social media

Bar Harbor Flash Mob

I told a few people at Bar Harbor’s Fourth of July parade that I’d get this video up when it was done. Here is the video of the flash mob, organized by Jeni Dwyer Young of Side Street Cafe. She organized the entire thing using Youtube to show the dance moves and Facebook private event to communicate with participants. Good use of social media, Jen. :^)

The videographer working with her is putting together a much better video than what I’ve got here but in case you missed it, here’s a taste. Thanks to all involved for shaking things up! It was fun! (My apologies for screaming/talking while filming!)

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.

Early to rise makes you technically wise

7:30 am, Wednesday April 25. You were probably still in your PJs enjoying your morning coffee while 30 MDI business owners were filling their bellies with eggs and their heads with knowledge at the mini-tech boot camp sponsored by the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce. David Charron of Comp-u-sult and Nicole Ouellette of Breaking Even Communications were on hand to give a lively and informative discussion on what you need to know to keep your business current with computer applications and online marketing presence.
David started with key points on how to manage your data and your computer. Wondering what the Cloud is? David explained that the Cloud is just the internet – and it is actually safer and more economical to have your data backed up online with a third party company such as Mozy or Carbonite. The sites are encrypted for protection, and your data is safely stored offsite.

Also discussed was the importance of strong passwords. “Everyone knows about using 3s instead of Es, you need to be more stealthy now.” David recommend using pneumonic that only you will know. “my dog barnaby jones like ice cream cones”  would translate to MDBJLICC.

David talked briefly about how all those pesky software update reminders you get, are actually software companies trying to protect you from malware. Software manufacturers and hackers are constantly leap frogging each other with updates, and if you have the latest software, you computer is the most secure. As well as updating your software, David talked about the importance of maintaining a clean computer – defragging, emptying the garbage, and scanning for viruses will make your computer happier and faster.

Both Nicole and David then discussed ways to manage your files and information in a way that you and your co-workers have easy access to information. Google Apps is an easy, free, software bundle – available on any web browser, that you can share and co-author documents, spreadsheets, calendars, and more. Google Drive is now combining the features of Google Apps and File Share servers like dropbox: for more details, this is an excellent article: http://www.mercurynews.com/larry-magid/ci_20488331/magid-taking-google-drive-spin

After this discussion of computer and data sources, Nicole stepped up to talk about how to reach customers who are savvy to the internet, and interest them in your business. Traditionally business spend big dollars advertising on television and print media, but with the internet you can reach more of your target audience, and for less money.

Nicole talked about the importance of having a mobile section of your website. People over 50 are the highest growing market for smartphones, and 50% of American adults have already have one. In an area like Mount Desert Island – which largely depends on tourist dollars – making your website accessible to potential customers who are traveling and depending on their smartphones, is certainly going to help your business.

Facebook as a marketing tool was discussed at length. As Nicole pointed out – your website is a static location that depends on people taking the initiative to visit it. A Facebook page allows your business to interact with people on a daily or weekly basis, depending on how often you post updates. Nicole recommends no more than 3 posts a week for business since more information could overwhelm fans.

She also explained the difference between a personal Facebook profile and a business page. Facebook business pages offer a great opportunity for you to access data about your customers  such as age, location, and common interests. A Facebook page also offers your business another opportunity to show up in a google search. Win win win.

Nicole then talked about the new Facebook Timeline, and gave a quick tour of what it has to offer including designing the cover image (the large scale photo on the top); customizing the display of applications installed on the Facebook page; creating milestones that illustrate the history of your company, and being able to ‘pin’ important news to the top of your page and have it remain for up to a week.

She then spoke about some new social media kids on the block, Fiverr, Pinterest, Kickstarter, and Google+. She pointed out that right now Google and Facebook are the A game, but things change very quickly and it’s important to keep up with the ever-changing world of online networking.

To close the meeting, a brand new Kindle Fire was raffled off, and awarded to Sheila Ward from the Inn at Bay Ledge.

By 9 am everyone was happily sipping coffee and congratulating themselves on how smart they were for learning how to use technology more effectively in their business and personal lives.

Want to learn about more upcoming presentations and workshops? Sign up for our email newsletter and hear about it before just about everyone else on earth.

This Week From The Interwebs: Texts From Hilary, Corgis, and Things To Buy For One Billion Dollars

I think I’m going to start a semi regular feature called ‘This Week From The Interwebs’. I see so much fun stuff online (‘interwebs’ being a funny, old-timey way of saying the internet) that I can’t share it all so here’s a repository for things I find interesting, in hopes maybe you think they are interesting too.

Here’s the song and video I can’t get out of my head, first and foremost:

You’re welcome for that. And in other news:

Texts From Hilary
This Tumblr blog was all the rage the last week or so. Inspired by an image of Hilary Clinton texting, it’s fake correspondence via text between Hilary and other famous people, some political (Barack Obama, Joe Biden) and some not so political (Ryan Gosling, Mark Zuckerberg). Whether you like Hilary or not, it’s pretty funny. This week, they’ve shut the blog down since they actually got a text message from Secretary Clinton herself. If you want to know how to say goodbye on a blog, the last post is a pretty fun and classy exit.
http://textsfromhillaryclinton.tumblr.com/

Apps From Social Media Breakfast Bangor
So I recently gave an ‘Appy Hour’ talk at the Jesup Library is Bar Harbor and the day after, I got this great link with more apps that I’d never even heard of. If you want to do more with your smartphone or tablet, here are some cool things you can do:
http://www.smbbangor.org/smbbgr11-app-show-and-tell

Youtube Is Now Letting Everyone Monetize Videos
It used to be Youtube only partnered with channels that got a lot of traffic but now, you too can have ads with your video that could potentially generate revenue for you.
http://mashable.com/2012/04/13/youtube-opens-partner-program/

Facebook buys Instagram for $1 Billion
A twelve person company dividing up $1 billion. Not bad math any way you do it. I just can’t quite believe the size of this deal (though the baseball deal this week was bigger, wasn’t it?)
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/04/09/facebook-buys-instagram-for-1-billion/

33 Animals That Are Extremely Disappointed In You
This may be the funniest thing I’ve seen all week. Scroll to the end of the post (worth it) and you will understand my not-so-secret dream to have a pack of corgis follow me around all day.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/animals-who-are-extremely-disappointed-in-you 

Have a good weekend, on and off the interwebs!

Love To Pinterest: Three How-To Videos

I heart Pinterest. Image from artfulaussie.com

I heart Pinterest. Image from artfulaussie.com

Pinterest is the latest and greatest website in social networking. It is driving major traffic to ecommerce sites (more than Youtube, LinkedIn, and Google+, combined) and is growing at an almost unprecedented rate.

This first video is a basic how-to use Pinterest and includes information about how Pinterest drives traffic to websites (using breakingeveninc.com’s Google Analytics data as an example):

Tour of Pinterest, Part 1: Pinwhat? from Nicole Ouellette on Vimeo.

This second video shows how you can ‘pin’ items from any website (including yours) to your boards on Pinterest and a little trick of how Ecommerce sites can promote what they are selling:

Tour of Pinterest, Part 2: Adding To Your Pinterest Profile from Nicole Ouellette on Vimeo.

This third video shows how some businesses and non-profits are using Pinterest and maybe give you ideas on how to use it yourself to drive traffic to your website and interest in what you’re doing:

Tour of Pinterest, Part 3: How Businesses and Non-Profits Are Using Pinterest from Nicole Ouellette on Vimeo.

Are you on Pinterest? Seen any great examples of people, businesses, or non-profits using Pinterest? Comment below and let me know!

More reading:

Why Pinterest is 2012’s Hottest Website (on CNN)

Why Pinterest Gets One Billion Monthly Page Views (on Business Insider)

Pinterest Becomes Top Traffic Driver for Retailers Infographic (on Mashable)

Love To Pinterest: Three How-To Videos

I heart Pinterest. Image from artfulaussie.com

I heart Pinterest. Image from artfulaussie.com

Pinterest is the latest and greatest website in social networking. It is driving major traffic to ecommerce sites (more than Youtube, LinkedIn, and Google+, combined) and is growing at an almost unprecedented rate.

This first video is a basic how-to use Pinterest and includes information about how Pinterest drives traffic to websites (using breakingeveninc.com’s Google Analytics data as an example):

Tour of Pinterest, Part 1: Pinwhat? from Nicole Ouellette on Vimeo.



This second video shows how you can ‘pin’ items from any website (including yours) to your boards on Pinterest and a little trick of how Ecommerce sites can promote what they are selling:

Tour of Pinterest, Part 2: Adding To Your Pinterest Profile from Nicole Ouellette on Vimeo.

This third video shows how some businesses and non-profits are using Pinterest and maybe give you ideas on how to use it yourself to drive traffic to your website and interest in what you’re doing:

Tour of Pinterest, Part 3: How Businesses and Non-Profits Are Using Pinterest from Nicole Ouellette on Vimeo.

Are you on Pinterest? Seen any great examples of people, businesses, or non-profits using Pinterest? Comment below and let me know!

More reading:

Why Pinterest is 2012’s Hottest Website (on CNN)

Why Pinterest Gets One Billion Monthly Page Views (on Business Insider)

Pinterest Becomes Top Traffic Driver for Retailers Infographic (on Mashable)

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