Athens Farmers Market is Finally Back …& They’re Stepping Up Their Instagram Game

By Courtney Howley

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One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is to start my Saturday morning off at the Athens Farmers Market, whether its to buy fresh produce for the week or to just walk around and enjoy the excitement of it all! If you are reading this and have never been, I highly suggest you go check it out …and if you’re a runner like myself, then a run at the local Sandy Creek trails down the street from Bishop Park (where the Athens Farmers Market is held) is a must.

It’s the perfect start to a healthy and productive weekend. You’ll deserve those beers at Terrapin later in the day! The Athens Farmers Market signifies the start of spring and brings together a community of local artisans and farmers to share their passions and encourage healthy eating for the summer months. Goodbye winter hibernation season!

Since the Athens Farmers Market’s season kickoff was last Saturday, I decided to check out their social media platforms to see what content they produced. I don’t know why I wasn’t following them all along! I was surprised to see such amazing content and the implementation of video. Most of their photography is professional and their graphic designs are great. I was pleased to see that they utilized Instagram’s new highlight feature to build hype around the March 24th kickoff. They included a roundup of not only the vendors, but also the visitors and how they were interacting with all of the goods.

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My favorite piece I saw on their Instagram page was their campaign #AFMTastyTwenty game. They share what the game is and how to enter on each of their weekly winners  posts.

Want to play the #AFMTastyTwenty game? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
What does $20 get you at the market? How do you use it? We are looking for the creative and fun ways Market-goers use $20 worth of produce to make nutritious, delicious food for themselves and their families throughout the week. Tag us in your “before” and “after” pics and videos for a chance to win $20 to spend at the next market. Just include #athensfarmersmarket and #AFMtastytwenty on your post be included in contest.
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Winner(s) will be selected Thursday evening for reveal on Friday. Winner gets another $20 to spend at the market!

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…This is a great way to encourage visitors to share their AFM experience on their social platforms and for AFM to then utilize user-generated content. I am honestly really excited to make a meal from my products I buy next time. I would love to be featured and receive another $20 to spend on a future visit. I’m sure my post will encourage my followers who have not been to the Athens Farmers Market to check out their page and possibly attend the following weekend to purchase something from a vendor! This is a great way for AFM to organically increase their number of impressions, which will hopefully lead to a ‘follow’ on Instagram and a purchase if/when these new customers visit.

I also love their #VendorOfTheWeek posts. They share a little bit about who is at each station and what they are selling. The captions are fun to read, as they include some humor and interesting facts! For example, one of my favorite stations is the mediterranean appetizers where you’ll find the best humus in the world! However, the man who runs it is always a little grumpy. I laughed when I saw him featured as the #VendorOfTheWeek with the caption: “he is as sweet on the inside as he is grumpy on the outside”. They include a few key hashtags such as the popular #my_athens to ensure that they are generating a large reach.

Athens Farmers Market has been very successful in generating a loyal community that actively engages with their content. They should continue to utilize video, post professional photos, and include user-generated content from their campaigns.

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