Living on our Farm in the heart of Rural Warwickshire is for many the perfect escape, for me growing up as an only child I am both comfortable and happy in my own company, but do love communicating in all of its forms, having worked in the field of personal development for most of my day job career and now find the Internet to be my extended arm of communication.
When sue and I first started out in 2006 we knew that traditional forms of marketing would not give us the international presence we required to grow our Luxury Farm Stay Business.
In the early days we used two paid for sites, Owners Direct and Holiday Lettings, these brought traffic to our website and most importantly Bookings.
You can follow the Farm Here: http://bit.ly/tweetoaksbarnfarm
I was fortunate at this time to take part in some social Media Training which was free to hoteliers and hosted by Jason Adams of The Arden Hotel in our beautiful Stratford upon Avon. the Course was delivered by Grant Appleton who facilitated a variety of Socila networking workshops with his specialism of Twitter.
As a farmer Twitter allows me to follow other like minded people, follow neighbours and local news feeds, in fact before leaving the front door out of all of our social networks its twitter where i get a real feel for what is going on in the world and our doorstep.
We have a few excellent local contacts who always share our content, we rely heavily on this for getting our local presence known.
We have even sold Lamb and Pigs via Twitter and get repeat bookings from guests who now follow the farm. We now have 1487 followers, their interests are both wide and varied but by far our fastest growing site currently is Pinterest.
Pinterest allows us to divide our photos of the farm into themed boards, we use these within our website to keep up to date content live and active on our gallery. we have recently seen an up serge in followers we always follow back and find inspiration for projects around the farm from other peoples pins.
you can Find the farm Here: http://bit.ly/OaksBarnFarmPintrest
I Love WordPress for creating content and sharing it in a format which is pleasing to the eye, it has some really neat sharing buttons which once created allows you to distribute across all of your social media platforms.
At first I felt that we were sharing content with no idea who or if anyone was reading, we then started adding relevant groups onto our linked in page, we could tailor these groups to our sector, travel and farming, by selectively sharing we then started to get likes shares and subscriptions.
We have one follower who always Likes and Shares Our Content through WordPress
At school, I never really liked writing, in fact its is hard to pinpoint how school helped me other than in 3 key subject areas, these were Rural Science, and Rural Studies, I was fortunate to be taught these by Bernard Salt, himself an Author and a bit of a mad character, and the third subject being metalwork. All of these subjects I could relate to but at the time would not realise the true value that these skills would afford me later in life.
Youtube has allowed us to share random content of funny stuff that happens on a daily basis on the farm, what gains likes and follows though is still a mystery, by far our most popular video is that of my uncle John constructing Gabion Baskets on the Farm, I’ll leave that for you to decide why, its not because he has a following of his own he really isn’t that popular.
We still have a facebook presence though have resisted the urge to pay for followers, we would rather people follow us because they have a genuine interest in what our Farm is trying to achieve. By far our best followers are the local Young Farmers Who pull Tug of War on our Farm, the check in, like and share our content, and are a great bunch of young people.
So I guess what is most important in all of this is; that Social Media has allowed us to connect, and stay connected growing followers and growing our business, the participation in social media has allowed us to reach more people, and increase our presence.
But what makes it all worth While are posts like these:
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