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Customer experience with farmers' markets: what hashtags can reveal

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Pilai, Ladislav (main author), Balcarova, Tereza (author), Rojik, Stanislav (author), Ticha, Ivana (author), Polakova, Jana (author)
Journal article
Publication Date:
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
appeals (message), consumer attitudes, consumers, dairy, direct marketing, food, information needs, message content, organic, health, farmer markets, social networks, social media, Instagram, social networking, vegetarian, vegan, food marketing, consumer demand, hashtags, fresh
Social media networks are increasing in popularity and have been integrated into many aspects of daily life. Analysis of the ways in which individuals use social media is important for understanding social, cultural, and environmental issues. This study examines experiences of farmers’ market customers through their self- expression on social networks. Contributions to the Instagram social network based on the #farmersmarket hashtag were gathered on a single day, yielding 19,398 contributions created by 13,862 users. Six major linked hashtags were identified (#Organic, #Fresh, #Food, #Local, #Vegan, and #Healthy), providing key indicators of the characteristics of farmers’ markets that are valued by customers. Four customer segments were identified: Product Oriented, Emotional Oriented, Social Oriented, and Product-Social Oriented, with strong interconnections identified between these communities. The results of this study provide insights into consumer values and behaviors in the farmers’ market context and will be of practical use for future marketing and management.