Organic Trade Group Rallies Members & Supporters For “Myth-Busting” Social Media #OrganicFestival
Brands like Organic Valley, Taste of Nature, Honest Tea and Amy's Kitchen are joining the OTA in saturating social media with organic information in September.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA), an industry group representing more than 8,500 companies involved in organic agriculture, is gearing up for a month-long social media #OrganicFestival — in which it hopes to dispel common consumer misconceptions about what organic means.
The term “organic” has come in for criticism as of late, as many consumers seek to improve the quality and sustainability of the foods they’re eating and products they’re buying.
Well-known food pundit and author Michael Pollan, for example, has referred to the “Organic Industrial Complex,” accusing giant organic businesses of perpetrating some of the same practices for which conventional industrial farms have been criticized. Others say organic production methods aren’t productive enough to meet the world’s food needs, while still others say organic products aren’t worth paying higher prices for.
The OTA’s new social media effort, which will take place through what it’s calling the “Organic Myth-Busting Month” of September, aims to bring the idealism back to the organic brand by educating consumers about what the USDA-regulated label requires and what the results of those practices are.
— Organic Trade (@OrganicTrade) August 24, 2015
The month-long campaign appears to be carefully orchestrated, with each week getting its own theme — including dedicated creative and live events like Twitter chats. Every day in the campaign will also have its own unique graphic collateral made available to supporters and sponsored by OTA members like Simply Organic, Organic Valley, Hain Celestial, Lundberg Family Farms, Honest Tea and Amy’s Kitchen.
The graphics feature beautiful pictures of vegetables, plants, flowers and other images associated with organic. They’re being made available in various resolutions, both in a medium rectangle-looking unit and a larger banner or content-column-sized unit which displays well on Twitter and Facebook.
Member and supporter organizations have already gotten involved with tweets such as Muir Glen Organic’s and Naturepedics’ below and more:
— Muir Glen Organic (@muirglen) August 25, 2015
— Naturepedic (@Naturepedic) August 21, 2015
The trade group hopes to keep the momentum going by freshening the campaign every week with new topics of discussion and by involving its member organizations. The OTA is collecting email addresses of supporters and sending them the graphics, scheduled posts and other content in advance, so that they, in turn, may share it with their own networks.
It’s also conducting what it calls a “modest” Facebook ad campaign — boosting and promoting posts — to ensure the campaign remains visible to followers and others throughout the month.
Additionally, the OTA will host five hour-long Twitter chats during the campaign, with the OTA hosting and calling on the expertise of organic “thought-leaders,” though it hasn’t yet announced who those guests will be.
“Despite organic sales and accessibility at all-time highs, consumer confusion about organic benefits remains significant,” Laura Batcha, OTA’s executive director and CEO, said in a statement. “Consumers need to know the facts about organic so they can make the smartest choices for themselves and their families. Together, by engaging with consumers, media and influencers with a consistent and clear voice, we can change some misconceptions and bring audiences ‘on the fence’ about organic into the fold.”
The OTA expects the social media effort to reach millions of consumers across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn, and it will be incentivizing participation and sharing by hosting giveaways of prizes donated by its member companies.
The organization undertook a similar campaign last year, though it only lasted 10 days. During that time, the OTA said it reached 15 million consumers through 109 million impressions spread by 100 members and 2,500 individuals who used the campaign hashtags. Audience members created more than 16K posts, and the group’s content and graphics were shared more than 4,300 times. One of the Twitter chats, which focused on the trustworthiness of organic, generated more than 50 questions in the hour, according to the OTA.