Don Schindler

Digital Strategy & Executive Social Media Trainer

Month: November 2013 (page 1 of 2)

Teach someone how to use Facebook over the holidays – Facebook 101

teach-facebook-gift

What do you want for Christmas?

Who wouldn’t want to spend their holidays teaching relatives how to use social networking?

Remember the benefits

  • less mass emails
  • less calls wondering how you are doing
  • there’s more of a chance of them talking to others besides just concentrating on you

I’ve recently completed a five-part Facebook 101 course.  It goes through all the basics so you don’t have to figure it out for yourself.

So if you are teaching your kids, your grandma, or your crazy uncle, this is a good reference.  Now granted it is geared to a farmer audience but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use the same techniques.

Part 1 – How do you sign for Facebook?

Part 2 – How should you change your Facebook security and privacy settings?

Part 3 – How to friend someone on Facebook (and put them in a list)?

Part 4 – How do you post to Facebook?

Part 5 – What should you be posting on Facebook?

If there is any part I missed, please let me know.  I’ll be happy to add or answer your questions.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

 

What should you be posting on Facebook? Facebook 101 – Part 5

cow-grazing

Photo courtesy of Kevin Walsh (flickr)

When it comes to joining and then posting to Facebook, many people don’t give it a second thought.

I believe that most people think “Wow, here’s a great way to get my awesome thoughts out on the internet. So many people think I’m hilarious and upbeat – I can’t wait for so many people to respond to my awesomeness.”

Well, maybe not quite that but something along those lines. They post because they want others to notice they are posting. I’m here and I have something to say.

Unfortunately, they may say something positive and get a little response but then they experiment with negativity or a rant and they get a lot of response.

Or they post something racy and get a lot of response. But is this response what you really want others to think of you?

Facebook, like every digital social network, is building a digital image of yourself. You determine that image just like you do with your actions in the real world.

Like what you do, what you say, who you associate with, what your job is, where you go to church or if you go at all. All these things tell others about you.

So don’t count Facebook out of this. You will project an image no matter what you do – it can be viewed in a positive light or a negative one. That’s up to you.

Farmers have a great reputation with the masses.
They see you as hardworking, trustworthy, friendly – some of the best of what America has to offer. Why do you think that Dodge spent that much money on a Super Bowl ad associating their trucks with the American Farmer?

Check out the Dodge ad and the following Gallup Poll. It was a smart move and a great ad, by the way. Don’t know if it sold more trucks for them.

gallup-poll-aug-2013-farmers

Courtesy of Gallup

So why am I saying all of this?

Because I want you to be careful about your digital reputation – you, as the individual farmer, represent all farmers online. That’s why I think that maintaining that reputation of your name and the name of all other farmers is above all the mission.

So when posting to your Facebook profile, here are my tips for maintaining that solid reputation of being helpful, hardworking, smart and true to your families, animals and land.

 

1. Be positive and uplifting.

mike-haley-farm-shot

Posts should be helpful and realistic. I’m not talking about only posting Biblical or inspirational quotes. I’m talking about if something happens – even if it’s not something that you are happy about – put it in the context of how this could benefit my friends. Rants rarely benefit anyone and can sometimes cause more damage.

TIP – If you have to rant, go ahead and do it. Do it where it’s not going to be seen by the masses (like a word doc) and let yourself vent. Then sit on it for a while. Think about who is really going to benefit from this and who’s it going to hurt. If you really think you need to post it, send it to a good friend first to see what they think.

2. Don’t argue with others.

This is my only “don’t” in my tips. I have a post about how to win an argument that you should read if you think you really need to go to battle with someone online. It’s just three simple steps.

 

3. Know what your friends on Facebook like to see and tie that to what you would like them to know about you.

How do you do this? Well, most likely your friends are a lot like you in what they like to share, comment on and like.

lecows-dairy-silage

So when I create something, I look at it and think “would I share this?” If it’s something I don’t think I would share, then I start over. BTW, not everything you do will get people to respond. Just keep trying. The good thing is that farmers have a lot of content just hanging around the barn that people find pretty dang interesting.

 

4. Help others.

Help others with what?

jenn-schindler-yogurt-question

The questions they have about farming, the food you produce, how the animals are doing, what farm like is really like.

They seriously want to know and you can tell them via stories, photos, videos, etc…

If you say that “no one asks you questions”, I’ll find that hard to believe. It doesn’t seem to matter where I go people have questions about farming (like I could answer them – I don’t but I send them to farmers that can) and what’s it like to work with dairy farmers (pretty awesome in my opinion).

 

dairy-carrie-recipe

Another help is recipes.

I don’t post a lot of recipes but many people do and they get great responses from the recipes of simple home cooked meals using the great products you produce like cheese, milk, butter, ice cream and yogurt.

 

food-groups

Join groups.

If you are struggling to find things to talk about, join some groups and listen to their conversations. They can help you find what they need answers to and how you can join the conversation.

 

 

5. Always be interesting.

How can you be interesting? There are tons of good ways using the new digital tools at your disposal.

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Use photos – use your smartphone to take farm life photos. People love to share them and talk about the animals or the farmscapes.

TIP – if you want a lot of comments or shares on your photos, ask people to give you a caption for the photo or let them fill in the blank (it’s hard to resist filling in a blank – people like being clever).

ben-wagner-video-calf

Use videos – use your smartphone to take YouTube videos, a Vine and Instagram. Same as the top part

Just take a few seconds to give us a status update of what’s going on on the farm – you’ve been given the statistics of how many people are NOT involved in agriculture. Now you can share your view of the farm and life on it.

 

6. Give credit to others.

tim-zweber-comment-on-other-stuff

Share what others have posted. Comment on their posts. Liking is fine but it’s not going to help pass along a post to others.

When you pass along other’s information, they know it. They appreciate it and hopefully they will pass along your posts in the future. It doesn’t always happen but the golden rule can be very effective in social media because we are notified when people play by it.

 

7. Use hashtags.

dairy-carrie-cows-instagram

If you would like to meet new people in Facebook or get your postings seen by others besides your immediate circle of friends and friends of friends. Using them might seem a little weird but it’s still new. You can also follow other people’s hashtags.

So what are some of your favorite tips for posting?

How Do You Post To Facebook? Facebook 101 – Part 4

Finally, now we are to the best part. Here’s where you get to talk back and forth with people through the tool itself.  If you landed here and didn’t catch the first parts of Facebook 101 – here’s Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

 

The status update (located at the top of your newsfeed) allows you to write to others about what you are doing, feeling, seeing, touching, whatever you want.

 

These statements, called “posts”, can be sent to the entire public (your friends can see them on their news feeds and it can also be seen by their friends – friends of friends if your friends comment or share the post) including the public search on Facebook. I’ll explain how you can set who sees your posts.

 

Let’s go through the process of posting a status update.

 

 

1. The Standard Text Status Update

facebook-status-update

All you have to do is write into the text area. It’s as simple as that. When you hit “Post”, it will go onto your Timeline and your friends will see it on their news feeds.

 

TIP – Not every update you post will be seen by all of your friends. There’s an algorithm that determines the visibility of your post. The more shares, comments and likes – the more visibility a post will get.

2. Adding Photos or Video

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If you click, “Add Photos/Video” you will be able to add one or more photos (into a Photo Album) or you can add a video.

 

TIP – Photos and videos get the most shares, comments and like on Facebook.

 

When you add a photo, you’ll be able to “tag” people in the photo so they will be able to see that you added a photo of them.

facebook-tag-photo

Simple point and click on the face and it will bring up your list of friends (or search for your friends), then select them. They will be notified that you have tagged them in a photo.

 

TIP – If you don’t want to be tagged in a photo, simply go to the photo and remove yourself from it.

facebook-remove-tag

 

3. Status Icons

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Below the Status Update, you’ll see a row of icons. With these you’ll be able to add information to your Status Update.

 

facebook-status-update-friends

When you select the blank face icon, you’ll be able to say you are “with” one of your Facebook friends.

 

facebook-status-update-location

When you select the map point icon, you’ll be able to select the Facebook page or location of place.

 

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When you select the photo/video icon, you can add a photo or video to the post.

 

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When you select the emoticon, you will be able to add an emotion or common action.

 

facebook-status-update-lists

TIP – Drinking milk/chocolate milk or eating cheese, yogurt or ice cream are very common actions and you can help out the industry by letting people know you are consuming our great products.

4. Tagging Individuals

facebook-tagging-person

If you want someone to know that you are talking about them or to them in one of your updates, than all you have to do is to the “@“ sign and it will allow you to tag the person in a status update.

 

They will be notified of the status update as well.

facebook-birthday-post

 

 

TIP – If you want to talk privately with someone, use the Facebook Messages system (just like email). If you want to say Happy Birthday or Congrats to them, then go to their page and post directly on their timeline. This notifies them as well. I’ve seen many people post on their own timeline and not tag the person or not write on their timeline, and the person never knows you were talking to them.

 

gilmer-dairy-hashtags

BONUS TIP – Use hashtags to reach new people

Will Gilmer of Gilmer Dairy uses the hashtag #dairy to reach people who may be using Facebook’s hashtag search to find out more about what people are talking about when they talk about dairy. Don’t use more than three hashtags per post.

That’s about it to status updates.  In the next post, I’ll talk about what you should be posting (not just how to do it.)

How to friend someone on Facebook (and put them in a list) Facebook 101 – Part 3

When it comes to communicating with multiple friends in one location, it doesn’t get much easier than Facebook.

You can add family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, your church and people you meet at events and conferences. But the problem you’ll run into is that a lot of times you don’t want to communicate with all of them at the same time with the same message.

In this way, Facebook really sucks.  Everyone is lumped together and their algorithm for sorting who my good friends are vs. my occasion friends vs. my co-workers ain’t the best way to determine who’s important in my life.  But there’s a way to fix Facebook so it is really useful to you and your farm or business.

Setting up your “friends” on Facebook requires some thought but you’ll get the most benefit out of Facebook if you use these simple tips on when “friending” people on Facebook.

1. Search for friends on Facebook

facebook-friend-search

Using the search box at the top of your Facebook newsfeed, simple type in their name and click the magnifying glass.

Now if your friend you are looking for doesn’t come up, there are ways to search for people. If you have the email address or phone number, you can also look up people (if they didn’t change their privacy settings).

You can type “People I know.”

facebook-search-people-you-may-know

And use the advanced search that will come up on the side. It looks like this.

facebook-advanced-search

2. Add Friends

facebook-add-friend-from-search

You can add a friend from search by clicking the Add Friend button

Once you find your potential friend, you can request the friend by clicking “Add Friend”. You should then get a message that says “Friend Request Sent.”

facebook-friend-request

Or if you are on their profile page, you can add a friend by clicking this button.

You’ll have to wait until they approve friendship before you’ll be able to see their status updates in your newsfeed, check out their full timeline or see other things that they may have blocked from the public.

3. Put them into a list

This is very important and it will make Facebook a much better communication tool and resource for yourself (now I know you are thinking I have a “Schindler’s List” but I don’t. But ha, ha, it’s very funny. Feel free to put me on a Schindler’s List if you want to.)

After they have approved your Friend Request, simply go to their profile and select the “Friends” button. A drop down menu should appear.

There are many different choices here.

facebook-dropdown-close-friends

If the “friend” is a good friend and you want to keep close tabs on their activity on Facebook, you will want to select “Close Friends”. This will then add “Get Notifications” – you’ll be notified of most of their posting activity (Status Updates and Shares).

If the “friend” isn’t that close, then I recommend putting them in a list that you will create.

These lists will help you keep track of your friends instead of letting just the newsfeed do with with all your “friends”.

facebook-add-to-list

You can add someone to a list simply by clicking the “Add to another list” in the drop down.

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With people that are good friends but not a “close friend”, then I would recommend creating an A-1 list. You can see how I added a friend to my A-1 list.

But if you don’t have an A-1 list, you can easily create one.

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Just scroll to the bottom of the list and create a new list.

Or you can use the “FRIENDS” navigation on the left hand side of the page (it should be near the bottom of our newsfeed page left hand side navigation.

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Click on “More” next to “FRIENDS” and you’ll be taken to the Friends page. On this page, you can create a list as well and start adding members.

facebook-create-a-list-page

You’ll see I created an A-1 list and then started adding members.

facebook-create-a-list-members

TIP – Now Facebook will still use its algorithm to determine who your friends are in the the custom list newsfeed but at least you’ll have a better chance of seeing your friends in a smaller list.

facebook-add-to-favorites

After you’ve created your custom lists (like the A-1), then you can click on the pencil to the right of the list and add it to your Favorites section to the top of your left hand navigation. This way you don’t have to search for custom lists. BTW, I know this says remove but it’s because my A-1 is already in my Favorites.

facebook-friends-list-newsfeed

If you notice I have an Interests List called (Farmer Pages), an Interest List allows you to add both Pages and Profiles to the same list and follow it. We’ll discuss that more in a future post.

The lists will also show up on your Facebook phone app as well.  To find a list, just pull your newsfeed down (just like you do when you are refreshing the news) and you’ll see the custom lists there.  The more you use the lists, it will remember to keep those lists near the top.

facebook-mobile-app-lists

Next post we’ll go over how to post and what to post on Facebook.

If you have any tricks on using lists in Facebook just let me know and I’ll add them here.

Taking Google Glass and #Dairychat to the 2013 Joint Annual Meeting of NDB, NMPF and UDIA

I got my Google Glass on Friday and was able to take it to the Joint Annual Meeting on Monday, Nov 11 and spend the next three days teaching social media and talking with dairy farmers.  It was an awesome experience (my first time at Annual Meeting and hanging at the Arizona Biltmore) but the best time was letting the farmers try out Google Glass.

Most people were amazed at the ability to take photos just by talking to glass.  I have 111 photos from the event and most are me looking at them while they are taking photos of me.  So silly.  Now I know to pull out my phone and take shots of them.

photos-from-annual-meeting-google-glass

The classes I taught were well attended and I got a lot of great feedback of what I should be covering in the future.  Special thanks to all those farmers that signed up for the training and then started using the tools. Many used the hashtag #dairychat for the meeting. Check out the dairychat tagboard below.

dairychat-tagboard

Can’t wait for next annual meeting.  Gonna be a lot of fun.

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