How Should You Change Your Facebook Security and Privacy Settings? – Facebook 101 Part 2

person-of-interest-facebook

Image courtesy of CBS “Person of Interest” Facebook Pgae

There are plenty of concerns about Facebook privacy – and rightly so, you are probably going to share more information about yourself and your family, friends, coworkers, and your farm, then on any other platform.

I love the show, “Person of Interest” on CBS. It tells the story of a man who’s built a machine that spies on every person in the U.S. looking for terrorists. But after the man turned the machine over to the govt., he is now resolved to try and save the people that the machine predicts are going to die but the govt. doesn’t care about. Loss of privacy is the basis of the show.

With Facebook, you are giving it a lot of privacy if you choose to engage but if you understand a few basics then you shouldn’t have a problem with privacy.

I get asked this a lot but identity theft (as far as I understand it) happens mostly via banks and credit card companies than Facebook – they may find some information on you but all they really want is your username/password to your financials (which usually isn’t found on Facebook).

If you are worried about groups targeting you and your farm, I would also say that I have not heard of a single case of the group using their social media profiles to target physical addresses. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen – but what I would say is that if you have a large social media presence you are actually more of a threat to them because you will have so many people come to your (online – defending and promoting) aid if you have a issue on the farm.

First things first.

All the privacy and security settings in the world will not protect you if you say bad things on the internet. In fact, Facebook is one of the worst for keeping these things to yourself.

As my friend Katie Pinke of The Pinke Post  loves to say, “I don’t say anything on the internet that I wouldn’t want my grandmother to see.”

I completely agree with this statement.
Don’t go there.
Don’t argue with people.
Don’t flame others.
Be nice.
Be helpful.
You can voice your opinion about injustice without berating and crucifying others.

Remember you are in front of your audience, their audience and the entire Facebook public. And you can always walk away if it isn’t going well.

Facebook-101-step1-drpodownSo let’s get into the Security and Privacy Settings so change a few things that will help protect your privacy but not completely cut you off from the rest of the world that may benefit quite a bit from hearing your wisdom about farming.

1. Click on the Gear to get to your Settings

2. Select Account Settings

3. Select Username

Facebook-101-step3-select-username

Change the username to something more appropriate than what Facebook gave you – if they gave you a long list of numbers (back in the day they did this).

4. Change Your Primary Email

Facebook gives you an email address like don.schindler (at) Facebook.com. I switch to the email that makes most sense to me.

That should be it for this screen unless you have an email address associated with a university. If so, you can set up one of their networks.

5. Go back to the left navigation and click Security

facebook-101-security-settings

6. Click “Secure Browsing” and make it “Enabled”

This will help protect you when you are using an open network like a coffee shop or airport. It helps keep people from hacking your account.

7. Click “Login Notifications” and make sure you set it to “Email” or “Text/Push Notifications”.

facebook-101-login-notifications

This way you’ll be notified if someone is trying to log into your account from a different browser, phone, tablet, etc…

8. Recognized Devices and Active Sessions

These two areas will help you understand what has logged into your account last and where. If you have any active sessions from areas that you are unfamiliar then you should delete the sessions.

The other areas you can look into and Facebook does a good job of explaining them so I won’t do it here.

9. Click on Privacy

facebook-101-privacy-settings

10. Who can see your future posts?

This should be public. You can always change this on a specific post if you want only a certain list of friends or a specific friend/s or just yourself.

11. Review all your posts and things you’re tagged in.

This will link you to the activity log where you can review everything that you have done on Facebook – all your posts, likes, shares, comments, etc…

12. Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or public?

This feature was developed so people could limit all of their old posts from “friends of friends” and “public” to switch “friends”. In other words, hid their past from anyone that wasn’t already a friend. I don’t recommend this unless you have damaging images and posts out there and you want them all invisible to the public.

13. Who can send you friend requests?

I marked this as everyone because I want to be able to be “friended” even if someone isn’t connected to one of my friends. This will not keep you out of search results – people just won’t be able to friend you if they aren’t a friend of one of your friends.

14. Whose messages do I want filtered into my Inbox?

I would recommend the “basic filtering” which means that most Facebook email messages will get to you.

15. Who can look you up using the email address you provided?

Now I give out my email address a lot for people to connect so I have this marked to public. If you want just “friends of friends” or just “friends” to be ale to do this you can.

TIP: Sometimes young people don’t want to be found by their parents on Facebook – they use an alias – but if you have their email and they haven’t changed this setting, you can find them on Facebook using this tool.

16. Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?

Same answer as the email address.

17. Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?

Now this one is going to be different for me vs. you. I’m open on the internet and I want the search engines to find my information. You might not want that. So if you are worried about Google finding your information, then you might want to uncheck the box.

Next blog post – Timeline and Tagging (Facebook 101 – Part 3) Coming soon.

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Creating Your Digital Legacy For Future Generations

Grandpa Les Schindler 1938-1939

Grandpa “Les” Schindler on the farm around 1938-39

My grandfather (Leslie “Les” J. Schindler) was born January 1, 1918 and passed while I was in grad school – Nov 16, 1998.

He was a farmer and mechanic. On the farm, we had a dairy cow, about 40 head of cattle and we planted corn and soy beans.

Growing up I spent a lot of time on back fender of his tractor until I was old enough to drive one (I think around 6 or 7).

Then we would spend the days following each other around the fields. He would be cutting hay. I would be conditioning. He would be baling. I would be stacking.  He would be picking. I would be unloading the corn.

I learned a ton from him – about hard work, perseverance, and a few mechanical skills. I miss him a lot. Especially now that I have a family of my own. It would be great to understand what he thought about his situation and how he dealt with life’s ups and downs.

But he didn’t leave a lot of things behind. Great memories for sure, but nothing really written down.

If he had I would go back to those writings quite a bit.

I would look to what he said and how he said it. I have just a few of those grandpa quotes I remember – one of my favorites that he would say to grandma at the end of night when company had overstayed their welcome.

“Come on, Mother. Let’s go to bed so these people can go home.”

He had a twisted sense of humor.

I wonder if he had the ability to write down his everyday thoughts, would he?

Would he have been a blogger?
Would he had tweeted about the farm?
Would he had shared about the house and barns he built by hand?
Or the animals he cared for?

Probably not. But if he would have created the text, the pictures, the video, the vines, whatever it was – I would read it all, over and over. I respected the man quite a bit but I don’t remember much about what he thought. I just have a few pictures and a bunch of hazy memories of my childhood.

When I think of the opportunity that social media has given me, it kinda blows my mind. You have any opportunity to share with generations that only a handful of people have done in the past.

You can give you minute-by-minute updates of your life in real time. You can follow and learn as much as you want from others.  It’s amazing how connected and documented we are now. We all have audiences – and these audiences actually care about what we are writing.

Facebook as Digital Diary

What do you think about these digital tools documenting your life?

But it’s more than that.

We are essentially writing the books of our lives with ongoing commentary of friends and family and, maybe some detractors as well. That’s a lot different than a normal diary.

Yes, I keep in mind very well the people that are in my social networks when I’m sharing information. I want them to respond to me and I want to be a value add to their days. But I also need to keep in mind my future generations. The sons of my son, the daughters of my daughter’s daughter.

They will be influenced by what I say here because this will be my only voice after I’m gone.

I say all of this not because I want to scare you into deleting your Facebook account. We have all probably vented a few times too many, gone off on a rant or posted photos that could be taken out of context.

No, I say this, because I want you to keep sharing. I want you to pass along your wisdom to future generations and share with them what it was like to live at this day and age.

The stuff you do daily is actually very important.  If you are farming and sharing that information, there’s a good chance that the people who stumble across your blog or Facebook page or twitter profile aren’t connected to that lifestyle.  The daily stuff is new to them and very interesting. It’s not something they experience everyday.

And when generations look back like we do at the 1800’s when people were documenting their lives to share with others via mail but our future will definitely want to look into the past for insights. The sunrises you saw, the work you were passion about, the people you spent time with, the adventures you have are all part of this crazy social media world and it will be available forever to them.

So maybe this post is a little too sentimental. And maybe it’s not “real” enough because I edit out of social media some things that might be a bit too controversial for my future generations and my audience. That’s ok – I’m not and you aren’t – being graded on this.  You can share the controversial – sometimes that makes for lots of discussion – but just remember to be civil and kind.  It’s ok to disagree. It’s not ok to be a jerk.

I just want the future gens to trust me (even if all they know about me is what they have seen when I’m an old man who couldn’t have possibly been young at one time) and know that I thought about them when I was creating. I shared because I cared about them.

So I’m hoping that grandpa would have blogged had he been given the chance.  This way I could go back and visit with him even after he’s gone.

What do you think about future generation viewing our digital profiles? Any issues with it? Does it change how you think about social media?

How to Get Executive Support for an Advocacy Program in 4 Steps

Steve KnoxI’m a huge believer in advocates. I think they hold a lot of power but harnessing that power can be difficult.

Advocacy programs or simply a Word of Mouth program needs resources that right now might be dedicated to other projects.

Convincing the executive team to give you those resources may be challenging so here’s a few simple steps that you can take to give yourself a better shot at getting them.

First, let’s make sure we’re grounded in what an advocate is vs. an influencer. Many people sometimes don’t understand the difference. I love what Jay Baer at Convince and Convert and Zuberance did in the below infographic.

Advocates vs. Influencers via Jay Baer and Zuberance

Advocates vs. Influencers via Jay Baer and Zuberance

1. Advocacy is just a digital Word of Mouth program

If you take into account how people converse nowadays (social media, texting, group chat, Skype, etc…), you need to be part of the conversation. So here’s some examples:

  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin)
  • Reviews (amazon, Yelp, Google, Epinions,)
  • Recommendations Trip Advisor, Yahoo! Answers, Expert or List Blogs)

2. Advocacy directly combats negative information

This is something that is high on every executive’s list. They hate to see bad things about their products and services. If you have advocates then others (not just your marketing team) can go out and champion the company over what others have said. But if you don’t have a good product or service, then you might want to stay off the internet. 🙂

Yelp Review

3. Advocacy Program Success Metrics must match Business Goals

Don’t go into the executive’s office with terms like follows, likes and sentiment. Go in there with statements tied to Grow Revenues, Reduce Costs and Improve Satisfaction.

You can say things like “we can potentially grow revenues by $$$$ if we have amplification of our messages because we know that if more people are talking about our product online then our sales increase by $$$$”. If you don’t have that correlation set up currently, start working on it.

But you can also say “we can potentially reduce $$$$ by having more effective knowledge management of our product/service online using advocate commentary in our help forum. Right now we employ XX people and they put up XX content pieces a month. With advocates, we could increase this by XXX or something along those lines.”

Advocacy Metrics Must Match Business Goals

4. Advocacy is a big part of the current and future state of digital communications

This step is a bit bigger and requires a bit more work on your part to get across but I believe you’ll be a better communicator if you understand where the future of technology and communications is going.

With the current state, you can go into how the web works and how to manipulate your online reputation using the current methods.

You feed the Internet with:

  • Great Content (websites & blogs)
  • Constant Content
  • Share via social networks

This will work for now but this system is morphing constantly.

For the future state, you’ll need to do a little reading and researching but there are several trends that will help paint a picture for your executives.

Age of ContextI recommend grabbing a copy of “Age of Context” by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. It’s an easy read and will definitely give you some thoughts on how the future is shaping up.

They focus on five trends that are coming together to form this digital future – social media, mobile, sensors, big data and GPS location. I won’t go too much beyond this besides telling you to read the book. It’s worth the time.

I love using examples of these trends in how they are coming together. You’ll find them in the powerpoint.

So after you’ve convinced your executive team to help you build an advocacy program, I always recommend you start with an employee program first.

This way you can cut your teeth on people who will be a little more forgiving about the experience and you’ll really be ready to handle customer advocates in the future.

We’ll talk about the step by step instructions on building an employee advocacy program and a customer advocacy program in the future.

For now, though, do you have any recommendations on how to convince your executives to start an advocacy program?

How social media savvy are your employees? How to do a social media audit of your team.

don-schindler-klout

Have you ever measured yourself on Klout?

“How experienced is my staff at using social media?”

I get this a lot from senior marketers and communication folks. They want to know how experienced the staff is at using social media tools.

It’s tough for senior staff to gauge this because they don’t use social media as much as the younger staff. So they just have to trust the staff when they say they know how to use it.

But do they really know how to use it?

I built this questionnaire after running into an issue with a communications person (previous job a long time ago) who swore they were experienced at using Facebook. They were adamant that they knew exactly what they were doing and didn’t need any training.

So I set up a Facebook page and gave them access to the admin.

Then the first question came almost immediately:

“I accidentally put up the wrong link in a post. How do I change it?”

“I can’t post anymore because I want to keep this post at the top of our page.” – This was before Facebook had pinned posts.

“How do I friend other people with our page?”

Needless to say, that was when I really checked out the new admin’s profile. She had less than 30 friends, she was very active but didn’t even understand how to write on another person’s wall to wish them a happy birthday. So that was when I decided I’m done “trusting” people when they say they understand how to use social media.  Now I make sure to visit their digital profiles and read their posts.

I created these social media survey questions for employees. I would ask these questions in order to determine how strong an employee is at using social media and if they have any influence in the social media realm.

Now these are just base questions for generic social media. While some people may be very good and deep on one platform, they may not use or understand how another platform works.  If that is the case,  then I would not consider them to be at an advanced level.

I use these questions to also help with social media training – to see what level people are at so I can base the training by their needs. I normally drop the questions into a survey using surveymonkey.com and go through the results – one by one.

Here are some of the questions I use:

1. How comfortable are you using social media for personal use?

Very comfortable
Comfortable
OK
Not comfortable
Very uncomfortable

If they answer with “Not comfortable” or “Very uncomfortable”, I recommend that they don’t take the class. If their position requires it, (they are in communications or marketing) then they may want to think of a new career path because this social media stuff isn’t going away and if anything is becoming the way we all communicate both internal and external.

2. How comfortable would you be using social media for a business?

Very comfortable
Comfortable
OK
Not comfortable
Very uncomfortable

Any answer here is fine. You can teach people who are on the “uncomfortable” side of the equation as long as they are willing to learn (see question one). It just may take them longer. But you also need to be careful of the “very comfortable” people, because they may think they know everything and set in their ways.

3. Which social networks are you on?

Facebook
Twitter
Linkedin
YouTube
Instagram
Pinterest
Quora
MySpace
Google+
Ning
Foursquare
Tumblr
Reddit
Stumbleupon
Path
GetGlue
Other…

If they check:

– All 16 – whoa.
– 10-16 – they get it.
– 5-10 – much better than the average bear.
– 2-5 – they probably have the standard networks.
– Less than two – they are probably uncomfortable about the digital lifestyle.

4. If you have Facebook, how many friends do you have?

100 or less
101-400
401-700
701-1000
1001+

The average person has about 200 or so friends on Facebook. And recently I’ve noticed many people have been deleting “friends” that were just acquaintances (instead of using friend’s lists). I would say the more savvy people have between 500-1000 friends.

5. If you have Facebook, how often do you visit the site or mobile application?

Multiple times a day
Once a day
A couple of times a week
Once or twice a month

A couple of times a week or less is a pattern of someone who is not really engaged in social media. They can be trained and right now just don’t get the benefit of using social media for business.

6. If you have Facebook, how often do you post, share, comment or like?

Multiple times a day
Once a day
A couple of times a week
Once or twice a month

Again, less than once a day shows lack of engagement and that’s fine. More training will help move it along.

7. If you have Linkedin, how many connections do you have?

100 or less
101-400
401-700
701-1000
1001+

Most professionals still don’t understand the strength of a highly networked Linkedin profile so less than 400 is pretty normal. More training about the reasons to use it is needed but once they get it, they can usually add people quickly.

8. If you have Linkedin, how often do you update your profile/resume?

Once a month
Once in a while
Once a year
I don’t remember the last time I visited

Updating your profile once a month is someone that really gets the benefits of Linkedin. Most people are not like this. The answer “I don’t remember the last time I visited” means I’m going to have to work harder to convince them of the benefits – and see if it matches to the “uncomfortable” position from the first survey question.

9. If you have Twitter, how often do you visit the site or a mobile application for Twitter?

Multiple times a day
Once a day
A couple of times a week
Once or twice a month

Twitter really requires you to be engaged at a high level to get the most out of it so anything less shows me that they are beginners.

10. If you have Twitter, how often do you tweet?

Multiple times a day
Once a day
A couple of times a week
Once or twice a month

Again, less than once a day shows lack of engagement and that’s fine. More training will help move it along.

11. Are you a blogger?

Yes
No
I have a blog but I haven’t posted to it in a while.

If you answered yes, then please put in your website URL.

If you ask someone if they are a blogger and they say “yes” then I’m pretty certain they blog. Most bloggers are happy to let you know they blog and will give you their URL at the drop of a hat.  That’s a good thing.

12. Have you read the social media policy that your company has in place? Do you understand what it says?

Yes
No
I did but I don’t remember the specifics.

This just lets me know if they even know about their being a social media policy with the company. Part of training should be going over the current social media policy.

If you don’t want to ask any questions, you can just level your employees yourself if you have access to their profiles.

With each person in training, check their digital profile or footprint for the following stats.

Social Media Beginner:
– 300 or less friends on Facebook
– 1000 or less tweets on Twitter
– 200 or less connections on Linkedin

Beginners might be on the network a lot but if you haven’t built a large network then you are probably not using it like an Intermediate and definitely not like a professional.

Intermediate:
– Have a blog or at least set one up at one time
– Manages at least one facebook page (not just a profile)
– More than 300 friends on Facebook (more like 800-1200 range)
– 500+ connections on Linkedin
– 1001-5000 tweets / 1000-5000 followers
– Google+ profile
– Is on other networks like Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, etc…

Intermediates are usually pretty social savvy but aren’t fully engaged all the time in social media. They are off and on the networks and don’t need a lot of assistance in setting up profiles or pages. They need more help when it comes to managing their professional brand and how to link the networks together.  I would also use other tools like Klout and Peerindex to see if where they fall on the influence scale.

Professional:
– Weekly blogger
– Advanced applications to manage multiple social profiles
– Manages a community / comments regularly
– More than 1500 friends and probably have many subscribers
– More than 5000 tweets and 5000 followers
– Manages company pages and profiles on different networks
– Is hyper connected 24/7

So what questions do you ask your staff when it comes to understanding how well they know social media and how they use it?

What should you be posting on Facebook Farm Page? Top ten tips on what you should post to Facebook.

dairygood-2-percent-farmers

What does the other 98% think about farming?

So if you know that most of today’s U.S. population is disconnected from farming, then giving them an inside view is important. Notice, I didn’t say “educate” them on farming – it’s not what they want and definitely not how they want to hear it.

They want to be insiders on how farming works and they want to know farmers (farmers are still one of the most respected industries in the nation – check out the latest Gallup Poll) so they can ask questions directly.

When you look at it from their point of view, what do you think they would like to know?

How cows are milked? How hay is cut? What do dairy cows eat? Where do they sleep? How long after the milk leaves the farm does it take to get to my house? Are dairy cows treated well?

You can answer these types of questions easily. But instead of just answering, think of showing them and telling them a story around the answer.

If you’ve got your smartphone with you, then think of how you would answer questions on farm life using photos and videos.

Here’s a top ten list of things to post on your Facebook Farm page…

1. Post photos of farm life

Photos are half of all posts on Facebook and are the top shared posts. If you want your status update to be shared a lot, your best shot is with a photo.  Table Rock Farm and Hahn-Way Holsteins does a great job of showcasing a photo with insider information.

table-rock-defacer

Top Tip – use a photo program like picmonkey.com or Over app for your phone to put text or your farm’s logo on the picture. This keeps it from being misused or stolen and it helps your brand.

hahn-way-holsteins-text-photo

2. Post videos of farm life

Videos are the next best thing to a photo and you can get more of the story of what you are doing. The only problem with video is that it takes more effort from the user to actually get the story. YouTube is the most shared website on Facebook so if you can put together a short video (2 min) then you’ve got a good shot at getting your message across.  Dairygood posted several videos on sustainability and dairy farming.

dairygood-sustainability-video

3. Answer questions without them asking

If you ever want to know what people are searching for answers, simply use the Facebook search or a Google search and read the autocompletes. These are the top searches in your region.

google-search-autocomplete

Type in your search and see what Google displays for you – make sure you log out of Google.

4. Get fans to engage and participate

You can ask people to help name calves, give them insight into how does modern farm equipment works, or just let them know what happened today on the farm.

This post by Dairy Carrie does a great job at getting people involved with naming a calf and showing how calves look when they are born.

dairycarrie-calf-naming

5. Give farm tours virtually

LeCows Dairy gives insight into silage, what it is and why they use it along with photos to engage people.  This takes time but the engagement is high and people love it.

lecows-dairy-silage

thefarmerslife-tractor

The Farmer’s Life also gets a question in this picture asking about what these tractors are used for.  It’s a great way to answer a question and engage someone not familiar with farming.

6. Ask them what they want to know.

Sometimes all you have to do is ask and people will let you know what they want to know.  Now you will always have people that will be distractors.  The main thing here is to engage when people really want to know vs. people just trying to get you to fight.  If that happens, you can check out this post on arguments and what to do.

americas-farmers-facebook-questions

7. Share the best photos, videos, status updates from other farm pages.

When Redhead Creamery started its kickstarter campaign, they needed help from everyone – including other farm pages to spread the word.  Dairy Carrie stepped up to help and got the word out.  I’m sure Redhead Creamery will return the favor.  This should be the Golden Rule for all farmers on facebook.  Help spread the word and it will come back to you.

dairycarrie-redhead-creamery

8. Treat other pages like your page – post comments and share on their walls.

When Al Roker of the Today Show visited the Hatcher Family Dairy,  DairyGood tagged them in the post to let them know that they were talking about them on Facebook.  This also encourages the other pages to comment, like or share the post.

dairygood-at-post-hatcher-family-dairy

Tagging other pages lets them know that you are talking about them.

9. Be active at least once a day

It’s hard to argue when you are getting information directly from the source.

facebook-best-practices

If you can post more than that, it’s ok. Just don’t go too crazy.

10. When you share on your page, make sure to share on your profile as well.

So should be a no-brainer, but many people fail to do it.  You can easily switch to your page and then back to your profile via the desktop version of facebook.  With the Facebook Page Application, you can do it on your phone as well.

Ray Prock of Ray-Lin Dairy is very good at pushing his blog posts through Twitter, his Facebook Page and his personal Facebook profile right after a post.

raylin-dairy-where-do-cows-sleep

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.

gilmer-dairy-hashtags

So what are your best practices for posting on your family farm page?  I would love to add them here.

Top Reasons Why You Should Be Using Hootsuite For Your Farm

Hootsuite Logo

Getting Your Owl On

Are you tired of jumping from website to application to mobile to keep up with all your social media networks?  Well, Hootsuite may be the answer you are looking for to integrate all your networks.

Hootsuite will take most of your main social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, etc…) and linking these networks together so you can become a super engaged farmer and social media influencer.  You can monitor, listen, engage, follow, like, love and link yourself to others digitally through the platform.

While this takes some time, the integration allows you to only have to login to one website or application and quickly navigate conversations and keep abreast of what important conversations are happening in both your network and the digital world.

You may think, that’s great. I don’t have time to learn something new.  Well, it’s not that hard and I’m here to show you what it can do and how you can do it yourself pretty quickly.

1. Monitor Multiple Networks via Tabs – Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and WeSEE: Search (Pinterest, Cinemagram, TheFancy, Weheartit).

With tabs, you can easily jump across multiple networks and applications.

Within these tabs, you can set up separate streams for each tab.  I’ll show you how to do this a little later in this post.

Here’s a sample of the networks you can add tabs for.

Engage in Multiple Networks –
– Twitter
– Facebook
– Facebook Pages
– Google+ Pages
– Linkedin
– Foursquare
– WordPress
– MySpace
– instagram
– youtube
– salesforce

Not only can you monitor what’s going on through these networks but you can also listen and engage – this allows you to keep track and respond with speed without having to go through multiple networks.

Here’s a video from Hootsuite (all the videos on are on this page are from Hootsuite University on YouTube and I recommend you check them out) on how to set up and connect your networks and tabs.

Adding Social Network

You can also add Facebook groups so you can watch their conversations as well.

How to add groups

2. Monitor Multiple Streams – Lists, searches, links and groups

If you are using twitter.com, then you might find it hard to keep up with all the conversations from the people you are following.

As we went over in the Twitter 101 class, I discussed the importance of setting up separate lists for the people that you follow – so you can discern the different conversations going on on twitter.

Without it, you’ll just have everyone grouped together and if you are following many people (say over 100, it might be impossible to keep up.

So I use hootsuite’s separate streams to view these different lists in real time. You can also rearrange these lists so you see some lists right away on your dashboard. You just have to drag the list to where you want it on the page.

I also set up streams for searches. I have keyword searches going on for terms and hashtags that are important to me. You just add your keyword terms like “dairy cow” and that search will start.

And I can set up a search on our websites so I can see when people link to our websites – this way I can thank them. You can do this just by adding the website in the search field like “http://dairygood.org” and it will come back with searches of people linking to the website.

Setting up lists, keyword searches and links

TIP: If you need more than 10 streams for your lists or groups, then just set up another tab.

They just added this video about setting up lists on your web dashboard.

TIP: You can search for keywords inside of your streams.

3. You can engage through a single platform instead of using multiple websites/applications.

With me, I engage mostly with others on Twitter via Hootsuite. But that’s because that is where most of my engagement is but you can go through almost all platforms and hootsuite.

Here’s a video on how to post in Hootsuite.

How to post in Hootsuite

BTW, if you want Hootsuite to stay current, I recommend that automatic refresh every two minutes. You can find this feature on the top right just below your first tab. You have to change the setting on each individual tab – there is no universal changing of the refresh time.

Refresh manually or time your auto refresh

Refresh manually or time your auto refresh

Twitter
With Twitter you can “Reply”, “Retweet” and “Direct Message or DM” then under the little drop down you can also “Reply All”, “Favorite”, “Send to Email” and “Send to Conversation”. Let me break those down.

“Reply” and “Reply All” – You can converse with others on twitter.
“Retweet” – You are passing along another’s info to your followers.
“Direct Message or DM” – You can privately tweet (like email) to another. But you must be following the other person and they must be following you.
“Favorite” – Saves a tweet to your favorite section so you can keep track of the tweet.
“Send to Email” – Email tweet and it’s information to another.
“Send to Conversation” – This is if are part of an organization that is using Hootsuite collectively (connected accounts). More about that under the Pro/Enterprise in this post.

Facebook
With Facebook, you can like or comment but you can’t share.

I’ve added Most Recent (which isn’t your lists and it is unfortunately not allowed yet but they say they are working on it), Photos and my Wall Posts (this also shows when people tag you).

TIP: If you added your page and are updating it through Hootsuite, it is rumored that your posts will be downgraded because you are using a third party app. I would test this with your page (post through the Facebook site then post via Hootsuite and monitor reach through insights.

Linkedin
With Linkedin, you can add All Updates and My Updates. You can comment on people’s updates and you can “like”, “save discussion” and “send an email”.

You can also add Instagram and Youtube but you need to add them as Apps.  Here’s how you use the App Directory.

Instagram
With Instagram’s app, you can do a lot. You can see your home stream, see what’s popular, check out your own photos, love a pic, do a search (it’s just most recent), disconnect or get help. That’s a lot of features inside of hoot suite.

YouTube
With YouTube Free, you can add subscriptions and do a search. The search is very robust and you can do keywords, location, username, category, time, sort by and language.

4. Free, Pro or Enterprise
With a free account, you get the basics and that’s all most people need. But if you are looking to make hootsuite part of your farm or state/region, then a pro account for $9 a month might be worth it.

With a pro account, you can have unlimited social profiles (instead of just five), one additional user, one enhanced report (you get several reports for free but you must use their tools to post to other networks), advanced scheduling, unlimited apps, rss feeds (with Google Reader goinåçg away, it might be worth it), Google Analytics integration, Facebook insight integration.

5. Cross-Platform – desktop, tablet, smartphone
One of the best things I like about Hootsuite is being able to use it across platforms without having to learn complete new systems. You can install the app on your phone or tablet and use it the same as the desktop. Another great thing is that they can be set up slightly different – you don’t have to follow the same lists or searches and the changes don’t effect the other platform.

6. Emailed reports
For free you can get your URL click through counts and where those people are located. You’ll also get your top referrers and most popular links.

Another free report is your profile that includes follower growth, keyword over time and your most popular links with text.

7. You can manage your lists inside of Hootsuite instead of just using Twitter.
There is actually many ways to handle people and lists within Hootsuite.

You can follow and put them into lists via the Profile Pop-up.

And you can add or remove people you follow from lists via the Contacts section through the List Section.

Keeping these lists organized will help you in the long run. Especially if you are sharing these lists in public with other people.

8. Because it rocks.
Yes, I’m biased with this. I believe that you can and probably should go check out other systems. In fact, there’s a great blog post on the top 7 reasons you shouldn’t be using Hootsuite. But I don’t think any of them are dealbreakers when it comes to helping you cross promote and protect your farm messages across multiple social platforms.

So what do you think? Do you like Hootsuite? Are you going to try it out to help control your social media networks?

Marketers, want to save your job and the company? Use real customer service.

Several things happened last week that made me take notice. And since I don’t believe in coincidences, I had to pull it altogether in my mind.

First, an amazing client story.

J.D. Gould Company is a family-owned business.  It’s been around since 1951. They make solenoid valves. It’s really hard to get excited about solenoid valves unless maybe you are an engineer but, according to the client, a lot of engineers don’t think about them as much as they once did. They are one of those things that don’t seem very important but they are. A bad valve can shut down an entire line. And that’s what happened to the an unnamed American Car company back in 1950’s.

At 2 am, the Gould family was awaken by an extremely upset plant manager. He told Mr. Gould that he better get up there right now and fix his broken solenoid valve. That it was costing the company thousands of dollars because the line was down. He expected Mr. Gould in six hours. The drive from Indianapolis to Detroit.  At a fury pace.

Mr. Gould got in his car and drove there as fast as he could. He couldn’t figure out how his valve had broken but he was going to make it right. When he arrived, he was met by the plant manager, the heads of the union and a lot of executives.

Mr. Gould and the union representatives along with electricians and plumbers climbed separate ladders to inspect the valve. Upon removing the top of the valve, they all could see it was stuck in the open position. Mr. Gould said he couldn’t understand why the valve would do that and asked if there was anything in the line. The union workers claimed there wasn’t along with the plant manager. They cut the valve out of the line.

And there, sticking out of the valve, was a plumber’s pencil. Whoever cut the pipe, put his pencil in the valve and forgot it. The valve was stuck open and Gould’s valve wasn’t at fault.

But he said nothing. They put it back together. The line was functioning again.  Mr. Gould drove home.

Next week, the local car dealer of the company called Mr. Gould. They had two new cars waiting for him if he wanted to stop by and pick them up.  The owner of the company still tears up thinking about how proud he was of this grandpa.

Here’s the other pieces I read.  Two blogs. One by Chris Brogan and his struggle with GMAC customer service.  And another from Seth Godin on How to answer the phone.

Imagine what the car company would have done if Mr. Gould had not picked up the phone or not gotten into his car and drove to Detroit.  Would he have gotten more business?  Even after they found out it was their own problem.  Would the lack of care overridden the problem?

Marketers complain to me about how the companies don’t understand what they do and how they are always the first to go when economies get tough.  I sympathize.  I was once on that side as well.

Marketers also understand how when a new customer comes calling, you better get it right and answer the phone on the first or second ring.  You treat those new customers like gold.

But current customers, heck, that’s not your problem.  That’s customer service.  That’s a different department.

Well, it shouldn’t be.  Marketers – the new marketers – should handle both sides of the fence.  If a call comes in, whether it’s a brand new customer or your oldest, they should be handled the same way.  Like the gold they are.

Every marketer knows that a current customer is 10 times less expensive to keep than to try an earn a new one.  But yet they get the crappy phone calls from overseas or the phone tree from hell.  Or nothing.

Want to save job your job?  Then take responsibility for every customer.  Use those marketing dollars to save your current customers from phone trees and incoherent operators.  Use some more by giving your current customers an EASY way to spread the word about how great your company is.

And you better do it soon.  Because customers are starting to realize that they have more firepower with social media.  They can organize and spread the word for you or against you.

Who knows…there may be a new company car waiting for you instead of a pink slip.