Yi-Cheng Wang, assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, received funding from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for a project to develop effective social media marketing strategies for small and medium-sized farms.
Wang is co-investigator on the project. Principal investigator is Leona Yi-Fan Su, assistant professor in the College of Media and an affiliate at the Center for Digital Agriculture.
The long-term goal of the project is to help small and medium-sized farms increase their profitability by strengthening their existing customer relationships, and enhancing their reach to new consumers, via the use of social media. Farmers are often well equipped to adopt social media marketing in terms of their hardware facilities, but many lack the necessary knowledge, skills, or resources to navigate such marketing efficiently. Nevertheless, existing guidelines for social media use by small or mid-sized farms commonly focus on entry-level instructions or technical information, and provide few data-driven recommendations.
Therefore, this project will systematically and empirically examine strategies for encouraging consumer engagement with social media messages from small or medium-sized farms. In particular, the researchers propose to build a comprehensive knowledge base of effective social media strategies for farms, and devise evidence-based guidelines for creation of brand posts and use of advertisements on social media.
NIFA funded 11 projects for a total of $5 million as part of AFRI’s Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities (AERC) Small and Medium-Sized Farms program. This program seeks to address priorities and related issues focusing on development and/or adoption of new models to assist agriculture landowners’/managers’ decision-making with respect to scale management and technologies to enhance economic efficiency and suitability.