Illinois Farm Families (IFF) is a coalition comprised of representatives from Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Midwest Dairy, and Illinois Pork Producers Association. IFF’s mission is to work together to create confidence in Illinois farming practices and build trust in Illinois farmers among consumers, particularly among Chicago parents. To meet this challenge, IFF turned to its Instagram social media platform and focused on these two strategies as maps for content: 1) content should increase awareness and educate the Chicago audience on the importance of Illinois agriculture to gain support in consumption habits, and 2) content should seek to grow engagement with the Chicago audience by deepening relationships and building connection between rural and urban families.
The following content buckets were born out of these strategies:
- Education Reimagined: While educating on sustainability, food safety and other important ag topics, the messages in these posts work to answer the question of “Why does it matter to our audience?” Example: Connect why a sustainable beef producer’s practicing of soil health affects the quality of beef a consumer purchases at the store.
- Take Action: These posts include actionable outcomes. They include content such as recipes and seasonal eating tips and share next steps for supporting the subject of the post. Example: Highlight a turkey farm and give steps on how to order a turkey.
- Shared content/partnership support: These posts consist of posts supporting partnerships, shared content from the coalition commodities’ national organizations, and shared knowledge and support from others within the influencer space. Example: Share video of a chef preparing a beef roast who has tagged IFF.
- Connecting Families: This content focuses on connecting the rural and urban families. It showcases how both families have similarities and share the same values. Example: IFF’s social campaign with Chicago-based Love Fridge, a mutual aid group working to improve food access in Chicago communities.
IFF also used short-run campaigns such as Behind the Barn Doors, Fact Series, and #FarmFriday to share information about Illinois agriculture, food nutrition, and food safety in an engaging and relatable way.