Social media for interactions with customers within the short food supply chain: the case of the SKIN project
Consumers have great power in the marketing process and social media represents an opportunity for farmers/producers to promote and strengthen ties with consumers by building short supply chains. Current business trends involving the application of social media for communication with costumers can also be observed among farmers/producers. The paper studies the use of social media by farmers/companies – here, the EU SKIN project partners registered within the SKIN Good Practice Repository. A first step included investigation of company webpages (native language version), which usually provided a general background to the company’s activities and information about its products. A Facebook page was identified as the primary social media channel (used by 81% of the investigated group) as farmers/producers who did not have it also did not refer to any other social media. Research results indicate a relatively wide audience for the Facebook pages of farmers/producers (numbers of likes and followers) but interactions with consumers are limited (a low number of comments and sharings). The conclusion is implied that a number of farmers/producers use social media for providing information but they mostly interact with their costumers offline.