The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) worked with Morning Consult to develop a recent survey as a tool to help fine- tune efforts to communicate top messages and news across available outlets and platforms.
This poll was conducted between July 6-13, 2018 among a national sample of 1,106 farmers or members of farm households. The interviews were conducted online. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
- Farmers and members of farm families have a favorable impression of agricultural news from Farm Bureau, and they also trust Farm Bureau as a source of information. Sixty-two percent of farmers and members of farm households have a favorable impression of the agricultural news from their county, state or the American Farm Bureau and 65 percent trust the Farm Bureau’s agricultural news.
- Facebook is the most frequented source of information, and farmers and members of farm households are most likely to use Facebook to spread information. Close to half of respondents (49 percent) say they use Facebook daily to share news with friends and community.
- Visuals, such as pictures or video content, raise the most intense levels of interest in social media posts. Forty-one percent report finding pictures or images “very interesting” and 36 percent finding videos “very interesting.”
- Agriculture news from the Farm Bureau has an overall trust level of 65 percent and the highest intensity trust (29 percent “a lot”) of any of the tested information sources, edging out major networks like Fox News. Sixty-two percent of respondents also they had a favorable impression regarding news from Farm Bureau.
- Who’s out and who’s in?
- Facebook remains the leading social media tool for engagement and sharing information. Forty-five percent engage with Facebook daily and 49 percent use it to share information daily.
- Sixty-six percent have a favorable impression and 51 percent trust the information they receive on Facebook. Respondents actively share information, but they wisely take posted information with a grain of salt.
- Twitter scored the lowest on engagement with farmers and farm families, and is the least-trusted source of news and information, but nearly half (49 percent) still have a favorable opinion of the platform compared to 29 percent unfavorable.
- Instagram is seeing an uptick in popularity, especially with the 25 and younger crowd, presenting prime opportunities for member and consumer engagement.
- Sixty-two percent of Millennials and 70 percent of Generation Z have a favorable impression of the platform, and 48 percent of Gen Zers use it daily.
- Fifty-six percent of all respondents have a favorable impression of the platform, with 28 percent overall now using it daily to share news and information.
- Ad buys grow in importance
- Survey results show that although farmers and members of farm households have a favorable opinion of agricultural news from Farm Bureau, they engage with it less often than other sources of information.
We conclude that visual elements and ad buys will continue to be key in fighting for real estate with Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm.
Daily Newspapers still matter.
Sixty-six percent of farmers and farm households said they have favorable opinions about daily newspapers as a news source and 70 percent said newspapers are trusted news sources.
In addition, 53 percent view their local farm broadcaster as favorable and 60 percent trust the news they receive from broadcasters.
- In-person information is still important.
- Fifty-six percent view agricultural conversations at their local gathering spot as favorable and 58 percent of respondents trust the news they gather from those face-to-face conversations with other ag folks.
- The levels of trust and favorability of news and information generated by Farm Bureau are even higher among Farm Bureau members, with 81 percent saying it is favorable and 84 percent saying it is trusted – both the highest of all tested communications and information sources.