the help of our local farms, florists and chefs to help spread the word.  We had the pleasure of working alongside fellow American Flower champion,  Slow Flowersfounder, speaker and author Debra Prinzing who not only helped spread the word about this wonderful series, but attended each dinner (an added bonus to guests).

Two days before the dinner, we were elated to announce a sell out.

And then we got to attend our first dinner.  We thought it would be beautiful, yes. We thought the food would be delicious and the floral designs would be pretty.  What we experienced went much further than that, it was magical.  From the moment we walked into the warm orchid greenhouse and were engulfed in the sweet scent of orchids, we knew this dinner series was something very special.

The dinner series created a conversation piece for journalists, bloggers, and floral enthusiasts to talk about the American Grown flower and its importance in the history and economic landscape of our country.  And what a conversation it started.  As the dinner series rolled out, so did the press coverage, in the Wall Street Journal, Sunset Magazine and Food and Wine Magazine.  The advertising value of the press we received reached close to $1 million dollars and the mostly sold out (two of the dinners had a few spots left) dinners created a revenue stream that paid for itself.

We are very proud of the role we played in the success of the Field to Vase Dinner tour and are so honored that the Certified American Grown flower farmers are allowing us to join them for another tour next year, and entrusting us to help spread their very worthwhile message.

www.americangrownflowers.org/fieldtovase

Instagram: @fieldtovasedinnertour

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/FieldtoVaseDinnerTour/

Email marketing opt-in page: http://www.americangrownflowers.org/offer-code/

Influencer Marketing and How It Can Improve Your Business

Everyone is talking about influencer marketing these days, but we know how overwhelming or even confusing that could be for you. Will it work for my business? How do I know if it’s the right thing to do? Where do I even start? These are all questions we’ve heard before and we’re here to help!

Let’s start with what influencer marketing actually is. It’s a form of marketing that focuses on key individuals (influencers) rather than targeting a market as a whole. Simply put, you’re able to talk to your target audience through a third-party endorsement and what they’re telling their audience about you and your business is much more beneficial than what you could tell their audience about you and your business. This is how you create brand advocacy and that can be a successful and cost-effective strategy.

We put our knowledge to the test recently with Expo Party Rentals, a local business that specializes in making events unforgettable. Their goal was to bring more awareness to their rental services and encourage followers to rent party supplies for their next big event instead of buying them and having to store them after the party is over. And the best part? There’s no cleaning afterwards. All dishes, linens, etc. can be returned without being washed because Expo handles all that for you. From Thanksgiving dishes to birthday party décor, the possibilities were endless!

Here are some of our blogger’s parties and experiences!

Jewelry & Jeans

Local fashion and lifestyle blogger, Rema Koligian, was thankful this year that using Expo Party Rentals allowed her to stress less over the details and spend time enjoying Thanksgiving with her family.

Chef Shayna

Chef Shayna Slosman hosts a weekly cooking segment on ABC30, a local news station in Fresno, CA. In her spare time, she also hosts a lifestyle and cooking blog to share tips and tricks for teaching the joy of cooking by including kids in the kitchen.

For Halloween, she and her husband decided to host a backyard party at their beautiful home. They picked out their tables, linens, décor and more, but the only thing standing in their way was the rain. That is, until Expo Party Rentals saved the day with two outdoor tents to keep their guests dry.

Annie Foreman

A realtor by day and a lifestyle blogger by night, Annie Foreman knows how to throw a good party. For her stress-free Christmas party, she eliminated all of the shopping and running around town by ordering all her items from Expo Party Rentals. 

Pat Merlo

Local blogger, Pat Merlo, hosted a Five Favorite Things Party and got all the bling she needed to make her night fabulous from Expo Party Rentals. Her photos speak for themselves – she and her guests had a ton of fun at the party! 

Still not convinced influencer marketing can help your business? Experts agree, there’s no sign of slowing down when it comes to influencers and the buzz they can create about your service or products.

What are your thoughts? Leave us some comments below!

Or if you’re interested in chatting about influencer marketing, pop us an email!

Three Tips for a Successful and Entertaining Facebook Live

In December 2015, Facebook offered a live-streaming video option to all users and since then it’s taken off with individuals, companies and organizations sharing experiences live.

With the Facebook algorithm now favoring live video, the organic engagement from live content has allowed users to reach a far greater audience. In a blog post, Facebook Product Manager Vibhi Kants wrote, “We're making a small update to the News Feed so that Facebook Live videos are more likely to appear higher in News Feed when those videos are actually live, compared to after they are no longer live.”

In 2016, we took our client’s Certified American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour live on Facebook by using the live feature and interviewing farmers and florists during the event. 

By going live during the dinner, we could bring potential customers to an actual dinner in real time so they could get a taste of what a dinner experience is like.  Facebook users watch live video three times longer than regular video, so we believe going live whenever possible is a smart investment.

But if you plan on going live on Facebook as a personal brand, company or organization, here are three tips to help you succeed: 

Promote it to your audiences across all your social channels

This tip has to be the most overlooked step when individuals, brands or organizations plan on going live. The key to this is to make an announcement post on your news feeds about your upcoming live video on all your platforms; social accounts, email newsletter, blog, etc. Depending on the importance of your live video, you could boost your announcement post through a paid Facebook ad. It’s all about informing your audience before you go live, so make sure to schedule an announcement post days before your broadcast day and another reminder post within 30 minutes prior to making your live appearance on Facebook.

 

Practice, practice, practice!

Preparation for Facebook Live has many moving parts that need to be considered from the start. First is location. When planning where you’re going to go live, make sure you are able to minimize background noise and have a strong internet connection. It’s important that your audience is able to hear you clearly and see you clearly so you can successfully deliver your message. Second, decide whether you are holding your phone during your broadcast or using a device mount.

Bonus tip: PRACTICE! Be sure to do a practice video to test your sound, connection, talking points and gain an overall feel of how your video will be delivered to your live audience. It is important to remember people enjoy personable conversations. This is SOCIAL media after all! Relax, be sure to introduce yourself, your company and what you plan to cover in your live broadcast. Also make sure to have fun and don’t forget to smile!

 

Analyze the results for potential opportunities and growth

Take time to look into your live video metrics. You’ll be able to see helpful stats that could assist your plans for future live broadcasts. These analytics allow you to see the total number of people who watched a portion of the video, as well as a running count of how many viewers you had from the videos entirety.

From these results, try brainstorming and experimenting with different strategies for your next live videos. Try broadcasting on a different day of the week, a different time or with a longer or shorter broadcast time. You could even add a second personality with you so it’s more converstaional. It’s all about trying new and fun ways to engage your audience to get the most bang for your buck on Facebook Live. Have fun!

 

Let us know if you have any Facebook Live tips in the comments below! We would love to hear them all!

Why we rebranded

 

Adrienne Young Communications started out as a one-person consulting business, which quickly morphed into a creative services firm offering strategic planning, media relations, social media, email marketing, advertising, event activation, website development, graphic design, collateral development and more. 

 

We were good at all those things, but we wanted to be the best at something. So, our team sat down and looked at all the things we felt we were strongest at executing, had the most fun doing, and had the best results.  We quickly concluded that social media and influencer marketing was where our passion and talent collide.  And (this probably won’t surprise you), we had the most success in these areas for our clients.

 

So, on January 1, 2017 we launched our new company, Poppy Social Media.  We wanted a name that represented the state we love and had a nod to our client work (agriculture - specifically food, flowers and wine). 

 

With a growing team of talented social media professionals on staff, Adrienne Young Communications just didn’t feel like an accurate title anymore either.  We aren’t the creative force of one anymore, we are a team of individuals who monitor our client’s brands 24/7 and are constantly coming up with new fresh ways to engage and grow online communities.

 

We are passionate about sharing the farmer message with consumers and feel great about encouraging people to purchase nutritious food, beautiful flowers and savor-worthy wine.  All things that enrich people’s daily lives, helping them live their best life and enhance their celebrations.

 

Could we take on clients outside of these areas?  Yes, we could, but we choose not to because we want to be the best, and to be the best you need to focus.  Focus on studying the consumer and focus on keeping on top of the social media world, which changes daily.

 

Poppy Social Media’s focus and mission is to be the best social media firm in the nation dedicated to promoting food, flowers and wine.  We aren’t there yet, but we will be!  We hope you join us for the ride. 

 

  

Connecting Californians with their farmers

In 2014 the Buy California Marketing Agreement announced they were looking for a social media firm to manage their program.  We were completely intrigued by the idea of connecting Californians to the people who grow their food using social media.

Thinking through the process of how to build a social media program, we knew we needed a source of streaming content to feed into the social media channels, to keep people interested and coming back.  We decided the best way to do that was to create a blog that we could update weekly with recipes and posts on whatever is in season at the time.  So, when people are seeing pomegranates spring up in the stores and at farmer’s markets, we’ll be offering the recipes on how to use them. Makes sense, right?

A portion of the content created for the CA GROWN blog.

A portion of the content created for the CA GROWN blog.

We also wanted our social media program to include an element that would encourage Californians to actively participate and be a part of spreading brand awareness.  We decided the best way to do that was to create a very simple hashtag program that anyone could get behind.  We suggested that every time someone posts anything grown or produced in the state and uses the hashtag, #CAGROWN, we would commit to donating a pound of food to a food bank.  To date, we’ve seen the hashtag used over 40,000 times – and had a lot of fun seeing how much people enjoy their CA GROWN food and wine!

What we didn’t know at the time was that a major retailer would get behind this program and promote it using our signage in nearly 300 of their California stores, all we had to do was supply the signs.  And the program was a natural fit to highlight a beautiful relationship that already existed before we came up with the concept.  The relationship that farmers have with the food banks.  In 2015, California farmers donated 145 million pounds of food to food banks in the state and across the nation (if you didn’t already love farmers, how about now?).

We love creating social media programs from the ground up, or ramping up an already established program.  If your company or organization is interested in hearing what we can do to elevate your message, please send us an email, or call us, tag us or tweet us.

Here are links to our California Grown program:

www.californiagrown.org

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/cagrown

Twitter:  @cagrownofficial

Instagram: @cagrownofficial