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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How to set up Twitter for your family farm in 6 simple steps

Now I’ve gone through the five reasons why I think you should be using twitter for your farm business and I promised to show you how to set up a Twitter account in just a few simple steps.

1.  Go to Twitter and create an account.

twitter-sign-up

You don’t have to worry about creating the username just yet.  Just fill in your name, email and password. I would recommend getting some photos and/or logo of your farm for the profile photo section right now.

2.  Choose your username.

twitter-sign-up-page

This name can be changed down the road but it’s a real hassle so choose your name wisely.

If you are doing this as a farm business account, I would suggest using your farm name like I did here with SchindlerFarms (there can be on spaces and I would avoid underscores or dashes.)  If you have to change your twitter handle, you can change it via Twitter.

If you are setting up a Twitter handle for a personal account, I would recommend using your name. It’s tough to build other names or brands that would represent you and in the long run, most anonymous accounts will be forced to be more transparent. You don’t have to do this, it’s just a recommendation.

Then click Create My Account.

Your account is now live and twitter is showing you a sample tweet from The Twitter Teacher.

twitter-preview-page

3. Twitter will prompt you to start following other Twitterers.

twitter-timeline-following

These will most likely be people who are popular celebrities or entertainment brands who have paid to be here.  You are more than welcome to follow them if you wish. You would do this by clicking Follow next to their names.  The blue checkmarks mean that these accounts have been verified by Twitter to be real.  Not everyone on Twitter is verified.

I would suggest skipping this and using the search box to find people you want to follow.

For instance, I put in the term “dairygood” into the search field and got back a few people.

twitter-search-following

As you can see, there is Dairy Good, me and Mollie Wallers (chief communications officer for Dairy Management Inc.).

Of course, they would like you to follow more (when you click Next) so I put “dairy farmer” in the search box and up comes some more people to follow.

twitter-following-more

As you follow more people, they get added to your timeline in the center of the screen. You will see everything they tweet (this isn’t like Facebook where the algorithm decides who you see).

If you are looking for dairy farmers to follow, I recommend @rayprock, @_sdmaddox@dairycarrie, @gilmerdairy, @ezweber, @zweberfarms@nyfarmer and @TrentBown. There are many, many more and you can follow my whole list of farmers is getting big out there on twitter.

When you start following people, you need to use the Twitter Lists function to help divide people into separate listening streams.  I will do a follow up posts on using Lists and other tips and tricks to make the most use of Twitter.

Click the Next button to most pass the search and follow feature.

4.  Twitter will want you to connect your email to find them on . I don’t recommend this.

twitter-contact-email

There’s a small light “Skip” link in the bottom left. I would click that and move along.

5.  Add your profile pic and your biography information.

twitter-profile-upload-bio-text

Now this is very important because this is one of the ways people will find you.  The image will help people see who you are.  I recommend a farm shot or your logo – make sure the logo is already in a square image.  I matched the profile pic to my profile pic on Facebook for branding.

UPDATE NOTE: Tim Zweber of @zweberfarms recommends using people profile for farm photos and I agree.  People like socializing on Twitter with people.  Put a face on your farm.

You also have room to put in your biography text of 160 characters.  I put in the name and basic keywords if people would be looking for a farm in southeast Missouri.  I would recommend putting in your websites and other social links.

You can also hashtag things here as well if you want Twitter to pull in your profile into hashtag searches.  I didn’t do that here but you can.

If this is a personal Twitter account, I recommend using “Views are my own.” to help protect yourself from issues with FTC and advertising.  It helps people understand that you are not intentionally tweeting information that could be misconstrued as advertising for your business or farm.

All your employees, especially if they share information over Twitter about your business, should have that on their profiles.  They should also mention that they work for you like my profile example.

“SVP, Digital Initiatives at #Dairy Management, Inc. I work for farmers! http://dairygood.org  http://donschindler.com  #dairygood Opinions are my own. :)”

6.  According to Twitter, you are all done.  But not me. Let’s make sure our Profile looks nice and add some more information.

twitter-timeline-finish

Let’s click on the “Make Your Profile Beautiful” or if you closed it, just click on the little gear icon on the top right by the search bar and go to Settings.

Once on Settings, click Profile.

Here you can add a header photo, your location, and your website again.

Do NOT click Facebook Connect.  You don’t want your tweets automatically going to Facebook.   If you want to control both profiles from one application, I recommend Hootsuite and you can set that up using this my post, Top Reasons Why You Should Be Using Hootsuite For Your Farm.

Now I know I didn’t get into how to communicate on Twitter, that will be a post coming up along with the tips and tricks.

Did I miss any steps that you would add for the initial set-up?

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?

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?

Do iphone users tweet or do twitter people have iphones?

Just a random survey thing.


You can leave a comment below if you feel like it.

Erasing an online consumer complaint from your search results – Part 2 of Power to the Consumer

So here’s the secret.  You can’t.

You knew that was coming, didn’t you?  But there are ways to push the complaint farther away from your site and out of your search results.

The first thing I would do.  Go after that customer, face to face, and see if you can correct what happened.  Now some people would say that there are people who are never going to be happy, no matter what you do.

I would disagree and say, “You really don’t know that until you are face-to-face with that person.”

Too many times I’ve seen emails and comments start flaming because when it comes to digital communication it is easy to forget there is another human being on the other end of that discussion.  It’s almost like we are flipping mad at our computer and just letting them have it.  But once they are in person or on the phone, the anger settles and people can talk in the right TONE to one another.

The other thing to do is to go to those sites that have your complaint and explain your side of things.  Tell them how you’ve tried to work this situation out.

But if you can’t fix it, you can out-content them on search results.

If you have only one website on the internet (your singular web presense) on the internet, this is going to be very hard.  Because you essentially have only one link or two links that will come up when there is a search for your company.

But if you have multiple web presences…say a YouTube Channel, a Flickr account, a Twitter account, an outside blog or multiple blogs, a facebook page, a myspace page, then you have a chance.

Now what I would do is start pushing lots and lots of content out on the web through these different channels – and there are a heck of a lot of more of them than I mentioned.

Also, don’t do it all at once.  Space it out.  Get stuff up there at least once a week.

Other things you can do is change your static site frequently.  I don’t care if it costs you money because you built a site without a CMS.  By not changing your content, it just sits there and Google has no reason to re-index your site.

Get involved in other people’s conversations on their sites.  If you are scared of the internet, then talk to someone who understands it and can help you.

The bottom line is get more active on the internet and you can drive them down on the search results.

This is also not a great idea in theory – I’ve done this before with companies.  It does work.  But make sure you understand this.  The same rules that apply to you, also apply to the consumer and that’s why when you step it up – they can as well.  So it’s better to just work it out together and not go through this mess.

Good luck.  And if anyone else has some ideas on how to do it, let me know.  I would love to hear them.