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Don Schindler

Executive Reputation Coach & Digital Marketer

Tag: Facebook (page 1 of 5)

Dairy Farmers on Facebook in 2019

Maryland Dairy Farmer Katie Dotterer-Pyle from Cow Comfort Inn Dairy

Here’s my list of dairy farmers using Facebook to communicate and engage with consumers. It’s not complete and if you want your farm Facebook page on the list, just send me an email at don.schindler@dairy.org or leave a comment at the bottom of the list.

Can your online presence feed future generations?

What? Are you crazy? You can’t feed people with digital bits. You need real food like what the farmers I work with produce.

Yes, you are right in the literal sense. But what I’m talking about is how you will feed the right information to the generation you are raising but then generations beyond them.

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Les, Iva Lee, Jim, Dale and Mary Ann. My dad, Leslie, had the gun in his mouth.

You see, we are really the first generation to have a substantial digital life – posts, pictures, videos and soon to be 3D, 360 and virtual reality. Facebook just told me that today was the day I first joined Facebook 9 years ago. That’s a lot of me online.

But I also have a blog and a Twitter feed and Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and everything else you could think of. I’m on almost every platform.

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Are You Ready To Join The Social Media Revolution at the 2014 Joint Annual Meeting?

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Don Schindler and Jamie Vander Molen are DMI Communication Trainers

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are places where your customers are taking about their experiences with dairy. DMI is excited to bring you customized social media training just for the dairy industry.

On Oct. 29, Jamie and I will be teaching social media and digital communications from 2:15 – 5 pm at Partners in Progress, The 2014 Joint Annual Meeting of National Dairy Board, National Milk Producers Federation and United Dairy Industry Association.

Classes are free and first come, first serve (classrooms hold about 25 people). Laptops are encouraged but you can also bring your tablet or smart phone. You can sign up by visiting the Registration Desk or just come to the classroom.

Starting With Twitter – 2:15-3 pm (Jamie)
If you’ve ever wondered what this twitter thing is all about and want to use it, this workshop is for you. You will learn how to set up a profile, how to follow other people, what it means when you are followed, how to put people into lists andwhat the terms/language of Twitter means (i.e., hashtags, @, and DM).

Interested in Pinterest? – 3:15-4 pm (Jamie)
Have you looked through Pinterest but aren’t for sure how to get involved. This workshop is for those who want to set up and create a Pinterest profile to help them engage dairy advocates and promote dairy products. We will go over how Pinterest works, how to pin images and videos, how to set up boards and how to share across your other social media networks.

Picture Yourself Using Instagram – 4:15-5 pm (Jamie)
Have you ever wondered what your kids were doing on Instagram besides staying off of Facebook? Instagram is the social network that is built on the photos you take. This workshop is for those who want to set up a profile, learn how to take good photos and share them, and get the basics on hashtagging.

Cultivating Your Farm Online – 2:15-3 pm (Don)
Have you ever “googled” your farm name? Is it what you want people to see? Did you know you can change what comes up? You’ll get the answers from this workshop on how to control how your farm looks online as well as your personal information.

Advanced Twitter Conversations – 3:15-4 pm (Don)
This advanced workshop is for those who have already using twitter to advocate and protect dairy and their farms and you want to go to the next level. You will learn how to use other third party applications (Hootsuite, FollowerWonk, Twtrland, Bufferapp, etc…) to grow your twitter following, to schedule your tweets, to use trends to get found and retweeted.

Building A Facebook Farm Page – 4:15-5 pm (Don)
This workshop is for those who want to start and manage a Facebook Page for their farm. We’ll go over Facebook Page tips and tricks to gain more “likes”, engagement and how to handle negative feedback. We’ll also touch on analytics and proper set-up.

After attending our sessions, we guarantee you’ll feel more comfortable advocating for your products and farm online. Sign up at Registration Desk or just come to the classroom.

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

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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?

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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.

tim-zweber-photo-farm-life

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.

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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?

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