Bulbs of Fire Ignites Sales and Enhances Customer Relationships with Social Media Marketing

Shelby Mulligan    July 10, 2014

149427_366277520146221_497943114_n Organization Name:  Bulbs of Fire

Industry:  Small Farm Garlic Producer

Contact:  Bart Nagel

Garlic farmer Bart Nagel only has about 3 months of the year to do the bulk of his sales. He starts this process by attending local Farmer’s Markets as a vendor where he also encourages people to add their email address img_6981to his mailing list so that he can keep in touch through e-newsletters and keep folks up to date on new products he’s got for sale that will extend his selling season. He uses Facebook to connect with his existing and potential customers. The passion he has for his product and the authentic voice in which he tells the story of his farm makes people feel connected and engaged.

The day I visit Bart and his family at their farm, they’re expecting customers and friends alike: people he’s invited through Facebook to come and harvest garlic scapes and enjoy a potluck dinner.  Here is the invitation he posted: “ Free garlic scapes! Free garlic scapes available at our Garlic Scape Potluck Party this Saturday July 5th. _DSC4751We’ll start at 2pm with some weeding and breaking scapes and we’ll have a potluck party with garlicky goodies and lots of scapes of course! Then go home with a big load of scapes. When? Saturday July 5th – Where? 368 Dorion Rd, Tiny  – Time? Starts at 2 pm  – Price? Free”

10434312_610938112346826_2400623417718948665_nThe above Facebook post received 58 likes and 28 shares.  For a page that has 396 fans, that number of likes and shares seems remarkable and speaks volumes about the effectiveness of Bulbs of Fire’s marketing technique. Bart’s posts on the Bulbs of Fire fan page regularly receive high levels of engagement. He told me that he doesn’t really like selling per se, but “if selling means that I can yap about stuff that I like and while we’re doing that, I give you garlic and you give me money and everybody’s happy, then selling is awesome.” Bart’s selling and marketing philosophy seems to be working.  In addition to the website, check out the Bulbs of Fire Facebook page for some wonderful recipes and photos.

 

Lessons for Others:  Create avenues to keep in touch with your customers and employ the personal touch

Submitted By: Shelby MulliganUniversity of Waterloo

To contact the author of this entry please email at: shelby.mulligan@gmail.com

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.

 

References:

Growing Farms Podcast #22 – The Importance of Online Farm Marketing

4 Ways Farmers Markets are Going Digital

Rodale Institute – Small Farm Social Media

Selling at Farmers Markets Requires Social Media to Drive Sales

Farm Marketing and Social Media – Video