Since 2009, Arizona Farm Bureau engaged the social media channels and continues to seek out ways to maximize this marketing tool in an oversaturated and overstimulated social environment. Like evaluating the latest agricultural technology, the marketing and communications arena of Farm Bureau seeks to figure out what is the latest in social media.


Several organizations study trends and for some time we’ve landed on viewing what Sproutsocial, a metrics platform, is saying. 


Just what are Sproutsocial and other social media experts saying about trends in 2024? Well, here is Sproutsocial’s list.


  1. Video is king…but with a long-form twist: We’re excited to discover this one since Arizona Farm Bureau’s “Talk to a Farmer/Rancher” Friday events all end up being long-form video events. It starts as a “live” on our Instagram account, @AZfarmbureau, but is saved to the account for viewing later. Since we’ve garnered a following, we now upload the videos to YouTube and post them on in the videos section of the website.
  2. Playful content is the new “brand personality:” Says, Sproutsocial, “The “edgy” brand voice is taking a back seat to a new brand trend: experimenting with playful content. Brands have consistently found creative ways to tap into meme culture and the voice of the Internet in a way that fits their voice. And we’ve seen more brands experimenting with their voice and visual content to do so.” Arizona Farm Bureau’s @AZFB-aitc certainly does this with some of their posts working to solicit engagement. You’ll also see this with the @AZfarmbureau reels on occasion.
  3. The expansion of social commerce remains a trend to watch—and use: The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt certainly is trending and fess up, you’ve bought something after seeing it on TikTok or another social platform. But this is more than a fleeting trend, according to Sproutsoical and others —social commerce is a continuing trend to watch. While Arizona Farm Bureau doesn’t try to sell products via our social media channels, we do use our social media channels to get our members and other stakeholders to sign up for an event and more. 
  4. SEO is important for social channels too—not just your site: Sproutsocial’s brand takeaway: “Just as you would optimize an article on your blog or a page on your site for SEO, take an optimized approach to your social content. Optimize your posts and profile for maximum discoverability by using the right keywords in your caption, the right hashtags and relevant keywords within your alt text, too.” As a result, the Arizona Farm Bureau constantly tests hashtags and keywords. 
  5. Behind-the-scenes content and reimagined transparency: Sproutsocial talked to Paula Perez, Social Engagement & Community Growth Specialist at Oatly, about current social trends, “Consumers are more interested than ever in labor practices, diversity, investor relations, supply chain, company leadership, and environmental responsibility.” Because of our advocacy and outreach, the Arizona Farm Bureau is constantly sharing our values and farm and ranch leadership policy priorities. 
  6. Authentic content resonates across platforms: “Authentic, non-promotional content is the number one thing consumers say they don’t see enough of from brands on social, according to The Sprout Social Index™ says Sproutsocial. “We’ve seen the way creator culture has skyrocketed in popularity—and brands featuring authentic voices, from creators to employees, shine against those that don’t. And brands must recognize that this trend is here to stay—it’s the new era of social media. Sproutsocial talked to Flywire Social Media Manager Sam Mackowitz, who believes AI is only driving this desire for more authenticity.” For Arizona Farm Bureau, one way we achieve this is to ask permission and then share content that is from our farmers and ranchers, especially our Monday/Tuesday Rancher/Farmer posts on Facebook and Instagram. You can’t get more authentic than that.
  7. The boom of the creator and influencer economy: “Today, it’s the creator and influencer’s world—we’re just posting in it,” explains Sproutsocial. “In the era of authenticity, creators and influencers lend an authentic, human voice and experience to the social scroll. And their place on brand accounts is only going to become more important in connecting with audiences. In fact, in a Q3 Sprout Pulse Survey of 307 US-based marketers, 8 in 10 social marketers describe influencer marketing as essential to their social strategies.” First, the Arizona Farm Bureau engages influencers when it makes sense to especially if related to a campaign. Additionally, we celebrate and promote our farmer influencers like @Thefarmerjon and @baleshay (Trevor Bales) and will continue to do so. 

For full disclosure, Arizona Farm Bureau uses Sproutsocial to help us track our social media data and assess our content and its popularity. It’s served as a key support for us to get this medium right.


In the meantime, Arizona Farm Bureau registers several benefits to its outreach beyond the “current trends” thanks to social media. 


Connecting with Large and Diverse Audiences

One of the main benefits of social media for the Arizona Farm Bureau is the ability to connect with a large and diverse audience. Social media platforms have a vast reach, and by having a presence on these platforms, the Arizona Farm Bureau can connect with people from all over the state and beyond. This allows the organization to share information about the latest agricultural developments and updates about the organization's events and activities. As a result, we’ve connected with people and organizations we otherwise would be unable to do. These diverse audiences have helped us provide varied content based on their interests and questions about Arizona agriculture. 


Member Engagement Extended

Another benefit of social media for the Arizona Farm Bureau is engaging with our members more actively and personally. Social media platforms provide a space for two-way communication, which allows the organization to receive feedback and respond to questions and concerns from its members and the general public. This can help the Arizona Farm Bureau to identify areas of concern and address them more effectively, ultimately improving its overall level of service. Our Monday/Tuesday Rancher/Farmer picture posts all come from our members’ ranches and farms. It’s their story and we just share their content and story with their permission. Our Friday “Talk To a Farmer/Rancher” Fridays always feature our members on Instagram. Again, it’s their story, we simply host the platform for them to tell their story. 


Promoting Events and Activities

Social media can also be an effective tool for promoting the Arizona Farm Bureau's events and activities. By creating event posts on social media platforms, the organization can reach a wider audience and increase awareness of its events. This can help to attract more attendees and increase participation in the organization's activities. These event announcements include the Leadership Conference in the Summer, our Annual Meeting in November and much more. Social media marketing of your events and activities is much cheaper than spending significant advertising dollars. 


A Tool for Education

Social media will continue to provide a great opportunity for the Arizona Farm Bureau to educate the public about the importance of agriculture and the role of farmers in our society. By sharing stories, pictures, and videos about the work of farmers, the organization can help raise awareness about the challenges that farmers face and the importance of supporting local agriculture. You’ll see this a lot with our regular release of videos on our social media channels. And, we cover every Arizona agriculture topic imaginable. 


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 Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the May 2024 issue of Arizona Agriculture.