WASHINGTON (PRNewswire-USNewswire) — Fact: You can eat organic on a budget. Fact: Organic agriculture can help feed the planet. Fact: There are proven health benefits of organic. These are three of the more than 30 research-backed facts that the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and partners digitally disseminated each day in September (Organic Month) as part of its highly successful "Myth-Busting Month" social media festival.
Equipped with fresh science and recent trend data posted as artfully designed daily infographics, OTA and more than 100 member companies' online celebration reached 15 million consumers throughout the campaign, garnering well over 200 million social media impressions[i] on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.
"Organic is a choice that an increasing number of individuals, farmers and product brands are making each year, but despite the growing demand for organic, our community must continue to get the message out about the health, social and economic benefits of organic food and farming," said Laura Batcha, OTA's Executive Director and CEO. "The campaign's tremendous reach and engagement reveal that not only is the public hungry for organic food and products that reach beyond food, they also are hungry for organic facts."
"With the participation of our member companies as well as the passionate support of organic enthusiasts, 'Myth-Busting Month' let us connect directly with millions to clear up misconceptions and celebrate the choice that organic provides farmers and consumers," Batcha continued. "We hope this momentum will continue with a new, ongoing fact-based conversation about organic on social media and beyond."
An organic fact a day
Each week throughout the festival, leveraging the #OrganicFestival hashtag, organizers focused on select categories of frequently shared myths, including: Organic Labeling, Organic Health, Organic Value, Organic Production and Organic Beyond Food.
Then, each day within that week, OTA and partners posted a myth on their social channels, and 'busted' it with a fact graphic, encouraging followers to re-post to create a unified voice across multiple social channels.
Among the campaign's daily topics, consumers clearly had an appetite for clarifying the difference between organic and natural. #OrganicFestival facts about the meaning of the USDA Organic Seal received the campaign's most engagement. Posts busting the myth that there is little difference between organic and natural reached up to an estimated 100,000 people.
To deepen engagement throughout the month, OTA hosted six Twitter Parties, featuring Q&As with Twitter followers on myth-busting topics alongside co-hosts such as Ashley Koff, RD; eco-fashion pioneer Marci Zaroff; The Organic Center; and, the Rodale Institute. One party – focusing on Organic Value – featured 4,500 posts from up to 400 users, reaching more than 650,000 individuals.
In addition, 31 OTA members awarded randomly selected social media followers who engaged with the content — offering 61 prizes valued from $25 — $350.
All told, more than 23,000 individuals used the #OrganicFestival hashtag, creating more than 36,500 posts. The campaign more than doubled the results of last year's first industry social media festival – "Organic-Palooza" – a 10-day event celebrating the health, economic and agricultural benefits of organic.
"It is clear that there are still many misconceptions surrounding organic," said Miranda May, Community Manager with OTA member Mamma Chia, which shared #OrganicFestival content heavily throughout the campaign and realized high daily engagement. "Mamma Chia is dedicated to helping consumers understand the truths associated and taking part in the OTA's #OrganicFestival was an important step in doing so. When the Mamma Chia community gets involved, reposts our content and publicly thanks us for the invaluable insight, it is positive reinforcement that we are on the right path."
Individuals can access archived "Myth-Busting Month" content at http://ota.com/organic-101/organic-myth-busting-month to continue sharing on their own channels in the months — and years — ahead.
The Organic Trade Association (http://www.OTA.com) (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 8,500 organic businesses across 50 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA's Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect ORGANIC with a unifying voice that serves and engages its diverse members from farm to marketplace.