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Activity of Oklahoma Agritourism Facebook Pages

Agritourism is a diverse industry, ranging from u-pick berry farms to bed-and-breakfasts to Christmas tree farms. There are approximately 400 registered Oklahoma agritourism operations with a median of 800 annual visitors per agritourism operation (Murphy, Melstrom, Shideler and Cumming, 2017). Social media can be a valuable, low-cost marketing tool, and there are many resources to build social media marketing skills. As Facebook provides a popular communication tool for small business, many agritourism operations rely on the platform as their main source of communication with the public. The purpose of this Fact Sheet is to provide an overall summary of Oklahoma Facebook activity as a point of reference to agritourism operators.


General Information

A total of 174 Oklahoma agritourism Facebook pages were evaluated in June 2018. Sixty-nine percent of agritourism operations created at least one post, with a median of seven posts per page with at least one post among pages that had posts from the operation. Posts made by the agritourism operation had a median of three comments, three shares and 11 reactions. Twenty-three percent of agritourism operations had at least one event set to be held in the sampling period of June 2018. Events had a median of 83 people interested and 10 people who marked themselves as going.

 

Facebook pages had a median of 1,330 overall page likes, with a minimum of 10 page likes and maximum of 49,402 page likes. Additionally, agritourism visitors can provide feedback via reviews on an agritourism operation’s Facebook page. The median review score was 4.9, and the lowest average review score for a single agritourism operation was 4.0 on a maximum of 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being highest.

 

Facebook also provides the opportunity to include business information under the “About” heading of a page. Eighty-four percent of pages listed a physical address, 86% listed a phone number, 68% listed an e-mail address, 82% listed a website and 5% included a link to at least one other social media account.

 

Differences Among Types of Agritourism Operations

Facebook activity differed by type of agritourism operation. When agritourism operations register with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, they have the option of self-selecting from a variety of types of agritourism operations. These types of operations were compared by overall Facebook activity, as shown in Tables 1 and 2. Community posts were defined as posts made by the general public, while original posts were defined as posts made by the agritourism operation. Facebook pages for operations categorized as mazes, pumpkin picking and teachable moments had the highest median likes, while operations categorized as farm-to-table and lush-n-lively had the highest proportion of pages with original posts.

 

Interaction with posts created by the agritourism operation differed by type of agritourism operation, as shown in Table 3. Farm and ranch attractions had the greatest number of shares, u-pick operations had the greatest number of comments and u-pick agritourism operations had the greatest number of post reactions.

 

Conclusions

Social media can be a valuable marketing tool for agritourism operations; however, little research exists on the current Facebook activity of Oklahoma agritourism operations. This Fact Sheet is to provides a summary of Facebook page activity as a baseline for agritourism operator decision-making. The data also provides a benchmark for where other agritourism operations are in their engagement with Facebook users.

 

While Facebook is being used by the majority of operations, there is still a large segment of agritourism operations not using a free resource. Of those using Facebook, there is still room for growth in engagement with Facebook audiences.

 

For different operation types, there was variety in how the public was interacting on the operations’ Facebook pages. Different types of operations tended to elicit different types of interactions. Notably, this included indications that some types of operations were more likely to have elicit reactions than to have higher-level engagement activities like sharing and commenting. For operators, they can see how their operations compare to other types of operations, including posting content that is sync with the manner the public is generally engaging with those types of operations.

 Table 1. Facebook activity by operation type
  Page likes    Community posts      

 Operation Type

Median

Mean

(Standard Deviation)

Pages

Median

Mean

(Standard Deviation)

 Mazes

3,288.5

6,302.4

(9,502.8)

 23%

 2.0

 

2.8

(2.2)

Pumpkin picking

2,493.0

5,408.5

(8,604.4)

21%

 3.0

3.5

(2.6)

Teachable Moments

2,258.0

4,214.2

(7,730.5)

35%

 2.0

4.7

(7.0)

Weddings

1,958.0

4,026.2

(8,583.3)

15%

 4.0

3.5

(1.9)

Lush-n-lively

1,723.5

3,696.4

(5,325.6)

47%

2.5

3.4

(2.4)

U-pick

1,703.0

3,352.4

(3,926.3)

62%

3.0

3.9

(2.5)

Vineyards & wineries

1,560.0

2,898.3

(5,152.2)

23%

2.5

3.2

(2.6)

Farm-to-table

1,466.0

3,221.1

(3,689.2)

48%

3.5

3.8

(2.4)

Farm & ranch attractions

1,428.0

4,249.6

(10,499.4)

48%

3.0

5.4

(8.4)

Trail Riding

1,173.0

1,650.6

(1,498.2)

8%

3.0

3.0

(3.0)

Guest Ranches

1,144.0

1,768.8

(1,555.8)

17%

3.0

3.0

(3.0)

Petting Farms

1,124.5

2,216.8

(3,079.5)

40%

1.5

1.5

(0.7)

Hunting

1,043.0

2,237.6

(2,529.1)

0%

n/a

n/a

Farmers market

1,017.0

2,083.9

(2,579.1)

48%

1.0

2.1

(2.2)

Specialty crops

855.0

2,762.3

(3,599.5)

49%

2.0

2.9

(2.3)

Country stays

757.5

1,869.9

(2,201.5)

5%

5.0

5.0

(n/a)

 Table 2. Facebook activity by operation type
  Events       Original posts      

Operation Type

 

Pages

Median

Mean

(Standard Deviation)

Pages

Median

Mean

(Standard Deviation)

Farm & ranch attractions

48%

2.0

4.4

(5.0)

81%

7.0

16.1

(20.0)

Farmers market

34%

1.0

2.1

(2.3)

51%

12.0

21.4

(21.4)

Vineyards & wineries

31%

1.0

2.1

(2.1)

85%

8.5

11.4

(9.8)

Teachable moments

30%

2.0

4.1

(4.4)

79%

6.5

16.0

(22.2)

Lush-n-lively

30%

1.0

2.6

(2.4)

87%

8.0

12.5

(12.4)

U-pick

29%

1.0

2.5

(2.3)

86%

12.5

18.6

(25.3)

Trail riding

25%

2.0

2.0

(1.0)

67%

12.0

11.0

(7.0)

Weddings

23%

1.5

1.7

(0.8)

69%

5.0

9.1

(8.6)

Farm-to-table

21%

1.0

2.3

(2.2)

88%

7.0

14.8

(21.0)

Specialty crops

20%

1.0

2.4

(2.2)

7%

6.0

14.1

(22.3)

Petting farms

20%

1.5

1.5

(0.7)

80%

9.0

14.3

(18.6)

Pumpkin picking

14%

2.0

3.0

(2.6)

79%

6.0

9.4

(10.4)

Mazes

9%

1.5

1.5

(0.7)

73%

5.5

9.8

(9.1)

Guest ranches

8%

1.0

1.0

(n/a)

8%

5.0

8.7

(7.7)

Country stays

0%

n/a

n/a

 

55%

3.0

8.7

(10.6)

Hunting

0%

n/a

n/a

 

38%

5.0

7.4

(4.8)

 Table 3. Post interaction
  Shares    Comments    Reactions   

Operation Type

Median

Mean

(Standard Deviation)

Median

Mean (Standard Deviation)

Median

Mean (Standard Deviation)

U-pick

4.3

27.3

(70.4)

5.8

23.7

(52.8)

23.6

107.0

(239.4)

Lush-n-lively

2.9

10.1

(34.1)

3.2

11.0

(33.3)

17.9

52.1

(160.2)

Farm-to-table

2.6

18.3

(56.2)

4.4

2.2

(8.7)

21.7

76.5

(121.1)

Specialty Crops

2.0

12.7

(48.9)

3.4

11.2

(31.0)

21.7

50.6

(128.3)

Teachable moments

2.0

10.0

(43.7)

1.9

7.2

(27.9)

15.7

41.2

(115.0)

Vineyards & wineries

2.0

2.6

(2.6)

1.5

3.1

(4.8)

12.6

17.7

(17.3)

Mazes

1.6

2.2

(2.1)

1.4

2.9

(4.4)

21.9

25.1

(18.2)

Farmers market

1.6

3.1

(3.5)

1.2

3.1

(3.5)

11.0

17.5

(29.1)

Pumpkin picking

1.5

13.2

(53.2)

1.8

10.0

(33.8)

17.0

51.4

(139.2)

Petting farms

1.3

1.4

(1.2)

2.1

2.5

(2.4)

32.3

26.4

(17.4)

Farm & ranch attractions

1.0

2.8

(3.3)

1.1

1.4

(1.3)

12.0

17.8

(13.8)

Trail riding

0.9

1.8

(2.2)

1.2

2.0

(2.0)

8.4

15.0

(14.3)

Hunting

0.8

2.3

(2.8)

0.8

1.1

(1.1)

17.3

19.9

(14.8)

Country stays

0.8

1.0

(1.4)

1.4

2.3

(2.4)

13.6

17.5

(13.0)

Wedding

0.7

1.5

(1.9)

1.3

1.4

(1.3)

10.5

16.0

(13.2)

Guest ranches

0.4

1.0

(1.3)

0.5

0.8

(0.7)

9.6

13.5

(12.6)

The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service -

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The Cooperative Extension Service is the largest, most successful informal educational organization in the world. It is a nationwide system funded and guided by a partnership of federal, state, and local governments that delivers information to help people help themselves through the land-grant university system.

 

Extension carries out programs in the broad categories of agriculture, natural resources and environment; family and consumer sciences; 4-H and other youth; and community resource development. Extension staff members live and work among the people they serve to help stimulate and educate Americans to plan ahead and cope with their problems.

 

Some characteristics of the Cooperative Extension system are:

  • The federal, state, and local governments co-operatively share in its financial support and program direction.
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  • Extension programs are nonpolitical, objective, and research-based information.
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References

Bowman, B. L. (2019). Facebook activity of Oklahoma agritourism operations (Unpublished master’s thesis). Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

 

Murphy, C., R. Melstrom, D. Shideler, and J. Cummings (2017). Agritourism in Oklahoma. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Fact Sheets (AGEC-1058). Retrieved from https://extension.okstate.edu/fact-sheets/

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