(WKBN) – Farming can be more than a job — it can be a lifestyle, and sometimes getting the word out about your farm can be difficult. The Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership is helping teach farmers and farmers markets to use social media as a way to market themselves.

Social media can be difficult to understand if you’ve never used it.

Between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so many more, it can be overwhelming, but if you understand social media, you can use it to help.

That’s how Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership is trying to help.

“We’re doing a series of webinars throughout the year on social media — community engagements, non-cash payments, accepting non-cash payments, online markets — to help farmers sell their products more direct to consumers,” said Cassandra Clevenger of the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership.

They offer training based on a person’s skill level with social media.

Between the many social media platforms, they help farmers figure out which would work best for them, and if they’re a beginner, Clevenger suggests sharing their farm story.

“We buy products, not necessarily ’cause they’re the best products, but we buy them based on trust. We buy them based on brand loyalty, and small businesses can use social media to build that brand loyalty just as much as those Fortune 500 companies can,” Clevenger said.

They advise sharing recipes or the reason you got into farming.

They also suggest easing your way into social media, trying one platform that you know.

But let’s say you’re already on social media. They have a plan for that, too.

“Look at different variables. What’s the weather like at the markets you’re participating at? Are you doing direct consumer sales? What are the sales you’re getting?” Clevenger said.

Clevenger also suggests checking out demographics and whether or not you can expand into your audience.

Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership recommends you plan out a calendar as well.

“When am I going to have a watermelon harvest? When am I going to start marketing my sweetcorn? These kind of things, and you have that planned out on a calendar, you can start crafting your post,” Clevenger said.

Lastly, they advise cashless payment options.

“They can use a credit card. They can use a SNAP, EBT card, the Ohio Directional card. They can use their Wick benefits. So, we’re working with farmers,” Clevenger said.

Their sessions are free to join.

Anyone interested can also join Mahoning Valley Farmers Market Facebook group.

Markets in the Mahoning Valley Farmers Market Network include:

  • Austintown Farmers Market
  • Northside Farmers Market
  • Howland Farmers Market
  • Warren Farmers Market
  • Niles Farmers Market – Coming in 2021

Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership also provides one-on-one consults for planning, fundraising, websites, social media, online marketing, non-cash payment methods and other digital marketing needs.

Interested farmers and markets can call 330-774-8896 to set up a payment or email Cassandra@tnpwarren.org.

You can also register for events on the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership’s website.