PRIME Award Winner: Real Pig Farming

The 2017 Social Media PRIME award winning Meet the Real Pig Farmers of America campaign illustrated the passion and drive within the pork production industry. The campaign celebrates pig farming and builds a strong relationship between farmer and consumer. Pig farmers shared their personal stories through curated videos, blogs and social media posts.

Each vignette sought to correct the farming stereotype some consumers may have. The key messages centered on the We Care Ethical Principles to which pig farmers are committed in their day-to-day work on the farm. The goal of this campaign was to reach 500,000 people throughout the year via social media, digital tools and the #RealPigFarming blog.

Goal: Since 2013, consumers have become more inquisitive about where their food comes from and how farm animals are raised. To manage farming reputation and pork’s brand in the consumer marketplace, in 2015 the National Pork Board introduced the #RealPigFarming campaign. The initiative encourages pork producers to take part in social media conversations about pig farming.

In the first 18 months, the project had been successful in engaging pig farmers, but needed to better reach consumers. Ongoing analysis of the campaign defined that consumers want to feel as though they personally know the people raising their food. Throughout 2016, the focus of Real Pig Farming moved from just engaging farmers to engaging consumers and non-farmers through dynamic video and social media content to highlight the diversity of pig farmers.  

Objectives: Successful execution required a blend of social media tools including multiple channels and the #RealPigFarming blog. To connect pig farmers to consumers with questions, the RealPigFarming hashtag and social platforms were focused on delivering measurable results, including:

  • Develop a social media series to connect consumers and pork industry members and build a dialogue around the topic of modern pork production.
  • Create and share videos across social media channels with a target of 800+ views per video.
  • Reach 500,000 people through the deployment of social media channels and blog posts and by sharing of fresh and timely content that tells each pig farmer group’s stories.
  • Have a seasonal hook for each video – like Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, and College Graduation.
  • Highlight the diversity and relatability of each of these distinct groups of pig farmers and help consumers visualize modern pork production and relate to pig farmers.


In addition to the video creation, each month the Pork Board hosted Farmer Takeovers on #RealPigFarming social media channels. This content was written from the voice of a farmer, using Facebook Live and Snapchat videos as tools and offering the ability to boost videos through Facebook and YouTube through organic reach.

Results: The results exceeded expectations as farmers interacted online with consumers to answer questions and share information.

  1. The Meet the Real Pig Farmers of America video received 25,146 unique viewers, 1,927 post engagements and over 132,000 people reached on Facebook.
  2. The Women of #RealPigFarming video was by far the most well received, with 354,005 unique viewers, 28,447 post engagements and over 1.1 million people reached. The Women of #RealPigFarming video gained 7,713 views on YouTube, totaling to 10,808 minutes watched. It received 518 video views on Instagram.
  3. The Next Generation of #RealPigFarming had 44,643 unique viewers and gained 3,132 post engagements, resulting in a reach of nearly 125,000 people. The video was viewed 853 times on YouTube, resulting in 1,089 minutes watched. It received 11 video views on Twitter, and 341 video views on Instagram.
  4. The Legends of #RealPigFarming video reached 44,888 unique viewers, gained 2,971 post engagements and reached nearly 127,000 people. It was viewed 3,127 times on YouTube, resulting in 5,057 minutes watched. It received 2,327 impressions on Twitter, and 237 video views on Instagram.
  5. The American Heroes of #RealPigFarming video reached 24, 472 unique viewers, gained 1,489 post interactions and reached 55,445 people. It was viewed 3,246 times on YouTube, resulting in 4,725 minutes watched. It received 2,033 impressions on Twitter and 272 video views on Instagram.
  6. The Many Faces of #RealPigFarming video, released near the end of the year, was viewed by 6,991 unique viewers, gained 714 post engagements and reached 20, 599 people. The Many Faces of #RealPigFarming video was viewed 573 times on YouTube, resulting in 812 minutes watched. It received 437 video views on Twitter, and 451 video views on Instagram.

Throughout the year, there were 42,541 public social media posts using #RealPigFarming with approximately 48 percent positive and in support of modern pork production (as opposed to posts from activists and industry opposition). This represents an increase of 35 percent from prior year results.  Public social media posts using #RealPigFarming reached 9 million people, gaining an additional 38 million impressions.

In total, social media posts featuring links, quotes, video clips and photos from the Meet the Real Pig Farmers series reached 1,749,325 people (1,632,793 organic). There were 3,186,748 post impressions (3,045,162 organic) and 136,856 engaged users, resulting in an engagement rate of 4.3 percent. Tweets gained 49,421 impressions and 1,704 engagements, resulting in an engagement rate of 3.45 percent.

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