When #Organic Goes Social

Bringing stakeholders together to deliver the #organic message

“What does ‘organic’ really mean? Can I trust it? Why is it so expensive?”

The conversation is happening on social media, whether you’re a part of it or not. Throughout the world, millions of consumers, businesses, influencers and policymakers are engaged across a variety of social networks—and  all signs point to continued growth across channels in the coming years.

Today more than half of the U.S. population engages on social networks regularly, and most of them are under age 34. At the same time, OTA’s U.S. Families Attitudes and Beliefs Study shows that the majority of organic consumers are in that same demographic, are new entrants to the market, and rely on social networking sites as their primary source for information on current events, food and cooking, and health.

Effective social media marketing gives organic businesses and brands an exceptional opportunity to meet and educate the new-to-organic consumer online—and it’s time that we, as an industry, collectively seize it.

As an organic business, your communications and marketing strategies likely have two overarching objectives—to educate consumers about your brand, and to educate them about organic. While organic businesses across the supply chain are diverse and communications priorities vary, one primary goal remains similar: the desire to help consumers understand the value of organic, what the USDA Organic seal means, why they can trust it, and perhaps most importantly, why they should invest in it.

Many of our members are already actively engaged on social. And many are new to the game. Wherever you are in the process of establishing your channels and joining the conversation, now is the time for organic stakeholders to collaborate on delivering a consistent organic message and engaging in meaningful dialog.

The 140 character tweet and the  403 x 403 pixel Facebook graphic need to demand attention, and the #TwitterChat dialogue and direct comment replies need to dig deeper, clarify nuances, and be human to be meaningful. As a sector, we have to deliver a message that will change the conversations about the organic industry. If we come together with strong and consistent messages about organic and strategies for disseminating and engaging that message, people will be enticed and want to discuss it.

So how do we do it? We bring communications professionals from organic businesses together to brainstorm how to better align messaging. We create a pipeline of content sharing so that when a new study is released that shows organic is more nutritious, we can collectively share it on our networks and expand its reach. We collaborate on social media campaigns that educate the public on the value of making the organic choice and put premium organic products in the hands of consumers. And we keep talking to each other.

OTA wants the public to know about organic and to support it. We also want the public to know about our members and to support them. Through collaboration with our diverse membership, strategic partners, media and bloggers, social influencers, policymakers and consumers, we are confident that we can increase that support and move the needle on understanding what organic really means.

The 140 character tweet and the 403 x 403 pixel Facebook graphic need to demand attention, and the #TwitterChat dialogue and direct comment replies need to dig deeper, clarify nuances, and be human to be meaningful.

This past year, OTA launched an “Organic-Palooza” social media campaign aimed at doing just that. The campaign reached more than 15 million individual social media users, likely making it one of the largest-ever, short-term social campaigns in the organic industry. We were encouraged that so many organic brands (over 100) took part in sharing the campaign’s messages to speak in a unified voice in the midst of their own social media outreach strategies.

Staying engaged in the conversation via social media networks where eaters and thinkers gather is critical to our success as an industry. OTA plans to continue efforts with engaging and targeted organic campaigns in the future, and we’d love to have you on board.

If you have ideas on how we can collaborate on delivering a consistent organic message through social, have questions, or want to get involved in the next campaign, contact Kelly Taveras at OTA.  //