An Examination of Social Media as a Marketing Tool For Tennessee Small Farmers

George T Davis, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was is to examine the use of social media as a marketing tool for small farmers in Tennessee in order to improve their profitability and competitiveness in the agricultural industry. The study was intended for the purpose of analysing the growth of social media in the marketing of agricultural products, examining the impact of social media on Tennessee small farms sales, and determining factors that influence the use of social media for marketing by Tennessee small farmers. A total of 55 small scale farmers participated in the study, comprising of 40 males (72.7 %), 10 females 18.2 %) while 5 (9.1 %) proffered not to disclose their gender. An online survey generated through Google Drive was used to collect and analyze data. This study sought to determine how social media was used in the agricultural setting across Tennessee. From the results, it was evident that there was a significantly larger number of farmers using social media for marketing (61.54%), and there was a direct correlation between the use of social media and the improvement of response towards a farmer’s products.^ Demographically, the number of participants aged 40-49 was the highest, followed by those aged 30-39. Based on the statistics presented, the use of social media is rampant in Tennessee, similar to other parts of the country. However, there is still a number of farmers who have not embraced the use of social media, owing to the fact that they do not find it beneficial to their practice. A higher percentage of farmers in Tennessee were of Caucasian descent, followed by African- Americans, and only one Latin American farmer participated in this study. However, it was determined that ethnicity had no correlation to social media use. Farmers were more inclined to use social media based on their past experiences and their exposure to telecommunication devices. Therefore, it is vital that small farmers are educated on the use of social media for marketing, as a way of improving their competitiveness against large-scale farmers.^

Subject Area

Agriculture

Recommended Citation

George T Davis, "An Examination of Social Media as a Marketing Tool For Tennessee Small Farmers" (2017). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10272200.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI10272200

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