Social Media

Darthia Farm: An Experiment In Social Giving

A couple years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Cynthia Thayer, a local author who hired me to train her on how to use her Wordpress blog and also happens to run an organic farm. (This is a very Maine thing: to have two seemingly completely separate careers going at one time but often artfully combining them.) I also knew her through my friends Tom and Beth Walsh who happen to be a next door neighbor and farm share recipient of Darthia Farm.

Sunday, tragedy struck the farm when the barn burned and the animals inside died.

Tom called me up Tuesday morning and wanted to have a website set up right away. Wanting to turn this around quickly without any up front costs to Tom, Cynthia, or anyone else, I threw up a donation page on Give Forward and shared it to my Facebook profile. It was interesting to spend relatively little time on something (besides researching First Giving and other sites like it to narrow down the service I’d use) completely blow up online.

Here’s a screenshot of just how my Facebook friends and business pages I follow shared the news:

The true power of sharing... and beyond the people I regularly keep in touch with, I can't even track the shares through Facebook anymore!

The true power of sharing… and beyond the people I regularly keep in touch with, I can’t even track the shares through Facebook anymore!

If I click for further sharing information, here’s some even deeper data:

Social media sharing acts kind of like compound interest: one share could result in many more over time.

Social media sharing acts kind of like compound interest: one share could result in many more over time.

Now I can see this data because I’m on Facebook and happen to be friends with hundreds of people. The true test of if a campaign is working is ‘Is it driving traffic to the website?’ and ‘Once people get to the site, are they acting on your call to action?’

The results as of 11:30 this morning:

It’s nice to see how social media is helping to spread the word about this farm. Small businesses and individuals do have power to get messages across and these online channels and can help the word spread faster.

Thanks to all who donated so far and will donate. I’ll update this blog entry periodically with results of the campaign.

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

Some Thoughts From Social Media FTW 2011

It’s been a couple weeks since Social Media FTW, an annual social media conference in Maine. This year was the third year and I took some notes that you might find fun from a couple presentations I went to:

Session 1: Elijah Young, http://blog.fandura.com

A bit about blogs:

  • There are 133 million blogs on the internet
  • 94.5% of these blogs are abandoned after one year (The 7.5 million blogs that remain are ‘maintained’, meaning updated at least once a month. (which really isn’t much.)
A lot of people stop blogging because it seems like no one is listening. Bummer. But it’s important to know:
  • 90% of people will lurk
  • 9% will interact occasionally
  • 1% will respond regularly
Some tips to help you be more successful at blogging:
  • Comment on the smaller blogs, they’ll appreciate the comment more than the big guys. Build a reciprocal relationship with them.
  • Respect every interaction (‘Thanks’ is not an conversation.) Having a meaningful exchange makes you memorable, builds relationships, and is more likely to generate leads for you.
  • Interview experts in your field and competitors to build authority. This makes you seem connected and not so selfish.
  • If you are stuck on a topic, use Q and A websites, competitor websites’ FAQs, and blogs you are already reading to help you come up with ideas.
  • Keep it in perspective. You aren’t blogging to become the next famous person, you are doing it to generate more business.

How to get your blog readers to talk to more people for you.

Session 3: Rich Brooks, http://www.flyte.biz

A bit about video:

  • If you are targeting a key phrase, you can rank higher by creating videos with that keyphrase.
  • For blog posts, a thumbnail and play button for a video next to the blog post link (for example on Facebook) is more engaging than just a plain text link.
  • For Flyte, conversion rate on pages with video was much higher than average site visitor (Contact form over 700% more likely to be filled out, 700% higher than the typical visitor).

Video types:

  • How-to
  • Testimonials
  • Tours
  • Tips/Secrets
  • Series
  • Response
Some tips for Youtube and videos:
  • Wondering what keywords you should include in your video file name, video title, video description, etc.? Try the Google Keyword Tool: bit.ly/betterkeywords
  • Videos should ideally be under 2 minutes.
  • Why companies use Youtube: >55% of market share of online videos on Youtube
  • The average Youtube visitor spends >15 minutes/day
  • Youtube is the second largest search engine and the third most visited site online.
  • You can customize a Youtube background; just create an image that is 960 pixels wide center justified.
  • When writing the video description, start with the URL to your website. This will help make sure people see it, and drive traffic to your site.
  • You can add a link to another Youtube video in the annotations section. You can link to a website off Youtube as well but that’s a bit more complicated. ;^) But possible! (It involves making it a promoted video and set CPV to one penny and then editing the video so the call to action overlay appears.)
  • If you are going to embed the video on your blog or website, it’s best to write a blog post to go with it to make it most findable.
  • Tubemogul is a free service that allows you to publish videos to multiple places at one time.
Anyway it was a great conference and I certainly didn’t take enough notes!
Sorry to have missed it? Click here for the slides. 
Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

Fun Friday: Chef Dan

Let me just say right off that I am far from being some kind of smooth lady on the relationship front. But I’ve recently did something where I accidentally encouraged my new boyfriend to do something nice for me, and then it kept happening.

Dan likes to cook. The second meal he made me, I decided to take out my digital camera and record him on video.

The next day, I watched it. What surprised me was that the video was actually good. I asked if I could post it on Facebook, thinking his friends would get a kick out of it. Almost immediately, he got phone calls, emails, and comments, mostly asking when the next video was coming out.

Next video?

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Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

Weekly Online Twitter Chat: BudgetPulse, Breaking Even, and You

Friend and blogger Craig started a weekly personal finance chat on Twitter with BudgetPulse last week. He was looking for cohosts and since I like Craig and talking about money, I offered to be a part of it.
Each week, the topic is different with the undercurrent of money (sound familiar?). Tonight on the Weekly Personal Finance Chat, we’re talking about dating.
What does personal finance have to do with dating. More than you’d think: Who pays? Is it more expensive to be single or in a relationship? Basically all things love and money will be all over Twitter tonight, and if you have a Twitter account, you can be a part of it!

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Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

Why Your Friend Is Online All The Time

An Explanation From A Socially Needy Person


Every time I hear someone complaining about those people who change their Facebook status multiple times a day, I smile to myself. I smile because I have become that person.

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t do this because I am bored or have no friends. I have a full life and real life friends. Really!

I would like to shed light on those people in your life who, like me, seem to reach out an awful lot online. Yes there are actual reasons for this behavior which I will from now on call ‘socially needy’.

Sometimes a lack of loin cloth, internet access, and my dog are what keeps me sane. I bet if Castaway Tom Hanks would have had Facebook, he would have updated his status more than I do.
Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

Are You Twitter-petered?

Behold The Addictiveness of Twitter And You Too Can Have One More Website To Check

For those of us who are online a lot (or just like being online), it's fun to have a few websites you can visit and have a good time with while feeling as if you're getting something accomplished. People seem to like having things they can check. Sean's obsession with checking his email (at least five times a day) is one such example. A couple of my friends obsessively monitor Myspace pages or surf bored.com. And now, we have Twitter.

Bambi Twitter is a social networking site for lazy people. (I lump myself in this group; writing and maintaining this blog take up enough of my time that social networking goes to the wayside a bit.) You have a tiny profile (here's mine) and can send little 140 character messages to people who are following you. That's about it.

I don't know even half the people who are following me. I know only a few of the people I am following. But I broadcast my little messages to the world anyway. Twitter has brought a little traffic to my site, not enough at this point to make it worth the thought I put into my little messages. But it is still oddly addictive.

I think bloggers like Twitter because it let's us get out of our niche and be a little more personal (though shameless self promotion, myself included, does happen). Also people are using it sort of like an online "word of mouth" (See Harnessing the Power of Twitter (SheGeeks) or The Power of Twitter (Miss 604) for more info about this.)

It has some interesting implications and takes little of my time for it so I guess I'll remain a little twitter-petered. (For those of you who get why I used a random Bambi picture, go you.) I'm breakingeven on Twitter if you want to tweet with me. And if you have unlocked the hidden powers of Twitter, do share!

Just think; one more thing online you can check besides your usual haunts… 

Image from www.distractedglobe.com

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.
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