Don Schindler

Digital Strategy & Executive Social Media Trainer

Facebook Live: How do you livestream on Facebook?

Facebook has just released a new feature for the most people on Facebook. It’s called Facebook Live or Livestream. Basically, it allows you to live stream a video in the moment from wherever you are.

Facebook Live: How to live stream your videos

Facebook Live: How to live stream your videos

Is this something that dairy farmers or people in ag should be doing? I believe so.

Facebook video and live videos are going to get more playing time (in other words, Facebook will let more people see your streaming video than a status update). Plus it’s a great way to interact with the audience. You can see their comments on your video as you are filming (but remember that your audience cannot see the comments of other people right now on the video – I believe they do show up in the comment section.

So how do you livestream on Facebook?

1. It’s only on mobile so you must use Facebook’s mobile application.


Touch status update like you would normally.

2. If you have access to Facebook Live then you will see an icon with curved lines above the head.


Touch the icon.

3. Write an interesting and intriguing headline.


While “look at the brown cow” could be fine, I think being direct like “What do you want to know from a dairy farmer?” or “Live from inside a milking parlor” or “Where does milk come from?” could all be interesting and engaging headlines to get people to watch the video and interact with you.

4. Touch “Go Live”


The video has to be at least 4 seconds. Once you go live, you’ll have to help walk your audience through a few things much like a TV reporter does on a live shot.

This is what I would say, “Thanks for joining me today. I’m here at (blank) and we are (milking cows, grinding silage, cleaning stalls, feeding calves, etc…). Then just talk about the basics of what you are doing much like you would do on farm tour and allow people to ask questions. You will see the questions pop-up.

Also the camera doesn’t have to be facing you, you can switch the front camera.

5. Touch “Finish”


Once the video is done, you can save it down to your phone if you want. If you want to upload a higher quality video (2 MB) they recommend having a wi-fi connection.

NOTE: Shooting live video will take up a lot of bandwidth. Please be cautious about this and check how much data you have with your phone plan before attempting any live video.

Do you have any questions about how to set up for a video? Check out my post on taking video.

Do you have any questions for me about Facebook Live? Just hit me up on Facebook, Twitter or email me at don.schindler at gmail dot com.

Are you an Obi-Wan for good farming? What Star Wars can show us about how to connect with dairy customers.

Are you the Obi-Wan for farming

How Obi-Wan talks to Luke is important

One of the things that I love doing is working directly with the farmers. They are great people: humble, hard-working, independent, and proud of the care they give the land and their animals.

Almost all farms are family-run businesses (97%) and I believe they are this way because you need to have the passion of a family to get through the ups and downs they experience. It’s definitely not the easiest life but they didn’t choose it because it’s easy – they choose it because it’s work they can feel great about.

One of the ways I work with the farmers is to get them connected directly with their customers via digital channels like social media. I believe that when people have a direct connection one-on-one; they can get to know each other, understand each other and start to trust one another – even if it’s just through social media.

In fact, I have many farmer friends and social media marketing friends online that I’ve never met in person but I definitely trust them. If you want to know a few of them, just check out my lists on Twitter .

When a farmer wants to join social media and connect with their customers, I like to take them through a process of not only setting up the right tools to connect like Facebook pages or Instagram accounts but also make them aware of some marketing techniques like branding themselves and the farm as well as how to talk through these channels.

Today I’m going to chat about branding – something that I believe needs to be done before you launch any platforms. I would like the farmer to be able to write down who they are and why they do what they do. Because when you have an understanding of who and why, the how you talk to others becomes a lot easier and you’ll build trust a lot faster.

So what is a brand?

I believe a brand is simply a person’s perceptions of their experience with a product or service.

Your personal brand should represent the value you are able to consistently deliver to those whom you are serving. – Glenn Llopis

So how do you define your brand?

Well, I think you first need to write an internal brand statement – which is different than a mission or vision statement.

Here’s a sample internal brand statement.

To (target audience), (your name) is the (blank) provider/service of (blank) delivered through (blank).

Here’s a sample one for a dairy farmer.

To the dairy-consuming customers, Don Farmer is a hardworking and environmentally conscious dairy farmer who provides nutrient rich milk from well-cared-for and well-fed cows in Illinois.

If you want to know it down to 140 characters, you could say: I’m a IL dairy farmer who loves providing nutritious milk so u can ur enjoy awesome dairy products like ice cream, cheese & yogurt.

You should have this internal brand statement in the back of your mind when you are talking with people. You don’t have to say these things about yourself but it does help ground you in who you want them to think you are.

Then you can work on your elevator pitch or intro. This statement should always come from the customer’s point of view. In other words, what would they be interested in vs. what I want to tell them. You need to make it interesting and how you help solve their problems.

When someone asks: “So what do you do?” You could say something like this in return.

I’m happy to tell you that I farm. And I love it. I provide (the dairy product that are made from your farm whether it be cheese, milk, ice cream, etc…) the best way I know how. I take care of my cows and the land and I’ve been doing it for XX generations. I can’t imagine doing anything else but working the land and taking care of my animals. Do you like cheese (or whatever it is you sell)?

Now how you say this is just as important as what you say and I want you to think about your attitude and tone.

People relate well to people like themselves or those that come across with a helping mentality (like servant leadership). Think of it as calm and reassuring with a slight hint of authority about the topic at hand.

What’s that mean?

Think of yourself as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. You may be thinking he’s an old man (are you telling me I’m old, Don?).

It’s about being a good guide.

And the person you are talking to is Luke Skywalker (your customer).

What do we know about our customers?

  • They are probably a few generations removed from farming. Luke had no idea he was Jedi much like urban people may not remember their historical farming roots.
  • They live in cities and might have never been to a farm. Luke had never been anywhere but on Tattooine.
  • They are more educated than any previous generation but they might not know much about farming other than what they’ve read or seen on the internet/TV/movies. All Luke knew about the empire was from hearsay at the nearest space port.
  • They want to make sure they are making the right decisions about food and their families. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Luke lacked confidence in the decisions he was making because he felt he didn’t understand all the nuances of Jedi life.
Luke gif

Images from Giphy

So if you think of them as a Luke character – remember Luke is the hero here but he’s not sure of himself – and you as Obi-Wan, you are the guide to help Luke on his quest.

To your Luke customers, you are the Obi-Wan of good farming, animal care and you make sure the product you produce is of the highest quality. If Luke consumes your product, he’s helping himself and his family.


Image from Giphy

How does Obi-Wan handle himself with Luke?

  • He has patience and answers all the questions that Luke throws at him. He understands that Luke doesn’t have his background and in depth knowledge so he gives thorough answers with historical background to get Luke up to speed.
  • After giving Luke background information, he helps him practice. In this way, he begins to build Luke’s confidence by helping him find some answers on his own. He’s guiding him on the path to being a Jedi.
  • Obi-Wan doesn’t get defensive and doesn’t strike out or call him names. Obi-Wan represents the good side of the Force. Luke’s trust is strong with Obi-Wan because it’s a teacher-student relationship but Obi-Wan couldn’t teach without the trust.
  • When Obi-Wan disappears in the end but Luke can still reach out. You won’t always be there 24/7 for your Lukes as they make decisions about their food choices but you could still be there occasionally when they really need you.
  • Finally Luke needed more advanced training (something that Obi-Wan couldn’t handle now that he was gone) and you could think of this as when your customer needs more information than you have available like nutrition or culinary and you could pass your Luke onto your registered dietitian friends like Kim and Jean  from National Dairy Council.

There’s one more part about branding and trust that you need to understand. It can be broken very, very quickly. Even if you’ve built up tons of trust in the past, a simple act breaking your personal brand will be enough for others to walk away.

Think of when politicians violate values (like this guy) or when a brand (like this car company) breaks the law.

You need to be careful with your values and make sure that you are following them even when no one is looking.

So what do you think? Can you see yourself as a good guide to quality farming? Will it help you in how you speak with your customers? Let the Force be with you.

The Force will be with you.

Image from Giphy

How should you advocate for dairy farming in 2016? Check out how other dairy farmers did it in 2015.

In the most recent MyDairy newsletter, we asked dairy farmers to share how they advocated for dairy farming. The feedback back and comments were great and I’ve decided to share a few below.



Danielle Mzyk feeding calf at local Chik-Fil-A Family Night

Students Bring Dairy Farm Life to Chik-Fil-A

Danielle A. Mzyk, DVM/PhD Candidate at NC State, and several dairy  medicine focused students, a dairy science undergraduate  and a CVM veterinarian hosted a “Dairy  Day  at Chik-Fil-A” outreach event.

As a member of the 9th class of the Young Dairy Leaders Institute, I was charged with hosting an outreach event in our community. With the support of several CVM alumni, faculty, house officers and students, as well as the leaders of the Howling Cow  Dairy  Enterprise and Lake Wheeler  Dairy  Research and Teaching Farm, I brought two jersey calves to meet with the public and answer any and all questions they had about the dairy industry.

Over 100 people stopped by our booth to come take a look at the calves and talk with the future leaders of the dairy industry. We also had carnival games set up and prizes for the kids to win, as well as information, gifts and milk fact pamphlets donated from the Southeast  Dairy Association.

We have been asked by the management at several Chik-fil-a to continue this project and make it a regular occurrence!



Mary Mackinson-Faber took on 30-Day Blogging Challenge

30-Day Blog Challenge Features Over 60 Dairy Farming Women

Mary Mackinson-Faber from Mackinson Dairy, took on a 30-Day blogging challenge in November. Her blog series, Women in Dairy, started out with a goal of 25 profiles.

When the series concludes next Tuesday, Mary will have featured 61 women from all over the world. She tells us, “I am so proud of how the series has turned out.”



Freund Farm Newsletter

Positive Feedback From Local Dairy Farmer Newsletter

Amanda Freund, who helps run three different businesses (Freund’s Farm Inc., Freund’s Farm Market & Bakery and CowPots), says she got the idea of putting out a newsletter to her surrounding communities from following Jessica Ziehm at Tiashoke Farm in NY.

She writes, “The week before Thanksgiving, I sent out just under 2,500 double sided newsletters to all the physical mailing addresses (and po boxes) in our town and the 2 neighboring towns. I also uploaded the newsletter onto our website, and shared it on social media. The expense was just over $500 and I hope to make it a biannual activity.”

“Even though snail mail seems like a ‘thing of the past’ I wanted to reach the people that drive by our farm each day and open up the line of communication. Realizing how critical the support of our community is to us being able to continue to farm here, it was important that we let people know what we’re doing. We’ve received LOTS of very positive feedback from visitors to our farm market and people we see at the grocery store or bank. It was definitely a good investment for us!”


Who’s seen the Holstein?

Toy Holstein Calf Replaces “Elf on the Shelf”

Kelly Giller is the herd manager at Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company in South Woodstock, Vermont.

She writes, “A big part of my job as well as taking care of the herd has been to help our farm become transparent to our cheese customers by using social media. This was something totally new to me and has been a big learning experience. I absolutely love the dairy industry; the hard yet beneficial work as well as the great sense of community that comes from working with such great people.”

“I have been trying to learn how to interact with our customers, teaching them about what goes on everyday on our farm without being too informative. I recently launched a series of Facebook posts called “who’s seen the holstein” instead of “elf on the shelf”. I posted pictures of a toy calf in areas of the farm, as well as our creamery. This has been a fun way to teach and people have enjoyed being a part of it as well.”


Swiss Lane Centennial

Producer Grant Made Centennial Celebration a Dairy Success

Annie Link of Swiss Lane Farms writes that Swiss Lane Farms is very thankful for the producer grant that made it possible to purchase the dairy products for the Centennial Celebration this past summer. More than 600 guests visited the farm and enjoyed Mac & cheese, gourmet grilled cheese, ice cream, and milk before heading out to enjoy a hayride and pet the calves. The fun-filled night ended with a spectacular fireworks show!

Do you have a 2015 advocate story to share? You can leave it in the comments or send me at email at don.schindler at gmail.

Snap Chat, iMovie, and Dealing with Negative Comments top my 2015 posts

It’s always kinda cool to go back and see what really worked with my posts and what didn’t. Things that I think people would really want to see aren’t normally the ones that they do. And, of course, there are older posts that just seem to work in an evergreen way. I didn’t include those, just the ones I wrote this year.

Anyway, here they are.


Customers don’t care about your brand if you don’t care about them.

1. It’s not “If You’ll Be Disrupted”, it’s “When You’ll Be Disrupted” – Crowd Companies at SXSW 2015

This posts hits on the disruption of the Collaborative companies and it hit a nerve with the industry. I’ve also become a member of Jeremiah Owyang’s Crowd Companies Innovation Council and gotten to meet a lot of smart people working to disrupt not only competition but their own companies in order to figure out where the world is going. Getting to peek under the hood at AirBnB and Uber was pretty cool as well.



Ask The Farmers

2. Is dairy farming a one-sided conversation?

With this post, I spoke about how sometimes it seems that I’m on the defense when it comes to conversations about food and farmers. And I talk about how to overcome that but where to reach out to for help. Essentially, it’s about who are the dairy farmer advocates that you can rely on in the digital world and I list them out and link to them.



3. You just received a negative comment online, now what do you do?

We teach a few classes on how to handle tough questions and this post came out of that class as well as a few others. It runs down the process but also includes a helpful flowchart of how to handle a negative comment. If you treat comments like this as objectively as you can, then you can calm down your emotional response, which is extremely tough to do.


snapchat home screen

4. Show Me Your Farm in Two Seconds. How to Set Up Snapchat For Your Farm

Now I didn’t write this article because I’m not a Snap Chat user. I mean I have snap chat but none of my friends really use it (because I’m old). But Jamie, my co-worker does, and she lays out a great argument of why you should be using it (because the younger people do) and then how to set up it up.


5. How do you make a movie with the iMovie App on the iPhone 6?

I loved this post. Not because it’s a great post but I’ve had so much fun with the staff making movies on my iPhone 6. It’s so easy to do and it doesn’t take that long to do them. Why not edit out the boring parts and get right the good stuff. With iMovie, it’s not as hard as you think.

So that’s it for 2015. Can’t wait to see what rocks everyone’s world in 2016.

How to set up Periscope for you or your farm / ag business

Why would you want to do this? I give you five reasons you want to use Periscope for your farm or ag business in an article but here are the headlines.

  1. Your customers want to see real dairy farming.
  2. Your customers like farm animals and want to see them.
  3. Your customers have questions about dairy farming and you are the best person to answer them.
  4. Your customers don’t know everything you do.
  5. Your customers are new to Periscope, too.

So you’re convinced, let’s start live streaming using Periscope.

1. Download the app.

Get it for your iPhone or your Android phone.

2. Login with Twitter.


If you don’t have a Twitter profile, you’ll need to set one up. Here’s how to do it.

3. Enable Notifications.

This is entirely up to you but if you want to keep up with the live broadcast of the people you follow, you’ll need to enable this.

4. Check out the homescreen and bottom navigation.


The homepage will show you all the live broadcasts and a few of the most recent broadcasts of people you are following. This is also the TV icon at the bottom.

The world icon will show you where live broadcasts are occurring.

The video icon is what you will click to start broadcasting yourself.

The people icon is to find others who are on Periscope. Pretty simple stuff, right?

5. Touch the World Icon at the bottom.


This is where videos are currently being broadcast. You can also click the List at the top to see what’s going on.

6. Touch the List View at the top.


Touch on a video image and you’ll see the live video streaming.

There’s a few things you can do when someone else is streaming video.

You can say something to that person and they will see it in the feed.

You can double touch the video and it will give them a heart icon to know you liked the video.


I caught Kevin Hart and Ice Cube being periscoped at an amusement park in Orlando.

7. Touch the Video Icon at the bottom.


This will get you ready to start a video. Once you click on the video icon, you will see a title area, a small bit of navigation icons, and the keyboard.

You need to fill in a title for the “What are you seeing now?” You should think of this as a intriguing title to get people to touch on the video.

Once you type that out, you can touch “Start Broadcast” and you’ll be live streaming whatever you are looking at.

The other icons are:

  1. Arrow – this is to show your location.
  2. Lock – this is to show the video only to certain people.
  3. Chat – this is to allow only people you follow to chat with you.
  4. Twitter – this is to send a notification to Twitter that you are live streaming on Periscope.

8. Touch the People Icon at the bottom.


This is where you will find other people and brands to follow.

The main feed is those that are trending.

The magnifying glass at the top left is to find people you know. Let’s look for Dairy Farmer Will Gilmer. He’s been using Periscope since it launched. Just touch the magnifying glass and then type in “Will Gilmer”.


The person icon at the top right is your profile.

When you touch on the profile, you will see your profile, your following, your followers, who you’ve blocked, and how many broadcasts you have.


You can then touch on settings and you can set notifications on if someone follows you and if you want to “Autosave Broadcasts” to your camera roll.

Videos will last on Periscope for 24 hours and then will automatically delete. If you would like to know more about where your videos are, check out Periscope’s explanation.

Well, that’s it. Pretty easy, huh?

If you have any questions about it, you can always reach out to me on Twitter or Facebook or plain old email don.schindler (at)

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